Should parents lose custody if their child is extremely obese?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Mac'nCheese, Jul 13, 2011.

  1. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68030

    Mac'nCheese

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    #1
  2. iStudentUK macrumors 65816

    iStudentUK

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    Hmm... tricky.

    On the one hand parents have a duty to look after their children's safety and that includes health. If they are completely incapable of feeding their children a healthy diet to the extent that the child is at serious risk of health problems then the state should step in.

    On the other hand, where does this start and end? There's a big difference between a chubby child and a severly obese one. You could use BMI, but that seems quite rigid. But giving total discretion to social services may be a bit much. Also, at what age could a child be considered to be able to make their own responsible diet decisions?

    I do think the state should be prepared to step in in these cases, but I'm struggling to think exactly how it should work. Anyone got any bright ideas?
     
  3. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    Not on the fence at all, as long as the cases are thoroughly investigated.
     
  4. rdowns macrumors Penryn

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    Is raising an obese child and not doing anything about it abuse? I say yes but I'm not too keen on the government taking kids away. Where do you draw the line? Take them away from smokers? Drinkers?
     
  5. 42streetsdown macrumors 6502a

    42streetsdown

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    As Russell Howard says, "Ban your fanny until you can look after what plops out of it."

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjeXpQ-fFs0 at 1:20

    People need to learn to take care of their kids.

    The whole economic factor is complete crap. Fresh vegetables are really cheap compared to the price of fattening things like meat. You don't have to buy special health foods to be healthy.
     
  6. Mac'nCheese, Jul 13, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2011

    Mac'nCheese thread starter macrumors 68030

    Mac'nCheese

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    A walk around the block instead of watching tv for hours don't cost much either.
     
  7. iStudentUK macrumors 65816

    iStudentUK

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    Wow! That is so wrong! That poor man! :eek:
     
  8. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #8
    I thought it was just a matter of time before we had the fat police.....whats next? monitoring our toilets?.
     
  9. IntelliUser macrumors 6502

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    #9
    “You should have to pass an IQ test before you breed. You have to take a driving test to operate vehicles and an SAT test to get into college. So why dont you have to take some sort of test before you give birth to children? When I am President, thats the first rule I will institute.”

    -Marilyn Manson
     
  10. mr.steevo macrumors 65816

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    Our hospital refused to return a mentally handicapped female to her parents due to her gross obesity. The parents cried foul but were limited with what they could do because a) We could prove they were killing their daughter with food, and b) the female was an adult (22) and the parents didn't bother to apply to the courts to become her legal guardian. A public guardian was applied for and the person was placed in a home with allowed visits to her parent's home on weekends.:)
     
  11. .Andy, Jul 13, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2011

    .Andy macrumors 68030

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    #11
    This article is a good example of the ideological trolling that fox news serves it's readership. The opinion piece striving for page hits bears little relationship to the Ludwig paper.

    Even comparing the article titles one can tell something is amiss;

    Ludwig;
    State Intervention in Life-Threatening Childhood Obesity

    Through the fox sensationalist filter turns into;
    Obese Kids Should Be Taken Away From Parents, Experts Say.


    Ludwig goes to great lengths to explain circumstances where consideration might be taken to placing a child in state custody - for instance diabetes where the child is in danger in the short term from poor glycaemic control. And these extreme actions only after all other avenues of state intervention are exhausted such as consultation, counseling, education, and home visits.

    Boston childrens hospital (not surprisingly) does a far better job at reporting than fox.


     
  12. Ugg macrumors 68000

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    #12
    300 pound 12 years olds are not being taken care of properly. I'm sure they must suffer from extreme social isolation, limited mobility and the strain on their growing bones and organs must be extreme.

    The problem is that such kids are becoming more common. Taking them into care isn't ideal but is watching and doing nothing ideal when the kid will probably be dead of a heart attack before he's 30?

    I know, I know, it's all about personal responsibility and people have a right to make mistakes but, and this is an honest question. Where do we draw the line?
     
  13. KingYaba macrumors 68040

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    #13
    Should parents lose custody if their child is extremely obese?

    I hate to see fat kids who most likely don't know any better. One solution to combat childhood obesity is for schools to reinstate recess and P.E. classes. I had recess through 8th grade and we played capture the flag every day. That's a good half hour of running and sprinting. Granted, we were a small school but the exercise got us out and moving. It also settled us down for the remainder of the day.

    School lunches should also be addressed. I would remove the cheeseburgers and fries that my old high school used to serve.

    I just don't know how to address bad parenting. People are obese for many different reasons and trying to sort out actual abuse may be nightmarish in this case. I'm certain we'll hear the "bad genes" argument and maybe the parents are trying hard but the kid just won't move (literally).

    At the end of the day I don't think we can strip children from their parents but I would like to see school counselors make themselves available for this sort of thing. I think the only way to address this is through our school systems.
     
  14. CaoCao macrumors 6502a

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    recess, PE and healthy lunches should do it. A child passing 50 BMI is definitely a reason for them to be taken away. Based on average height for her age she was 73 BMI how the...
     
  15. Ugg macrumors 68000

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    #15
    In Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution he started out with a family of four in Huntington, West Virginia. Both parents were morbidly obese and the sons were incredibly obese. One of the boys was so obese that he wasn't able to exercise. The parents started out all gung ho, but soon lost all desire to take part in Jamie's Revolution. Jamie is a really in your face kind of a guy, so it might have been personality conflicts.

    Anyway, I remember thinking that those parents shouldn't have kids. They know their own lives are being shortened and they have been told repeatedly that their sons will probably never have normal lives. They couldn't stop mistreating their kids. Should they have been taken away? I don't know and the problem is similar to that of illegal immigration. There are simply too many of them for our legal or social systems to make a dent.

    I think what needs to happen is a tax on junk food, a ban on marketing food to those under age 16 and mandatory exercise classes. People who receive food assistance should have to take mandatory nutrition classes and be required to purchase health food.

    There's no easy answer but taking the kids away is probably only realistic when the kid's life is in immediate danger.
     
  16. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #16
    On the one hand I think it would be good for the kids, but on the other there are too many to take from their parents. I think the better solution is to put taxes similar to alcohol and cigaret taxes on junk food so it's no longer the cheapest food.
     
  17. .Andy macrumors 68030

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  18. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

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    We could probably achieve something similar if we just removed the subsidies on corn and the like. There's a ton of junk food that's mostly corn based - tons of chips not potato-based, junk breakfast cereals, etc. Remove the subsidy -> price of corn goes up -> price of Doritos and Froot Loops goes up.

    You'd be surprised how much weight one can lose without hardly trying. Over a 6 month or so period, I cut out nearly all pre-processed food and dropped 40 pounds without doing much of anything else.
     
  19. mrkramer macrumors 603

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    that would help, but places like McDonalds would still probably be cheap. Of course maybe getting rid of those subsidies and putting a tax on fast food could help.
     
  20. Daffodil macrumors 6502

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    Removing corn subsidies does indeed seem like it would do a whole world of good. Good luck with the political process of getting rid of them, though... :(

    Beyond the expected freedom complaints (I guess you personally have a right to be fat, if you so choose?), mandatory exercise would be really hard to implement. Short of hiring a ton of personal motivators/monitors, how are you going to ensure people do something that initially, (I imagine) feels pretty awful? And to make it more complicated, obesity and poverty are generally linked through which calories are cheap, so short of changing the economic system, to what extent should you judge people?

    I'm not saying nothing should be done, or we should proceed as usual, and perhaps really severe obesity is child abuse, and deserves intervention of some sort. Yet at the same time, it's like Ugg said. By the numbers, there's just so freaking many this would apply to! But yeah, obesity's cost to society will continue to grow significantly with a severely reduced quality of life for some; perhaps that's enough to warrant more pro-active institutional intervention?
     
  21. IntelliUser macrumors 6502

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    #21
    There should be a government dietitian whose job is to educate the parents on what they should feed their children and a trial period to see if there's any progress before that.

    Children born into an obese family should also be followed from conception too by such a dietitian.

    A program like the one by the British NHS that pays people for losing weight should also be explored: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/h...ays-overweight-people-425-to-lose-weight.html

    The cost of all of this could at least partially be covered by the elimination of farm subsidies and taxes on fast food, soft drinks etc., but it's important to remember that the cost of obesity is reaching $300 billions a year and keeps increasing.
     
  22. mrkramer macrumors 603

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    I'm curious if you've seen any statistics showing if that actually works. I could see a lot of people doing some extreme unsustainable diet just to get the money, and then gaining all the weight back after they've collected.

    I also see it being a problem in the US since if someone doesn't have health insurance, it would probably cost them more money than they would get just to have the checkups that they are weighed at. Of course that shouldn't be the case, but it's a completely different debate.
     
  23. likemyorbs macrumors 68000

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    This is so sad. Something seriously needs to be done, i'm not sure if taking them out of their homes is the right solution. We have to start looking at this more seriously. It's hard for me to imagine how one becomes obese, you have to go out of your way to be that big. Poor kids.
     
  24. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

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    Given the choice, I'd take a fast food burger over a bag of carbs. Think about it - how do we fatten up cattle? We feed them lots and lots of *grain*, i.e. carbs. So why we're all surprised why our kids get fat when we feed them lots and lots of corn escapes me. Remember, for years and years the FDA was telling us to get twice as many servings of grain a day as fruits and vegetables.

    Actually I'd be all for shifting the subsidies on corn to fruits and vegetables. Keeping the price of grain artificially low is why [empty] carbs are cheaper than fat, which in turn is cheaper than protein.

    I'm guessing most people at the lower end of the scale just aren't aware; I'm all for providing education. But I'm also a big fan of living free from government intervention as much as possible. So I don't know what to tell you.
     
  25. barkomatic macrumors 68040

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    #25
    No, I don't think kids should be removed from their homes -- except perhaps in the extreme circumstance described in the original post. Nor should certain types of food by taxed any more than any other kind.

    What we need to do is emphasize personal responsibility--otherwise we are going to enforce more and more laws which regulate people's personal lives. Next, we'll be discussing involuntarily institutionalizing adults if they are over a certain weight or make a personal choice the majority thinks is unhealthy and needs to be "corrected".
     

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