Puerto Rico considers fining parents of obese children up to $800

February 10, 2015
Puerto Rican children's fitness expert Jose Ortiz helps train overweight boys on stationary bikes inside the gym he operates in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. Statistics point to a growing generation of Puerto Rican children struggling with obesity and related diseases, once rarely seen among such young people. (AP)

Puerto Rican children’s fitness expert Jose Ortiz helps train overweight boys on stationary bikes inside the gym he operates in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. Statistics point to a growing generation of Puerto Rican children struggling with obesity and related diseases, once rarely seen among such young people. (AP)

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Legislators in Puerto Rico are debating a bill that would fine parents of obese children up to $800 if they don’t lose weight.

The bill aims to improve children’s well-being and help parents make healthier choices, Sen. Gilberto Rodriguez said in a statement issued Monday.

Public hearings for the bill are scheduled to begin Friday.

If approved, public school teachers would flag potential obesity cases and refer them to a counselor or social worker, depending on the severity of the case. Health Department officials would then meet with the parents and determine whether the obesity is a result of bad eating habits or a medical condition. They also would create a diet-and-exercise program combined with monthly visits to ensure it’s being followed.

After six months, officials would evaluate the child again, with parents possibly facing between $500 and $800 in fines if the situation does not improve within another six months to a year.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control defines childhood obesity as having a body mass index or above the 95th percentile for children of the same age and sex.

Several doctors including the president of Puerto Rico’s chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics have spoken out against the measure, saying it is unfair.

More than 28 percent of children in Puerto Rico are considered obese, compared with some 18 percent in the U.S. mainland.

26 Comments

  1. Pingback: Puerto Rico considers fining parents of obese children up to $800 | On Reddit

  2. Pingback: Puerto Rico considers fining parents of obese children up to $800 | On Reddit

  3. Pingback: Puerto Rico considers fining parents of obese children up to $800 | On Reddit

  4. Pingback: Puerto Rico considers fining parents of obese children up to $800 | On Reddit

  5. mark farman

    February 10, 2015 at 10:26 PM

    Fuzzy math: 18% of US kids are above the 95th percentile. How does that work?

  6. Pingback: Puerto Rico considers fining parents of obese children up to $800 | On Reddit

  7. Pingback: Puerto Rico considers fining parents of obese children up to $800 | On Reddit

  8. Pingback: Puerto Rico considers fining parents of obese children up to $800 | On Reddit

  9. Pingback: Puerto Rico considers fining parents of obese children up to $800 | On Reddit

  10. Pingback: Puerto Rico considers fining parents of obese children up to $800 | On Reddit

  11. Pingback: Puerto Rico considers fining parents of obese children up to $800 | On Reddit

  12. Pingback: Puerto Rico considers fining parents of obese children up to $800 | On Reddit

  13. Pingback: Puerto Rico considers fining parents of obese children up to $800 | On Reddit

  14. Pingback: Puerto Rico considers fining parents of obese children up to $800 | On Reddit

  15. Pingback: Puerto Rico considers fining parents of obese children up to $800 | On Reddit

  16. Pingback: Puerto Rico considers fining parents of obese children up to $800 | On Reddit

  17. Pingback: Puerto Rico considers fining parents of obese children up to $800 | On Reddit

  18. Pingback: Puerto Rico considers fining parents of obese children up to $800 | On Reddit

  19. Pingback: Puerto Rico considers fining parents of obese children up to $800 | On Reddit

  20. Toshiro Takazahski

    February 11, 2015 at 5:09 AM

    It’s more like they’re making a profit with the use of politics then dealing with the issue directly !

  21. Pingback: Puerto Rico considers fining parents of obese children up to $800 | On Reddit

  22. Pingback: Puerto Rico considers fining parents of obese children up to $800 | On Reddit

  23. chris

    February 11, 2015 at 8:13 AM

    Those fat little piglets need more exercise.

  24. Pingback: #WTF? Puerto Rico to fine parents of fat kids. | Conservative News and Views on Puerto Rico

  25. Pingback: Puerto Rico multaría a padres de niños obesos

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