DEAR ABBY: I am appalled and saddened when I go out to a restaurant and see the number of adults who force their children to eat. There are so many overweight people in the United States, why try to make a child finish a meal? They will eat when they are hungry; just don't give them anything between meals.
It hurts me to see parents say, "We can't leave until you clean your plate" -- like they are bad children for not eating. Please tell me if I'm off base on this issue. -- MILWAUKEE GRANDMA
DEAR GRANDMA: Perhaps you shouldn't judge so quickly. The problem of obesity in this country has less to do with parents force-feeding their children than with children and adults who are consuming fattening foods in excessive portions and not burning off the calories. It may be that the children you are seeing want to consume only sweet, sugary foods -- and the parents are simply trying to get them to eat a balanced meal.