Taking Obese Children Away from Their Parents... Thoughts?

Updated on December 06, 2011
R.D. asks from Richmond, VA
32 answers

ETA: I'm not saying I do or do not support this, stop attacking me ladies ;)

This dates back to more than a decade ago, but recently (due to the obesity epidemic) has become shockingly common.

The state takes morbidly obese children away from their parents, and places them in foster care.

Yes, I absolutely blame the parents for their children's weight problems.

BUT... I'm on the fence as to whether it's more harmful than helping to remove a child from their home and place them into foster care.

I'm not just talking about the cost associated with doing this, I'm thinking from a 'mental health' perspective.

I also think that genetic predisposition plays into it as well... some kids and naturally chubby, I'm NOT talking about that at all. I'm talking about kids who's parents feed them Ding Dongs and let them watch t.v. all day.

So what are YOUR thoughts on this?

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So What Happened?

@Carrie, excellent point on the skinny kids too! They do removed malnourished kids from homes, that's MUCH more common (so common, we don't often hear about it, since the media loves a 'shock factor')... I feel like these kids are living unhealthy lifestyles under their parents roofs, and obviously the parents are in the wrong... I get why they feel like it's necessary to remove obese kids. I just don't think it would work...

@Appriel, don't go off on me, I'm not the one who enforces this ;) If these morbidly obese kids got that way due to parents negligence, then that's considered abuse, and I understand why the state removes the kids... these kids could die from weight related medical issues. They're poisoning their kids with food, think of it that way.

I just think there should be a better way to go about taking care of this, like force the parents to undergo nutritional and dietary classes... it's not just the kid that has to change, it's the family as a whole. Some people just don't know how to take care of themselves. Kids don't get enough exercise at school either...

I see both sides of it, just kind of torn, I guess I could make up my mind better on a case to case basis.

@Alexis, how is this not a legit question? I'm not policing anyone's thoughts, I'm asking for your input.

I also think that yes, any child under/over weight due to parents blatant negligence is abuse. If you were starving your children as punishment, or overfeeding them due to ignorance, then you, the parent, are at fault. This is a last resort; they're not just yanking fat kids from their families. MORBID OBESITY kills adults, I can't imagine the long term effects on a child, both mental and physical...

Again, I'm ON the fence, not on one side or the other, I know it's Monday, but the claws don't have to be out here, LOL

Featured Answers



answers from New York on

How do you decide which kids are obese due to negligence and which are overweight due to some other factor such as sexual molestation?

Do you only blame the parents who are fat themselves and buy nothing but junk food? Do thin parents not get any blame? I have known many women who, as girls, snuck junk food due to parents being very strict about sweets. Should we take those children away, too?

I personally feel that there are way too many factors to consider besides a fat kid. And no government can possibly look into every family.

I also firmly believe that a child is better off with their parents than in a foster home. Will there be specific foster parents who foster overweight kids? Jillian Michaels types. And if those kids do lose weight, what will happen when they go back home - like the 95% of all Americans, they will gain the weight back plus more.

Sorry, but nothing is so cut and dry. There are MANY underlying factors to obesity. What if someone has 5 kids and one is overweight - do you take that one kids away? Something is going right for the outher 4??

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I believe that all children should be rounded up and raised in centers that monitor their every move........in fact lets make it a center that they wrap them in bubble wrap to be put on a shelf until they become adults.:)
I dont think that removing the child from the home is the answer. if the parent is trying to help their child then why take them??? and what about severly underweight children???? shouldnt they be taken also in the same sense?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

This was in the news this morning. A kid in Cleveland was taken from his mom. In that case, the state had been working with her for over a year trying to teach her better eating and lifestyle habits for herself and son. Her 8 year old weighed 200 lbs. That is so horribly overweight. She didn't seem to think it was a problem and he kept gaining weight. In that case, since she didn't seem to care, someone has to step in. I'm generally not for it but if you see a parent that doesn't care, then you need to take action.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Detroit on

Morbidly obese children need new diets and to have their parents work with physicians to follow them. I'm amazed at some of the hysteria around children even some who don't need to be rescued and yet so many are still missing, exploited and being abused horribly. Why hasn't anyone helped them? What a strange society. Anyway, interesting topic R..

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

If we the people chose to be "owned" like that. It would be better to spend the money on a dietician to provide and teach how to make healthy meals for the family until they were on track.
Added: Almost seems like this would be a good "job". Take a class in healthy eating, make some business cards, put yourself out there for hire. Take a families grocery money, make a meal plan, take mom/dad to the market and let the games begin. Kind of like supernanny with a twist-- dare I say Supper-nanny?

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boca Raton on

I think its a terrible policy. Are you also going to take children away from their parents who are too thin? I mean, f they are too thin, then I guess their parents are not feeding them enough so the State better step in and care for them!
This Country is getting ridiculous. Tell Big Brother to stop monitoring everything we do. We are losing our rights one little bit at a time. Our Freedom is what made this Country great, once upon a time. I guess those days are over. Everybody needs to toe the line. "Celebrate eachother's differences" is the big call in this Country - but we really don't do that at all.
My family has been in this Country since the Mayflower came over. But maybe if something like this law passes, its time to move. And that is coming from someone with a perfectly proportioned child. Imagine what is going through the heads of those parents who's child may be a little over weight, or underweight, or maybe a bit too short, or too tall . . .

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answers from Houston on

How can this even be a legitimate question? What next - the Thought Police?

The general policy regarding removing children is not to. It is used as a last resort measure since it is known to cause more harm than good. Why do you think there are children dying in the hands of their parents while we are all busy squawking about why the children weren't removed? Removal is the last resort measure as it well should be. What parent doesn't know the unconditional love of his or her child regardless of his or her qualities as parents? To take the child away undoubtedly does more damage than good in most cases.

I am not attacking you. I knew this was an opinion question. My opinion is that this is not a legitimate question because I think we should striving for less government not more. As a side question would we even be asking this question if we didn’t have a first lady who was wafer thin and campaigning for “better” eating?

To carry my answer further. If you want to remove the child for being too fat or too thin, then how about we just police what people buy? We can have security stand at the grocery store check outs. Anyone buying processed foods and any beverage other than water can be fined and denied the right to purchase those items. Then if that's not enough we can do monthly round ups to take children to doctors. In that way we can ensure children are vaccinated and properly looked after. But wait. What about those parents who don't want to vaccinate or those who prefer homeopathic methods? It seems like that might not be allowed either since it would be against the greater good. I mean “we” would have to define those rules defining and promulgating that greater good. The fundamental questions - who defines the greater good and what should/should not be the domain of the government to govern? Also would the “we” be anything like the Occupy “we” now being protested? Who picks the “we”? Are we all going to agree on that “we”? Being more paranoid what else could go on during those round ups campaigns? Sounds like a good chance for some DNA testing. Someone may say no way but what if they argue it would great preventative medicine. Slowly but surely and piece by piece we could find ourselves are persuaded right out of our freedoms with one sound, solid argument after another.

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answers from San Antonio on

No, I don't think the kids should be taken away from the parents. Not unless there are other issues at home (neglect, force feeding, anything requiring CPS). Instead, I would say having a social worker come to the home to check on the kids, help teach parents how to cook healthy meals on a budget, etc would be a better idea.

I have taught some very obese children - When I taught 3rd grade, at least 3 or 4 of my 3rd grader students weighed more than I do. At the same time, i had the little skinny minis that I had to reward when they ate more than one bite of lunch!
(The obese children, when I went to their home, had the NICEST parents. All of them were on a very tight budget, receiving Food Stamps and such. Grapes cost more than a bag of chips! One Mom "SARA" fed her son bacon and eggs every morning, then at school he ate every single bite of his lunch provided by the school/state. Sara was morbidly obese too and required a cane/walker to get around. She smoked terribly - her son's homework smelled like cigarettes. The mom of one other obese girl was normal sized and the nicest lady. It would be devastating if these two children I am thinking of were removed from their parents. DEVASTATING! As for my little skinny mini boy. His mother was itty bitty as well. I amnot sure why - if it was finances or if they didn't have a car to get to the store..... But the skinny boy was provided lunch every day free and he'd nibble. I set up a reward system for him to get to visit a teacher-friend's classroom after lunch if he ate "4 more bites" or whatever.

Education is key - teaching the parents, teaching the children, then giving them the resources to make the better choice.

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answers from Detroit on

Hmmm, I would have to go with no.

What about the kids the are raised in smoke filled homes? I would have been taken away from my parents for sure.

Its sad to see people letting their kids be unhealthy, but its the way they know.

There are a lot worse things going on with parents than letting their kids be fat that needs to be addressed. Asap. If I hear about another lunatic killing their baby I am going to flip out!!!

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answers from Des Moines on

I think it's important to note that a social worker does not just willy nilly take a child from his/her parents if they are obese. This act cannot be taken without a judge's signature and the involvement of multiple professionals. It is also NOT done without first giving parents the chance to remedy the situation and show efforts to protect their children's health. It is only done after the parents have refused to cooperate or make changes in what they are doing. Also, the state worker have to be able to show the judge that the child is in immediate danger of harm or death.

So, when this does happen, it's not been decided lightly and the situation is obviously very, very grave.

And, I definitely wouldn't say it's common, by any means.

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answers from Las Vegas on

I don't think this is the right approach. Having been in foster care myself.. can't say I was treated better than my mother who was also a drunk..

that said.. Obesity isn't a good thing, but let's face it, there are many kids out there who eat vast amounts of junk food and don't gain a pound, yet I wouldn't call them healthy. In my son's previous school, he was the biggest kid.. now this is a kid who eats any vegetable/fruit we give him (and in our household we eat a lot of them) doesn't drink soda/fruit juice. Overall, we eat healthier than most or any of his classmates, whom , often for their lunch bring capri sun, Gogurts and other crappy stuff.. yet, they are thinner... I do think genetics plays a role.. which also means, you have to work with what you were given.. if you are prone to being bigger, then yes, that might mean you cut certain foods out.. or you may have to exercise more often.. In today's world, there is no one way to eat.... everyone is too unique...

What I would suggest is that a nutritionist visit the family once a week for a year and even a physical fitness advisor. sounds expensive.?. not if you consider how much it costs to put a kid in foster care, not to mention, most of the parents (my own experience speaking) aren't up to the job .

Funny, in my foster home. my foster mother who was FAT bought all sorts of pastries from the day old bakery FOR HERSELF.. and locked them up.. and IF we wanted one, we could pay her a quarter (from our limited allowance) and get one...and if we were willing to pay, she'd sell out... and then buy more.. ah greed.. She did this out of spite and not for our well-being. Anyway, so do I think foster care is the answer........ NOT...

keep the kid at home if you can.... taking them away should be a last resort...

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answers from Lakeland on

I was just reading an article this morning about a boy taken from his mother.

The article I read said that CPS was watching the mom since she took him to the hospital for breathing problems. She joined a group but I didn't read anything on people going to her home and helping or teaching her to change their life style. She said she was trying, but it seems she needed more support. I think parents should be more responsible with their kid’s weight, but I also feel that the parents weren’t taught good eating habits themselves. I don’t think taking the children away is going to change anything, the entire family needs to change the bad habits and work together. I don't think it will do him any good to be taken from his mother.

Lately I have read articles (not just food related) that I feel parents are losing their rights to raise their children. Either for religious reasons or personal the children are being taken away or the parents are being prosecuted. I don’t always agree with different ways that people raise their kids, but it is not my (or anyone else’s) place to tell them they are wrong. I can only state that I disagree.

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answers from Dallas on

It depends on the reason for obesity, and the efforts the parents have (or have not) made.) There are many children who are obese, because of a genetic/thyroid/medical problem, or because of medication. Those kids should be off limits. The 200 pound kid (I think) you are referring to in your question...I DO think he should have been taken away. If what I read is accurate, the kid had been monitored by doctors and CPS for a year. In addition to that, he was in a program to lose weight. He continued to gain. They waited a YEAR. They gave her time to do what was right, and she didn't change. So, yes...the mother did not appear to be helping her child. If she had been doing the opposite, there would be no question in taking him away. Our country is so afraid of being mean about "fat." we're more concerned with being PC, then children's health. Until the mother is willing to help her own child, I do not think he should be in her home.

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answers from San Diego on

I grew up in the 70's and was a teen in the 80's. I was heavy, but not obese most of those years. But eventually, I did become obese. Now fast forward a bit and my stepmother comes on the scene. Now she was obviously pre-dispositioned to being fat. Everyone in her family was even larger than most of the people in mine, and we were all heavy. When I left home, my stepsister was only 4 years old, thin, beautiful, healthy.. But she picked up a ton of weight. She was 300 pounds when she died of a heart attack at 31 years of age. Should she have been removed from that home? Well, yeah. But not because of the food they gave her. My father was an abusive man and never got it. Her mother was too stupid for words. They were dirty people and growing up in that hell hole has a big part of making me the germophobic person that I am today.

To me, this is all a moot point. The people that do foster care are by and large no better than their parents. There are far too many kids that leave homes because of neglect to be starved, beat, molested, and even killed in the system that was supposed to be protecting them.

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answers from Boston on

I have only heard of one case in my state in which this happened and it was recently profiled and covered in the paper in relation to a childhood obesity symposium at Children's Hospital in Boston.

In this case, a child had been tracked at the hospital's obesity clinic since age 3 (she was very heavy even then) and by age 12 was morbidly obese with serious health issues - if I recall correctly, type II diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Both of her parents were physically disabled and they lived in poverty. They placed the girl with a foster family and by simply putting her on a normal diet of 3 meals a day and regular snacks made up of healthy, real food plus getting some regular physical activity, the girl lost over 100 lbs in a year. I believe that the goal for this child was to stay with the foster family until she reached a healthy weight and then be placed back with her parents if that's what she chose to do. The intent in this case was not to punish the parents, but to save the life of a child whose parents did not have the ability to care for her appropriately. We would have no problem taking away a child who was being starved, so I think that in a case like this, where even after years of intervention and "out patient" treatment a child is slowly dying of preventable obesity-related health problems at the hands of her own parents, getting him or her out of there and into an environment that can offer proper care is a necessity.

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answers from Sacramento on

Very interesting question...

My 2.5 yr old weighs 40 lb. He is also very tall. I am 5'10" and my husband is 6'5". We eat healthy, he gets no sweets or juice on a regular basis. Yes, he gets a treat at grandmas, but we do not give cookies and whatnot at home. He is healthy, just thick and sturdy. Larger than most, but proportionate.

My husbands cousin, on the other hand, has a four year old son who weighs 75 lbs! Both parents are morbidly obese and have type 2 diabetes. They feed his pain when he gets hurt, feed his emotions when he is upset. The child is not active, and drinks up to 4 sodas a day. They have been giving him soda, candy, chips, cookies, etc since infancy, and i am not exaggerating...

So two different cases. I actually do think some children would be better off in life being removed from some situations. A lot of times, obesity and gluttony comes along with lack of good parenting/life skills.

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answers from Washington DC on

for the story over the weekend, i don't think we have all the details. did the state work with the parents and a nutritionist to get the kid's weight down and the parents didn't comply? one story i heard didn't say, one story i read implied that was the case. I think for the story over the weekend that that child absolutely needs to be temporarily removed. 200 lbs at 8y? How does that child even move around? How did an 8y get to 200lbs? Did the dr. notify CPS? Has the dr. been advising the parents and they just didn't listen?

I support CPS decision in this case.

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answers from Washington DC on

To those people that are SHOCKED that R. brought this up... PLEASE know that this DOES happen. It isn't made up- this actually occurs and is very real.

Also, please note, it isn't "fat" kids, it is morbidly obese kids. BIG difference, pun not intended.

What stance do I take? Well, Honestly, I'm for whatever method that costs the state less. ...and I'm never much for a government telling me how to raise my kids. ...I'm not saying that these parents aren't terrible for letting their kids get that way. Also, these nutritional classes? really? There's info ALL over the place about what is right, and there's a ton of common sense involved, too. The info can't be ignored. These parents know what is right and CHOOSE not to do it. ...and if they didn't know what is right already, a class wouldn't change their brain capacity for learning. It is a choice, and they have already made it. Nutritional classes! phewy!

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answers from New York on

It's sad that this has become a major problem throughout western countries. It's not just the U.S. It's almost everywhere. I blame the producers who create junk food, and the government who doesn't do anything about it. I also blame parents who don't accept that junk food is the cause of obesity, and allow their children to eat and sit in front of the t.v all day. Should the government take these children away? It depends, if parents aren't spending time with their children to be active and eat healthy, then possibly yes. It's neglect, when they completely pay no attention to their kids and don't have healthy life styles in all aspects of their chlds life.

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answers from Augusta on

If there is a situation where there is a child that is WAY over weight, then I think in the least the issue needs to be addressed, ie what is making the child so over weight. THEN after that is addressed they need to send a nutritionist to the home and help the family to learn how to eat. Teach the child how to eat and exercise. And then go in something like once a month and check on them , weight the child , etc. Make sure they are doing what they need.

I don't usually support government intervention but in this case it might be warranted .

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answers from Orlando on

My 5 year old son weighs 70 pounds, so yea he's considered obese, but NOT because i feed him twinkles and donuts all day while he sits around watching tv. he takes medicine that causes weight gain, but trust me i get stares all the time because you wouldn't know that by looking at him. so I'm sure theres plenty of moms who look at my "fat kid" and think he should be taken away. but to answer the question, i don't think a child should be taken away but maybe help the parents make lifestyle change. a child with an eating issue would only get worse if taken away from their parents.

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answers from Dallas on

Well, I definitely think it should not be a first step. I believe intervention is the first step. A parent with an obese child is likely to be obese as well. The entire family needs nutrition counseling and probably cooking lessons. If you have parents who are unwilling to listen and adjust accordingly, then the child is better off being with someone who is concerned about his health.

It is much easier to change habits while someone is young rather than let them continue into adulthood with such a threat to their health and well-being.

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answers from Houston on

I'd consider it if it were the last resort for those families, meaning, if the families have done everything in their power {mandated by law) to keep their kids' weight manageable.

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answers from Boca Raton on

I agree A.L. - foster care is not exactly a great place to be ether.

So I would say no, I do not support the idea.

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answers from Hartford on

Removal from the home is not appropriate. Educating the parents and offering them the aid of a pediatric nutritionist is appropriate.

There are far too many issues that could be at play causing the obesity or thinness. There could be some serious metabolic issues no matter how healthfully the child eats. There could be sensory disorders at play. There could be disordered eating that has nothing to do with the parents (highly selective eating). There could be severe food allergies and sensitivities. I know personally of some children who can only eat maybe five specific foods. Anything other than those exact foods will make him violently ill. He's rail thin but healthy. A friend's son is so husky as to be considered "obese" for his age but it's most definitely genetics as he looks like all the males on both sides of the family. He's going to struggle as an adult to maintain a healthy (per the government) weight.

A child can also be perfectly healthy being off the charts one way or the other and not be malnourished.... they just don't fit the mold of "slender, fit child."

Being aware of the foods that are healthy for us is what matters. It's not necessarily the weight that matters. But all those in judgment can see is the fat. They can't see what's actually going into someone's mouth in private. They just assume.

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answers from Washington DC on

I am a chunky monkey. My boys are heavy for their ages, but they are also not fat. My 6 year old is my "biggest" kid, but he lives on broccoli. Literally. This kid drinks water and milk and eats ham (no bread) and a fruit or veggie for lunch. He isn't a big carb eater, and I think most of his problem is genetic. He also plays sports year round.

I think it kids are being abused by being overfed, then maybe the state can help teach the parents how to better take care of their kids? I'm not for the government footing that bill, but they foot everything else, so why not?

I think taking him from his parents was INSANE!! I can't imagine how scaared my 8 year old would be if she were yanked from our home. It breaks my heart :(.

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answers from Jacksonville on

I have mixed feelings about this case too, R.. I know that for many people (children included) eating has a mental health aspect to it. So removing him from his family may make whatever food issues he has worse, not better. But in order for him to eat a phenomenal amount of food, he has to be "allowed" to do so... and perhaps a foster family could do more in that regard than was being done in his home.
I do wonder if there is a medical component in this particular case that has gone undiagnosed... I saw mention of his mom having gotten some sort of services (breathing problems?) and they were monitoring his weight after... he lost some, but then started regaining it. So is that medical or did mom drop the ball and stop keeping on top of it?

Here is what is indisputable though: The 8 yr old is 200 lbs!! My 5'9" husband has NEVER weighted that much, and he lifts weights. I weighed that much only the last week of my 2nd pregnancy (and I gained over 50 lbs during that pregnancy). I topped out at 201 the day I went into labor! There is NO REASON that a CHILD of 8 yrs old should weigh anything even CLOSE to that amount. Something needed to be done. By whom, is the tricky part. Were there any steps taken to help this mom get his weight or eating under control? Was he given a full physical exam/testing to find out if there is a medical (hormonal, disease, etc) reason he is this size? If not, then I think that should have been done first. I would think that the "foster money" may have been better spent paying for some of the testing if it wasn't done, before removing the child. I would think that, now that he has been removed, they will STILL need to do that testing... so why not go there first in this case? It is probably a matter of "going by the rulebook" and not being able to make exceptions (or having no desire to jump through the hoops to be able to make exceptions) and just following the same old protocols.

Has the mom tried contacting social services in the past to try to obtain medical treatment or testing to search for a reason for his size? Or did she think he was just fine as he was? That is probably a factor in this whole thing, too. Because is she just went along as if everything was hunky dory, then that might very well be considered neglect. As, I personally think, it should be. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that an 8 yr old (or even a 10 yr old) should NOT weigh 200 lbs!

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answers from Detroit on

I think that any parent that has allowed their child to become 200 pounds at only 8 years old is an unfit parent. The mental health of the child has to be something questioned with that parent.

I think that people that feel that this child should stay home with the parent also feel like NO child should EVER be taken from an abusive home. And some probably also agree that we do not need government regulations on foods at all.

I'm not 200 pounds and I'm almost 4 times this child's age. This is a cause for concern.

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answers from Lake Charles on

I think that if a parent is morbidly obese (NOT due to health issues) and they are steering their kids on the same path, then they don't deserve to be parents. I think any mental trauma from being removed from their care has to be better than the mental trauma they will go through being morbidly obese their entire lives. What good parent can say "Yeah, I'm really fat and I don't want to do anything about it and I don't care if my kid turns out the same." It's sad and it makes me sick when I see it in public.. It seems more doctors are stepping in and setting ultimatums too which I think is awesome.



answers from Pittsburgh on

It's a tough question. But while we may all believe that unhealthy food is cheaper - in fact IT IS NOT. Please see this Mark Bittman article from the NY Times

Now real food may be less accessible in poor neighborhoods (may be greater distance to the supermarket or no access to a car) and it takes more time to cook than to eat garbage out of a box. But sorry, $$ is just not an excuse.



answers from Dover on

When I was teaching headstart there was a little boy in my class whom I absolutely adored. He had been abandoned by his dad and lived with his mom and grandparents. He was sweet and really, really bright. His parents obviously wanted the best for him because they would ask me questions about what to work on at home to make sure he was ready for kindergarten. The really loved him. The only area in which they did not have his best interests at heart was his diet. They were not careless, but they WERE in complete denial.

This poor little boy had gained 30 pounds over the course of the school year, which for a 5 year old is A LOT and he was already overweight. He was so round that he couldn't run without getting winded after the first 20 feet. He had to stop with his hands on his knees and catch his breath and then he walked. He had allergies and asthma and had to be on steroids, so I know that the meds had a part in his gaining weight. I also know he came to school everyday munching on dunkin donuts. Knowing his meds were potentially going to cause weight gain, mom had an even greater obligation to make sure this little guy's food intake was healthy.

The weight gain caused his lungs to work harder, which was really not good with the asthma. It effected his quality of life and ability to play. Children wouldn't play with him as much because he COULDN'T play like they did. I had to shut down some teasing that had started. And when the mom saw him running and having to stop and catch his breath, she said, "I think I need to take him to the doctor because his meds aren't working, he can't run." The weight gain never even dawned on her. I had to *gently* bring it up.

So, do I think he should have been taken away? No. But I think protective services should have been involved and insisted the mom get counseling and parenting classes in regard to nutrition and the dangers of letting him overeat and what to do in regards to his diet and the meds he was on. I think he should have been hooked up with a nutritionist and so should she. I think regular doctor visits should have been mandated. Then if she didn't comply, I think perhaps removing him from the home should have been an option. You just don't get to love your kids to death.


answers from Phoenix on

I'd like to take kids away from parents that smoke. And I don't care if the parents *say* they don't smoke around the kids, its still harmful...IMHO.

Should obese kids be taken from parents? Yes, I think so. If the parents, for whatever reason, can't seem to either feed their kids right or help their kids make the right choices, then someone needs to step in and help those kids.

I think it could be harmful mentally to take the kids from their parents for ANY reason, but that would have to happen if the parents are not being responsible enough to take good care of their kids.

And I am an "overweight" parent with a slightly chubby kid (other 2 avg size) so I'm not a skinny, healthfreak mom saying this.

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