My Formal Report to the State of Florida about Our Largest Source of Child Abuse: Food
On Friday, April 27, 2012, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed HB 1355 that establishes stricter criminal penalties for individuals who fail to report known or suspected child abuse; and especially involving victims of sexual abuse. Children are among the most defenseless victims of crime.
I (John McDougall, MD) am a physician licensed to practice medicine in the state of Florida (FL license #: ME 79850). In Florida, medical doctors are one of over 40 professionals who are identified as mandated reporters of child abuse. (Teachers, school professionals, counselors, nurses, doctors, dietitians, and mental health professionals are among those required to report child abuse in Florida, California, and many other states.)
In compliance with Florida state law, I am filing this report about widespread child abuse caused by various food industries working directly with branches of US government. These food organizations are actively involved in acts of commission and omission that result in harm, potential for harm, and/or the threat of harm to children. The health consequences of their various business activities amount to physical, emotional, and sexual abuse of children.
A Few Examples of Organizations Actively Involved in Child Abuse
||Ben and Jerry's
||Soft Drink Assoc.
Child Abuse: Obesity
A half-century ago, when I was in grade school, an overweight classmate stuck out and was ridiculed. Today, fully a third of school children are overweight or obese. Although “fat-acceptance” may be much greater these days, the humiliation and discrimination of buying from the plus size racks and the remarks from school classmates are just as painful and cruel as they were decades ago.
Child Abuse: Disfigurement and Pain
Even though obesity is the most commonly discussed harm caused by unhealthy eating, it is not the only one, and not necessarily the most painful one. The noticeable facial sores from acne and the hidden worry when bowel movements come as infrequently as once a week cause intense hurting—and they are due to diet, too. Headaches, gut aches, body aches, and arthritis, caused by eating primarily animal food, are crippling our children. The lack of energy-enhancing carbohydrates from plant-foods is making them fall behind in mental and physical races.
Child Sexual Abuse: Precocious Puberty
Sexual child abuse is outlawed in almost every country worldwide, yet the dominant food industries, acting under the approving eyes of government agencies, are major contributors to sexually related injustices committed against millions of children annually in the US. Meat and dairy foods alter hormone levels, causing adult physical characteristics, reproductive functions, and sexual desires to emerge in people who, chronologically, are still children.
The normal age of human sexual maturity is between 16 and 19 years. The modern Western diet, based on meat and dairy products, is causing dramatic changes in human development, triggering the onset of precocious puberty at an average of 8 to 12 years, long before nature ever intended.
The adverse consequences of premature sexual development permeate our society. The development of female breasts and buttocks activate natural male reproductive behaviors, causing some men to prey on girls. Precocious puberty encourages children to make unwise choices that very often lead to disease, pregnancy, single motherhood, premature marriage, divorce, disruption of the mother's education, and poverty. Also, a teenage mother has a far greater risk of complications of pregnancy. Precocious puberty is associated, later on in life, with more heart disease and cancer.
But, Everything’s Normal
Epidemic obesity and sickness are often unseen because they are so common. These are “normal” conditions and the perpetrators include the “nicest people.” Teachers, bankers, ministers, doctors, and police feed the Western diet to their children thinking that the meat and cheese are good for their muscles and bones, and the junk is inconsequential. Ignorance of the cause does not diminish the suffering. If this kind of pain resulted from a large man swinging a wooden stick at a small child, then the perpetrator would be locked up in jail.
We live in a so-called “free society.” Terms such as “free speech,” “free enterprise,” and “free trade” are used to justify business behaviors that harm the weak and disadvantaged in our society. Under these rules the dairy industries' right to advertise the purported benefits of calcium in their products, while hiding the seriousness of the artery-clogging fats, outweighs the rights of children to basic good health.
Civilized people, however, protect their children. Only after the age of consent (18 to 21 years) do adults have the right to drink and smoke themselves sick. The spigot of disease from the food industries could be turned off in the same ways our society legally limits the access to alcohol and tobacco to under-age children. However, ID is unlikely to be required for the purchase of a slice of pepperoni pizza and Dr. Pepper in the near future.
The Immediate Solution: Education and Food Accessibility
When our (the McDougall) children were growing up, they were not forbidden from eating junk food outside of our home. However, they were taught that rice, corn, potatoes, and beans were the correct foods. Also important, Mary always had a kitchen full of tasty starch-based meals for our daughter and two sons to eat. The same opportunities must be offered to all children by government mandate.
All school age children must receive fundamental education on the proper diet for human beings: a starch-based diet with fruits and vegetables. Students must understand that this kind of food will make them attractive, strong, and fit. The same kind of health education that tells kids that smoking cigarettes makes them smell bad and look old before their time, needs to be used to connect hamburgers and string cheese to oily skin, acne, body odor, poor performance, and obesity: Losers eat protein (meat and cheese) in exclusion of carbohydrate (corn, potatoes, and rice).
Smoke-free environments are now established in and around all schools. An environment of safe foods will provide even greater opportunities for health. Delicious starch-based meals of pizza, pasta, burritos, and rice bowls must be served exclusively for the school lunch programs. The reintroduction of home economics classes will teach students how to gather and prepare basic foods.
Although many concerned citizens are now helping with efforts that restrict the sale of sugary drinks and improve school lunches, our children remain unprotected. The state of Florida, under the direction of Governor Scott, has taken a “zero tolerance position” on reporting known or suspected child abuse. This law has caused me to make this public complaint. I hope it will invigorate others to perform their moral duty and comply with their legal obligation to take steps to fix our largest source of child abuse: food.
Please send this and/or your own message to your local PTA, school boards, churches, regional, state, and national governments.
I sent this letter to governor Rick Scott of Florida through the following addresses:
2012 John McDougall All Rights Reserved
Dr. McDougall's Health and Medical Center
P.O. Box 14039, Santa Rosa, CA 95402