Attention all parents of obese children, this is your wake-up call.
In the very near future, the government will:
- Hold you responsible for your child’s obesity
- Classify childhood obesity as a form of parental neglect
- Require doctors to notify child protection services when they see a case of extreme childhood obesity
- Legislate mandatory weight loss programs for obese children, and
- Remove children from the custody of parents who repeatedly fail to address their child’s dietary problems.
And for those of you who think that this would never happen:
In February of 2007, a judge in New York state took a child away from her parents due to her their refusal to address her obesity. She was placed into foster care.
A similar case occurred in Iowa in 1992.
Courts in several other states (California, Iowa, Indiana, New Mexico and Texas) have also recognized morbid obesity as an actionable issue.
And in today’s news…
Australia’s child obesity specialist, Dr. Shirley Alexander, said that “in extreme cases parents should lose custody if they repeatedly fail to address their dietary problems“. pdf
“Passive acquiescence by a doctor in the neglect of a severely obese child … could constitute a breach of a doctor’s duty of care,” Dr Alexander and three colleagues wrote in an article in Medical Journal of Australia.
Dr. Alexander went on to say:
“In a sufficiently extreme case, notification to child protection services may be an appropriate professional response.
“Obesity has a significant adverse effect on a child’s well being, (with) both immediate and long-term medical and psycho-social health problems.”
And it gets even juicier:
Melbourne child psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg said child protection authorities should be notified because leaving children to become obese was, in his view, “a form of child abuse“. pdf
“Given the sociological and psychological consequences of that form of obesity, I don’t actually have a problem with that (taking children from parents) because in some instances we are condemning some children to a life of health problems . . . basically an early death.”
Mr Carr-Gregg said taking children from their parents should only be done in extreme cases.
“We are talking here about what psychologists and medical people call morbid obesity. This is the threshold where this sort of thing should kick in, that’s not unreasonable,” he said.
Surprisingly, Children’s Welfare Agency chief Andrew McCallum disagrees. He says removing obese children from their parents is a ridiculous idea.
“We don’t need more reasons to bring more children into care in New South Wales or in Australia for that matter,” Mr McCallum said.
What we do need is:
- A government that sees the benefits of preventing disease and promoting health
- A government willing to spend money on physical fitness programs – not just education…actual physical activity
- A government willing to put the nation’s health ahead of the wants of the major agricultural lobby groups – corn, wheat, etc…
- A government willing to fund new research into obesity instead of throwing additional money at the geniuses behind the Food Pyramid
- A government able to see that mental health and physical health influence each other…for the good and for the bad
- A government with the guts to step up and say that over the past 30 years, our collective Western lifestyle has turned us into a bunch of fat, lazy, diabetic, anti-depressant popping, fiscally bankrupt drug addicts (pharmaceuticals and recreational).
Or, we can just sit back, eat another Big Mac and let the state raise our kids.
If you like what you see here, click here for updates
- Big Brother v.s Childhood Obesity
- In Utero Big Macs
- The Government Thinks You’re Fat
- Fitness Alfresco