The parents of a three-year-old girl have been accused of using their social media account to force-feed their toddler with fried chicken and hamburgers for ‘likes’.
They set up the account on Xigua Video in October 2019 and would upload videos of her eating fried chicken, hamburgers, sausages, instant noodles and grilled meats, Chinese state media outlet Global Times reports.
In one clip, the girl begged her parents to stop feeding her but they continued anyway, reports claimed.
Videos of the little girl were allegedly uploaded online by the parents in the hopes of monetising the content.
The parents, who have not been named, announced they were feeding their 35kg daughter in the hope of making her reach 50kg, according to Chengdu-based Red Star News.
They have now had their social media account shut down.
Huang Jianfeng, a paediatrician based in Shanghai, told Global Times the three-year-old is overweight for her age.
He said that childhood obesity can be a precursor to diabetes and hypertension, as well as being closely linked to cardiovascular disease in adult life.
He added: “Parents should not use their children as ‘cash cows’ to attract attention and make money, as it will have a negative impact on society.”
Reports said they posted the majority of the videos on Xigua Video.
Xigua Video have shut down the account after users expressed overwhelming concern about her parents’ behaviour, the platform told Red Star News.
Global Times report more than 130,000 agreed on a survey on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, that the behaviour of the parents was harming the child’s health with some reports stating she struggles to walk.
It is unclear if the authorities have been made aware of the incident or where in China the parents live.