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Should Parents lose Custody of Super-Obese Kids?

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    Post Should Parents lose Custody of Super-Obese Kids?






    CHICAGO (AP) — Should parents of extremely obese children lose custody for not controlling their kids' weight? A provocative commentary in one of the nation's most distinguished medical journals argues yes, and its authors are joining a quiet chorus of advocates who say the government should be allowed to intervene in extreme cases.

    It has happened a few times in the U.S., and the opinion piece in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association says putting children temporarily in foster care is in some cases more ethical than obesity surgery.

    Dr. David Ludwig, an obesity specialist at Harvard-affiliated Children's Hospital Boston, said the point isn't to blame parents, but rather to act in children's best interest and get them help that for whatever reason their parents can't provide.

    State intervention "ideally will support not just the child but the whole family, with the goal of reuniting child and family as soon as possible. That may require instruction on parenting," said Ludwig, who wrote the article with Lindsey Murtagh, a lawyer and a researcher at Harvard's School of Public Health.

    "Despite the discomfort posed by state intervention, it may sometimes be necessary to protect a child," Murtagh said.

    But University of Pennsylvania bioethicist Art Caplan said he worries that the debate risks putting too much blame on parents. Obese children are victims of advertising, marketing, peer pressure and bullying — things a parent can't control, he said.

    "If you're going to change a child's weight, you're going to have to change all of them," Caplan said.

    Roughly 2 million U.S. children are extremely obese. Most are not in imminent danger, Ludwig said. But some have obesity-related conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, breathing difficulties and liver problems that could kill them by age 30. It is these kids for whom state intervention, including education, parent training, and temporary protective custody in the most extreme cases, should be considered, Ludwig said.

    While some doctors promote weight-loss surgery for severely obese teens, Ludwig said it hasn't been used for very long in adolescents and can have serious, sometimes life-threatening complications.

    "We don't know the long-term safety and effectiveness of these procedures done at an early age," he said.

    Ludwig said he starting thinking about the issue after a 90-pound 3-year-old girl came to his obesity clinic several years ago. Her parents had physical disabilities, little money and difficulty controlling her weight. Last year, at age 12, she weighed 400 pounds and had developed diabetes, cholesterol problems, high blood pressure and sleep apnea.

    "Out of medical concern, the state placed this girl in foster care, where she simply received three balanced meals a day and a snack or two and moderate physical activity," he said. After a year, she lost 130 pounds. Though she is still obese, her diabetes and apnea disappeared; she remains in foster care, he said.

    In a commentary in the medical journal BMJ last year, London pediatrician Dr. Russell Viner and colleagues said obesity was a factor in several child protection cases in Britain. They argued that child protection services should be considered if parents are neglectful or actively reject efforts to control an extremely obese child's weight.

    A 2009 opinion article in Pediatrics made similar arguments. Its authors said temporary removal from the home would be warranted "when all reasonable alternative options have been exhausted."

    That piece discussed a 440-pound 16-year-old girl who developed breathing problems from excess weight and nearly died at a University of Wisconsin hospital. Doctors discussed whether to report her family for neglect. But they didn't need to, because her medical crisis "was a wake-up call" for her family, and the girl ended up losing about 100 pounds, said co-author Dr. Norman Fost, a medical ethicist at the university's Madison campus.

    State intervention in obesity "doesn't necessarily involve new legal requirements," Ludwig said. Health care providers are required to report children who are at immediate risk, and that can be for a variety of reasons, including neglect, abuse and what doctors call "failure to thrive." That's when children are severely underweight.

    Jerri Gray, a Greenville, S.C., single mother who lost custody of her 555-pound 14-year-old son two years ago, said authorities don't understand the challenges families may face in trying to control their kids' weight.

    "I was always working two jobs so we wouldn't end up living in ghettos," Gray said. She said she often didn't have time to cook, so she would buy her son fast food. She said she asked doctors for help for her son's big appetite but was accused of neglect.

    Her sister has custody of the boy, now 16. The sister has the money to help him with a special diet and exercise, and the boy has lost more than 200 pounds, Gray said.

    "Even though good has come out of this as far as him losing weight, he told me just last week, 'Mommy, I want to be back with you so bad.' They've done damage by pulling us apart," Gray said.

    Stormy Bradley, an Atlanta mother whose overweight 14-year-old daughter is participating in a Georgia advocacy group's "Stop Childhood Obesity" campaign, said she sympathizes with families facing legal action because of their kids' weight.

    Healthier food often costs more, and trying to monitor kids' weight can be difficult, especially when they reach their teens and shun parental control, Bradley said. But taking youngsters away from their parents "definitely seems too extreme," she said.

    Dr. Lainie Ross, a medical ethicist at the University of Chicago, said: "There's a stigma with state intervention. We just have to do it with caution and humility and make sure we really can say that our interventions are going to do more good than harm."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightowl View Post
    Health care providers are required to report children who are at immediate risk, and that can be for a variety of reasons, including neglect, abuse and what doctors call "failure to thrive." That's when children are severely underweight
    If health care providers are already required to take action and there's precedent for removing overweight children from the home PLUS it's been found to be successful then yes.

    While it does seem extreme, some parents simply don't have the tools to raise their children.

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    it's a slippery slope.

    parents are supposed to look at for their children and protect them. is it really much different than filling a child's head full of the parents religious or political ideology or is it just a less acceptable form of abuse.
    William F. Buckley describes a conservative as, "someone who stands athwart history, yelling Stop." - and then proceeds to drag civilization back to times best left in history's dungheap.

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    i really have a problem with schools cutting phys ed programs and sports to keep arts and music programs.....libtards argue that you don't go to schools to play and we need to be more concerned with kids feelings (which is a fucking joke and teaching fat people to embrace their bodies when they should be embarassed and do something about it)....we spend the most in education and get the least return, teachers are trying to reinvent the wheel instead of drilling kids, and we're too concerned with their self esteem instead of making them fit and learning teamship, sportsmanship, how to be active, and HOW TO BE WINNERS!!!

    also stop giving out fucking participation awards and stop making rules that every kid has to play....if your kid sucks then he/she sucks and find something else productive for them or get your ass off the computer or couch yourself and teach them how to be a winner......stop rewarding mediocrity......stop giving into whining kids....they're fucking kids.....you're the boss of them.....

    i think a weekly ass beating should happen whether they need it or not simply so kids learn to fear and respect authority once again like when most of us were young......
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    hmmmm. what's next? i think it's a dangerous stripping of parental rights because my son was diagnosed with adhd and odd and i chose not to pump him full of shit medications. will the government seize kids like him next and medicate them for their own good? i home school him so he doesn't have to be medicated enough to sit still all day in a classroom will that right go next?

    the girl that lost 130 pounds probably swapped that weight loss for some severe emotional trauma being removed from her family and she will carry that trauma with her all her life. i think in home dietary services would be the solution. it costs a tremendous amount of money to take a child into the foster care system so give the family an in home support system instead.

    my aunt used to work for social services in the 60s i think it was. she said back then if a persons house was dirty they got to work and helped them clean it now they just turn their nose up at the work and take kids. severing that parent child bond of where a child feels they belong in the world is a lot more damaging than to be warranted done due to poor diet and lack of exercise.

    also the government should tax the motherfucking shit out of the profits of places that make or sell soda, candy, chips and other foods that do nothing but make people obese. sell an apple you get a tax break sell a candy bar you help pay for the damage your shit does to people's health.

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    I do find it unfortunate that the people often least qualified to raise children seem to have the largest broods these days. A few years back my wife found out she is unable to have children, and the options for adoption are almost exclusively for the wealthy. One of the really disquieting things about teaching in the public school system is seeing how common terrible parenting is in this country. Kudos to all those who have children and actually take on the tremendous responsibility needed to do this very difficult and challenging job well. By the way, I have seen kids get fatter and fatter in my classrooms over the past ten years. Obesity in this country is completely out of control. But as someone who struggled with weight as a young kid, I do think there are a lot of things to consider here (although these days I don't think I would even qualify as a fat kid). Until we find ways to help children and their parents about nutrition and the benefits of exercise, I don't see this changing.

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    fast food chains should start putting saltpeter in their value meals
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    The problem with removing the children from the home is. Tax payers will support them.
    A better solution is fine the parents and reeducate them.
    Why before now have they not done anything? It is epidemic now

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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtwarrior View Post
    The problem with removing the children from the home is. Tax payers will support them.
    A better solution is fine the parents and reeducate them.
    Why before now have they not done anything? It is epidemic now
    I agree, they should have to go to a court ordered nutrition class and then there should be follow up visits from social services every 6 months to check on the kids weight loss progress.





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    Quote Originally Posted by MDR View Post
    I do find it unfortunate that the people often least qualified to raise children seem to have the largest broods these days. A few years back my wife found out she is unable to have children, and the options for adoption are almost exclusively for the wealthy. One of the really disquieting things about teaching in the public school system is seeing how common terrible parenting is in this country. Kudos to all those who have children and actually take on the tremendous responsibility needed to do this very difficult and challenging job well. By the way, I have seen kids get fatter and fatter in my classrooms over the past ten years. Obesity in this country is completely out of control. But as someone who struggled with weight as a young kid, I do think there are a lot of things to consider here (although these days I don't think I would even qualify as a fat kid). Until we find ways to help children and their parents about nutrition and the benefits of exercise, I don't see this changing.
    when i was a kid my mom was an at home mom raising her children . we got three home cooked meals a day and dessert was for special occasions. chips were for camping etc, popcorn for movies, candy was a couple times a month. i knew maybe 5 fat kids from kindergarten through high school. my kids both eat fast food sometimes and chips, candy, soda, cake, but they are both active and thin. they both cook and love good healthy foods. they were introduced to fresh fruits and veggies early on... Ty would eat whole tomatoes like apples.

    maybe a community could do play camp for fat kids just take a bus around and take them to swim at a lake teach them to make healthy snacks. on one of the jamie oliver shows kids could not even identify different vegetables. dead by 30? no parents want that i'm sure but they need education as bad as the kids do maybe. show the parents an autopsy video of a dead fat kid. let them look inside the arteries...

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    Maybe...Think about it. Its a strain on the health care system and g*d for bid we get into another World War we wouldnt be able fight. Are they all going to be rolling along in their hoverounds shooting M16s? They best they could be used for are as sandbags. It was the Army's idea to start free lunches because as a nation we were too under weight/feed for optimal training and strength during the WW's. Now we're over feed.

    IMO I think its child abuse. But...then again its the whole government invasion thing I dont like either.

    I like Prince's idea.

    Maybe instead of going for the parents attack the food industry. Thats whats making them the way they are. Shit in a Wendys combo meal can easily exceed 1500 calories. Burger, Fries, Soda, Frosty. And Trans fats should be outlawed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince View Post
    I agree, they should have to go to a court ordered nutrition class and then there should be follow up visits from social services every 6 months to check on the kids weight loss progress.

    Seems like a good idea


    It is bad.

    Was in the store yesterday picking up some milk was young girl in front maybe around 10-12
    Look pregnant she was that fat.
    Had a basket full of shit
    5 large bags of haribo
    10 cans of pepsi
    2 large packs of crisps [10 in a bag]
    10 bars....like mars bars ect
    6 packets of biscuits


    I remember it as each item past i felt disgusted.
    Not even i could stomach all that without being sick.

    National service would sort the fat fucks out.
    Men and woman.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LAM View Post
    it's a slippery slope.

    parents are supposed to look at for their children and protect them. is it really much different than filling a child's head full of the parents religious or political ideology or is it just a less acceptable form of abuse.
    Apples and oranges. Not it's not. Political or religious ideology is only harmful when we disagrees with it. Obesity IS dangerous and can be life threatening. There's nothing subjective about that.

    Is forcing kids to study homosexual "history" in pubic schools a more acceptable form of abuse? Of course not. That's progressive. No, that's progressiveness in action.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GearsMcGilf View Post
    Apples and oranges. Not it's not. Political or religious ideology is only harmful when we disagrees with it. Obesity IS dangerous and can be life threatening. There's nothing subjective about that.

    Is forcing kids to study homosexual "history" in pubic schools a more acceptable form of abuse? Of course not. That's progressive. No, that's progressiveness in action.
    if kids are "forced" to learn gay, then they better damn well be "forced" to say the Pledge of Allegiance and definitely be allowed to display the American flag whenever they want......(reference school in california not allowing american flag on students bicycle so he doesn't offend anyone?)
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    Teach that fat 16 year-old how to cook for himself.
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    Werd. It seems like a combo of all the sedentary entertainment that kids have at their disposal, along with the giant plethora of fast food and snack foods available, and the mass marketing that goes with it, that is prolly contributing to the obesity epidemic. When I was a kid, we had no internets and only a small handful of video games. The majority of play time was spent riding our BMX bikes, playing ball in the yard, and just fucking around outside making our own entertainment. You're not burning many calories sitting on the couch and playing video games or surfing the net.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince View Post
    I agree, they should have to go to a court ordered nutrition class and then there should be follow up visits from social services every 6 months to check on the kids weight loss progress.
    Chances are the parents are obese too. Ship the damn lot off to Fat Camps and harvest the blubber for bio-diesel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GearsMcGilf View Post
    Apples and oranges. Not it's not. Political or religious ideology is only harmful when we disagrees with it. Obesity IS dangerous and can be life threatening. There's nothing subjective about that.

    Is forcing kids to study homosexual "history" in pubic schools a more acceptable form of abuse? Of course not. That's progressive. No, that's progressiveness in action.
    the human brain is not fully developed until age 25. when parents "teach" things like this to their children they become ingrained in the child and are "believed" by them to be fact when in reality they are not.
    William F. Buckley describes a conservative as, "someone who stands athwart history, yelling Stop." - and then proceeds to drag civilization back to times best left in history's dungheap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LAM View Post
    the human brain is not fully developed until age 25. when parents "teach" things like this to their children they become ingrained in the child and are "believed" by them to be fact when in reality they are not.
    That's true, but that's life. Everyone has their own opinions about the world and most tend to see them as factual. If a father is a card carrying member of the kkk and walks around spewing out racist dogma, chances are his kids will grow up believing the same thing. But, I don't think the we need to have govt agents getting b/w parents and children, telling them what they can and can't "teach" their kids. We certainly don't want to live in a police state like that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince View Post
    I agree, they should have to go to a court ordered nutrition class and then there should be follow up visits from social services every 6 months to check on the kids weight loss progress.
    Prolly not a bad idea. Like the 400lb 7 year old girl that was featured a while back. Her parents definitely needed some intervention. I just don't think pulling the kids out and putting them in foster care is the answer. That seems far too extreme. Maybe as a last resort if there is no improvement after a year or so. But, only in extreme cases.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GearsMcGilf View Post
    That's true, but that's life. Everyone has their own opinions about the world and most tend to see them as factual. If a father is a card carrying member of the kkk and walks around spewing out racist dogma, chances are his kids will grow up believing the same thing. But, I don't think the we need to have govt agents getting b/w parents and children, telling them what they can and can't "teach" their kids. We certainly don't want to live in a police state like that.
    that's why I said it was a slippery slope. nutrition, faith, politics, etc. all are various forms of modeling.
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    Werd. Usually, when the kids are fat, the parents tend to be fat also. That's where they learn the bad eating habits. I still think all the sedentary forms of entertainment plays a big role tho. That's why I try to limit my kids' video game and TV time and get them outside. Fortunately, I don't think their genetics would allow them to get too heavy tho. If I didn't WO and make myself eat like I do, I'd be a beanpole.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GearsMcGilf View Post
    Werd. Usually, when the kids are fat, the parents tend to be fat also. That's where they learn the bad eating habits. I still think all the sedentary forms of entertainment plays a big role tho. That's why I try to limit my kids' video game and TV time and get them outside. Fortunately, I don't think their genetics would allow them to get too heavy tho. If I didn't WO and make myself eat like I do, I'd be a beanpole.
    yep, the children are overweight because they model after the diet and exercise habits of the parents. this is why they say all good and bad habits start in the home.

    whether or not the "fat gene" is able to fully express itself depends on the lifestyle of the child, that's were epigenetics comes into play. this is why occasionally you see the one skinny child with the fat family, they are the ones that doesn't follow the same diet and/or sedentary lifestyle, etc.
    William F. Buckley describes a conservative as, "someone who stands athwart history, yelling Stop." - and then proceeds to drag civilization back to times best left in history's dungheap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blazeftp View Post
    Seems like a good idea


    It is bad.

    Was in the store yesterday picking up some milk was young girl in front maybe around 10-12
    Look pregnant she was that fat.
    Had a basket full of shit
    5 large bags of haribo
    10 cans of pepsi
    2 large packs of crisps [10 in a bag]
    10 bars....like mars bars ect
    6 packets of biscuits


    I remember it as each item past i felt disgusted.
    Not even i could stomach all that without being sick.

    National service would sort the fat fucks out.
    Men and woman.
    The bigger problem is all that that costs less than 5lbs of chicken breast, and fresh fruits and veggies. It also makes people feel fuller for longer.

    How about we quit subsidizing farmers for their corn and let the market sort it out?

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    I'd also like to point out that why we make a big deal out of the obesity epidemic in this country, very few people in this country are starving to death. That's better than 80% of the worlds population.

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    I think the govt has been subsidizing a lot of shit in order to make it more competitive in the international market. With "free trade" we have to compete with China, Mexico, India, etc, where workers are paid below poverty level wages. In China, for instance, labor is cheaper than anywhere I've seen. I bought 3 tailor made suits over there in 2006. Total cost was $375 USD. Over here, the same suit would've cost $1,200. The quality wasn't the best and they wore out a lot sooner than what I would have gotten over here, but for the price, it was still worth it. But, this free trade has gutted our manufacturing sector. It is completely one-sided.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hoyle21 View Post
    I'd also like to point out that why we make a big deal out of the obesity epidemic in this country, very few people in this country are starving to death. That's better than 80% of the worlds population.
    starving to death no, but slowly being poisoned by all of the chemical additives used in foods, pesticides, drinking water, etc.

    you pretty much have to eat triple the vegetables today to get the same amount of nutrients from them as you did in the 70's. we simply have a higher quantity of lower quality foods.

    very few can afford to buy organic.
    William F. Buckley describes a conservative as, "someone who stands athwart history, yelling Stop." - and then proceeds to drag civilization back to times best left in history's dungheap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hoyle21 View Post
    How about we quit subsidizing farmers for their corn and let the market sort it out?
    subsidizing big business is "capitalism' giving while giving money to people is "socialism"...standard US hypocrisy
    William F. Buckley describes a conservative as, "someone who stands athwart history, yelling Stop." - and then proceeds to drag civilization back to times best left in history's dungheap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtwarrior View Post
    The problem with removing the children from the home is. Tax payers will support them.
    A better solution is fine the parents and reeducate them.
    Why before now have they not done anything? It is epidemic now
    The cynic in me has to ask... who makes money from this enterprise?

    I agree with Irish on the need for drilling the basics. Learned so much through sheer memorization and repetition. And, yes, Mrs. Lawrence, my 4th grade teacher, was a Jedi with the paddle. I am no worse for the "beatings" I "suffered" at her hand. In fact, I'd argue, I'm a better person for it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LAM View Post
    starving to death no, but slowly being poisoned by all of the chemical additives used in foods, pesticides, drinking water, etc.

    you pretty much have to eat triple the vegetables today to get the same amount of nutrients from them as you did in the 70's. we simply have a higher quantity of lower quality foods.

    very few can afford to buy organic.

    Very, very true, but it isn't totally evil. Farmers are trying to figure out how to feed an overpopulated planet as well. That's not all of it, but a large chunk.

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