The parents of a three-year-old girl have sparked outrage online after they were found “feeding” their daughter to the point of becoming overweight in an attempt to earn money on social media. Chinese netizens slammed the girl’s parents for their decision to profit at the cost of their daughter’s health, and some even accused them of child abuse.
The girl, named Peiqi, weighs around 35 kilograms, exceeding the appropriate weight for a young girl her age, according to health experts.
Chinese video platform ixigua.com said on Monday that it had previously monitored Peiqi’s video and feedbacks from netizens. Due to the increasing amount of complaints from netizens, the platform banned her video and account last week, Hongxing news reported.
Peiqi’s parents registered an account on ixigua.com and started broadcasting her eating and drinking different types of food from October 19, 2018, including grilled meats, sausages, hamburgers, fried chicken, coke, and instant noodles, Hongxing News reported.
However, according to some reports, Peiqi struggles to walk due to her excessively overweight body. In one video, Peiqi’s parents were filmed serving her food, even as she begged for her parents to stop, only for Peiqi to be “force fed” more after she finished. They often announced excitingly that their daughter’s weight is soon going to exceed 50 kilograms.
Peiqi is obese for her age, Huang Jianfeng, a Shanghai-based pediatrician, told the Global Times.
Childhood obesity can lead to diseases such as hypertension and diabetes, and is closely related to cardiovascular disease in adulthood, Huang said. Moreover, it will impact her social life, and affect her psychological and physical development.
“Parents should not use their children as ‘cash cows’ to attract attention and make money, as it will have a negative impact on society,” Huang added.
Many netizens suggested that Peiqi’s parents pay attention to their child’s health, while others reported their behavior to the video platform, according to media reports. Their account and videos have also since disappeared from the social platform.
A lot of netizens showed worry about Peiqi’s health and appealed to the local authority to address the case before it gets worse. Some netizens compared the behavior to a similar case in 2019, which involved a mother that was seen beating her young daughter, who was a clothing model, for not cooperating when taking photos.
“Shouldn’t we call the police? She is only three years old, but she weighs 35 kilograms! Can the kid’s cardiovascular system bear the pressure?” a netizen commented.
“This is no doubt child abuse! You are treating the kid like a ‘cash cow.’ Do you really deserve to be parents?” another one questioned.
As of press time, more than 130,000 people agreed the parents’ behavior poses harm to the child’s health, and that it might be classified as child abuse, a survey on Sina Weibo showed. Over 20,000 people also agreed the adults should stop feeding their child to gain attention and traffic flow.