Tuesday, August 2, 2011

In The News- Is Obesity Really a Case for Child Abuse?

In one of the most recent cases to try and stop obesity, one doctor proposes that if a child is having health problems due to obesity, that the child protective services should intervene and take the child away from his/her parents until the child has lost weight. 

Dr. David Ludwig, who's an obesity specialist at Children's Hospital in Boston, claims that the point isn't to blame parents, but to help children and get them help. According to one Yahoo! article on the subject:
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.
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. 
 But while the news media is screaming "obese kids taken away from parents" Dr. Ludwig says that kids who's obesity is life-threatening should be considered to be taken away from parents until the child is healthier. From the same Yahoo article:
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.
And from the Globe and Mail:

Another case that has attracted a lot of media attention is that of Alex Draper, a 14-year-old South Carolina boy who tipped the scales at 555 lbs. before child-protection services intervened.
His mother, Jerri Gray, lost custody of the boy (foster care placed him with an aunt) and she was charged with child neglect. In the subsequent year, Alex lost more than 200 lbs.
 Cases like these reminds me of this one Dr. Phil show I watched once, or at least, I think it was Dr. Phil, I can't remember. Anyways, there was this one girl who by the age of 2 I think she weighted over 100 lbs and that the main cause was that while her mother went out and worked, the child's grandmother would feed the girl at least two hamburgers when she was hungry and other foods in excessive amounts. 

Another boy who came onto the show was three, I think, and he weighted over 100 lbs too. I can't remember  his reason why, but I remember that his parents were fairly big too. So it could have been something to do with genetics.

If you ask me, I think that while something needs to be done with kids who's obesity is life threatening, I do think that parents should take a more active role in their child's lives. Especially if the parent has weight problems too. Now, I'm not saying that going onto The Biggest Loser, but all I'm saying is that maybe going for a walk for fifteen to thirty minutes could help and if you take your child with you, you could talk with him or her. You could also take your dog for a walk if you have one and of course, eating less junk food and watching what you eat will help.

Did you know that you burn 10 calories for every half an hour you sit down, 20 for walking, and I think it was fifty or something like that for running? Yep, you burn calories even by sitting. Of course, it's better to go out and do something else besides sitting, but I thought that was interesting.

My brother happens to be a health nut, meaning he rarely ever eats junk food (my friend's accomplishment last year was getting him to eat one spoonful of fried ice cream), he drinks V-8 all the time, hates eating out, and he works out every other day because apparently you burn more fat by working out than running. Of course, if he wants to be a health nut that's fine with me. but he loves to tell the rest of my family that we should be more like him.

I just give him a look and tell him that I'm good. Well I could get more exercise, I'm not big at all. Seriously, I'm in high school and I weight less than ninety pounds. I'm not anorexic or anything like that, but I actually have trouble gaining weight. I'm also very short which bugs me a lot sometimes. When I was little, my doctor told me that I should eat ice cream before bed every night. While most kids would be happy to do that, I never did because I didn't like eating right before bed. Actually...when I was little I didn't like eating at all. And don't worry, my doctor says I'm surprisingly not under weight. Go figure.

So, what do you think about this?

Yahoo!- Should Parents lose Costody of Super Obese Kids?
Losing costody of obese kids.


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