Gordon Ramsay suggests punishing parents of obese children
By Christopher Rocchio, 07/09/2007
Gordon Ramsay is known for his militaristic approach in the kitchen to motivate contestants on his Hell's Kitchen reality competition series, and the foul-mouthed British chef apparently believes lawmakers should be just as tough on the parents of obese children.
"If kids become obese and out of control, then seriously fine the parents and threaten them with a court appearance because they often don't realize what they are doing," said Ramsay during an interview with Men's Health magazine, according to the U.K.'s Daily Mail. "If you're going to be a healthy nation then you've got to discipline the parents for having no control."
In addition to the health risks associated with obesity, Ramsay said heftier children also endure psychological suffering at the hands of other youth.
"You don't want to see fat children at the age of nine being humiliated at school because they can't play rugby or they can't do the cross country run or they're feeling bad because their clothes don't fit them," Ramsay told Men's Health. "That gives that individual an issue they'll have for the rest of their lives. It's heartbreaking and it's the parents, not the children, who are at fault."
Ramsay added he's familiar with the mental damage a child can go through for being teased about weight, with the 40-year-old reality television star referencing his 8-year-old daughter Megan as an example.
"Megan is being bullied by a girl at school at the moment because someone called her fat," Ramsay told Men's Health. "She's not fat at all, she just enjoys food. But now she's got a complex about her body as an 8-year-old, which is wrong."
Fans of Fox's Hell's Kitchen shouldn't be surprised to learn that Ramsay also advocated frightening children about the dangers of unhealthy eating as a way for parents to educate them on the importance of taking proper care of their bodies.
"That documentary, Super Size Me, scares the hell out of my children," he told Men's Health. "And you have to scare them like that to make them understand it's not good for you."