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Old 11-30-2011, 03:44 PM
Location: Lake Arlington Heights, IL
5,481 posts, read 9,790,733 times
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Originally Posted by stepka View Post
See here's the problem I have. I work at a HS in an area that is not wealthy by a long shot--it's a few cents short of being a ghetto. These kids eat like crap. Fruit Loops or pop tarts for breakfast; a rice krispie bar, potato chips and 2 gatorades for lunch; and lord knows what for dinner, but it probably either came from a freezer case or fast food place. That's on top of all the snacks and sodas the kids consume as well. Only half the kids are fat--some are quite thin, despite eating that way. Some are extremely obese, but I will assume that most of them eat approximately the same types of food. I had a girl complain to me yesterday that her mother overfeeds her and she'd like to lose weight but mom makes her clean up her plate. Yet the girl is simply overweight, not real fat.

Any third grader who makes it up to 200 lbs has either a medical problem or parents who tie them down and stuff food into their mouth. Since the latter is unlikely, chances are that the child has medical problems. There is no doubt that the parents feed the kid bad food which may account for the medical problems, but so many other people do too, and most get away with it. I guarantee there's not enough foster homes in our town to take in all the kids who eat crap at our school and no one would suggest it, but I do believe that these kids are setting themselves up for big time medical problems down the road, whether they're fat or thin right now.

If you believe that everything was tried and that family services exhausted every resource before making a judgment on whether to take this child, I have a fine bridge to sell for a very good price. I'm sure these people are quite conscientious--you'd have to be to get into that line of work, but they have their prejudices just like everyone else, and just from reading this board I get the impression that more than half of you would have taken that child too, w/o even considering the possibility of medical problems.
You bring up an excellent point regarding the possibility of a medical condition. I missed that point.
I also purposely said obese because if you removed every child that was simply overweight there would be problems. The child service agency also has a responsibility to be counselor first and policeman only as last resort. And this doesn't always happen. Perhaps it is naive of me to expect a near ghetto parent to feed their kid properly. But it shouldn't be! And when the school lunch is the main meal for too many kids, how heinous is the lack of responsibility by those providing the "typical" school lunch?
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Old 11-30-2011, 04:11 PM
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
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Congress declared recently that pizza (as part of the school lunch program) is a vegetable because of the tomato sauce!
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Old 11-30-2011, 04:55 PM
Location: Texas
14,079 posts, read 16,470,492 times
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Originally Posted by cubssoxfan View Post
Re. smokers; the 2nd hand smoke they fill my lungs with is harmful to MY health! So banning smoking in public places is protecting MY health. Different scenario than what we have with the 200lb 8 year old!

On one hand, I have heard stories of child services taking kids out of homes when they shouldn't have. On the other hand, 200lb at 8 years old
IF the family was providing appropriate nutrition and supervision to this child then it IS heavy handed. IF child services did not provide information/education on how to provide proper nutrition then perhaps it is heavy handed. IF the parents supplied nothing but excuses, then the action was appropriate.
What would they have been expected to do if the kid weighed 20lb? Would the local government be meddling and heavy handed then? Or would it be a case of them stepping in to save the child's life?
BOTH are very serious situations!! But in regards to the obese kid, we hear the "Oh, they're prejudiced against fat people!" Give me a f-ing break!!

So, you think this intrusion is justified (we'll have to disagree on that), but the question remains unanswered. What "unhealthy" or "dangerous" things WILL you tolerate? How much is too much? Under what circumstances is government action against the parents unwarranted?

That may seem like a silly, rhetorical question, but if we're to go down this road, it's one which we should be able to answer before CPS shows up at OUR door, don't you think?
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Old 11-30-2011, 07:55 PM
Location: St. Louis
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Originally Posted by jaijai View Post
I don't think that it's accurate to say that the 200 pound 8 year old is that heavy due to a medical problem (although she'll certainly develop serious health issues if she hasn't already).
I imagine that the parents have, at the very least, issues with food and obesity themselves and that the child is an extension of those issues ... and / or they're just incredibly unconscious and irresponsible about raising their child and have set the child up (emotionally, psychologically and psychically) to crave and therefore demand foods that are unhealthy and cause this kind of weight gain.
I was watching a program about a similar story on Dr. Phil ( ) a few weeks ago and the mother was over feeding her child for all sorts of reasons that had to do with her own emotional needs.
She was using food in relationship to her son in a very bizarre way.
If i remember correctly the child was only 3 or so. He was already obese!
She would coax him to eat even when he wasn't hungry and refusing the food but she insisted to Dr. Phil that she was doing every thing possible to address his obesity.
See, I agree with that but my argument is that there are plenty of parents with sick attitudes about food whose children are not overly obese or starved. I saw a woman and a little girl of 10 coming out of the fitness center the other night after a workout and the little girl was begging for her dinner--it was about dinnertime. Mom said, "Are you crazy? We just worked out!" Mom didn't look any too healthy or fit herself, but the little girl was more or less of normal weight.

My ex husband had a g-ma (that he lived with) who used to cook enormous meals for him when he was little and then she wouldn't let him get up from the table until he ate every bite. The most overweight he ever got was 100 lbs at 17, which he lost and then never gained again--that's a large amount of weight but not enough that anyone thought he should be removed from the home. I think that if a kid can get very much fatter than that, then there is most definitely some sort of metabolic problem--coupled with bad eating habits in the home I grant you, but most people get away with that sort of eating. Sort of.

Maybe the real problem is that many people just have no idea of how to cook. You could give them a fantastic gourmet steak, but if they had to cook it, they would refuse it or let it rot in the fridge. Vegetables--ditto. Simple carbs are simple and quick and you can just grab them and eat them w/o ever having to cook beyond a microwave. It's like real food just does not compute. Once you get too many of those carbs and no real protein, your body gets seriously out of balance and craves more and more and some people have a feedback reaction and once they reach a certain point, something is really off and they lose the will to even move about, much less exercise. These are the ones who reach 800 lbs. I love food--I seriously love food, but I'm pretty sure that even if I wanted to I could not eat myself to 800 lbs. I would rather die than weigh that much and I'm betting that most of you feel that way also.
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Old 11-30-2011, 08:24 PM
11,866 posts, read 13,807,259 times
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Originally Posted by suzy_q2010 View Post
The issue is the interest we as a society have in the health of our children.

Since these children will consume more health care resources, paid for with insurance premiums or tax funds, the people who pay for the care should have a voice in how that money is spent. That includes preventing illness, if possible.

Obesity is a form of malnutrition. It is possible to be overfed with fat and sugar and miss out on vitamins and minerals.

The child who is dangerously underfed will die sooner than one who is dangerously overfed, but the obese child will usually become an obese adult with a shortened life expectancy.

The legal system will usually try to answer the question, "What is in the best interest of the child?

Keeping a child in the care of someone who cannot or will not feed the child properly is not in the best interest of the child. And in the long run, it is not in the best interest of our society.
I think that by removing this child from his parents and his home, any good that might be done as far as his physical weight goes...gets completely nullified by the damage that will be done to the childs mental well-being....If the state was soooo worried about the welfare of this child, why couldn't they send a nutritionist or a councellor to the family home to help and guide them to make the right choices.....the poor child is probably truamatized, and the legal system doesn't give a damn....they also don't care about "what is in the best interest of the child"...if that were the case there wouldn't be 40 million people(yes, children too) who can't get medical help or care because they have no insurance........And where does it all end...are we going to take kids from smokers...are we going to take kids from parents whose kids are too thin???...I see LOTS of anorexic kids today.
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Old 11-30-2011, 08:43 PM
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
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I think that people are, speaking generally, desperately unhappy and unfulfilled and that gluttonous eating is a way to compensate for extreme emptiness.
This kind of eating has become the norm in adults and in kids.
I hear what you're saying and i can't disagree with most of it.
Although i just don't think it's true that weight gain above a certain point is usually related to a medical condition in these kids.
The tremendous amount of caloric intake (and i'm talking extreme caloric intake) and a lack of movement and exercise leads to their obesity.
I was in grade school in the late 60's and early 70's and an overweight child was the exception.
There was always 1 (or 2 at the most! and that was unusual) fat child in the class and never, ever more than that.
Sadly that child was the target for ridicule because they were different.
That was back in the days when going to McDonald's was a treat and something special that people did once in awhile and no one ate fast food on a regular basis.
And we never had coke or any kind of soda at school and Pizza was a rarity and we were allowed one desert (often something like jello) and we didn't have candy and snack machines at school or at the library.
Also, we came home from school and were out playing until dark!
T.V. was regulated and limited (by parents and by the fact that we only had 3 or 4 channels) and we never spent hour after hour in front of a screen like kids do now.
And with the internet, it's even worse.
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Old 11-30-2011, 08:44 PM
Location: Georgia, USA
19,813 posts, read 24,291,876 times
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Default There are two threads on this topic

The other one is here:

Obese kid taken from mother-placed in foster care.Thoughts?

My post here has a link to more information in a longer article:


Social services worked with this mother for a year, including referral to a specialty clinic for overweight children ages 4 to 8. The boy is under the care of physicians knowledgeable about childhood obesity. He initially came to their attention when she took him to the hospital for the treatment of breathing problems. He has sleep apnea and uses a CPAP machine at night.

This child is not just fat, he is morbidly obese and already has medical complications from it.

He is overfed.

Please see the post linked above for my feelings about this.
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:12 PM
Location: Orlando
8,219 posts, read 10,655,711 times
Reputation: 4020
one is assuming the foster homes offer anything better....

Isn't there and assumption the child is being overfed by the parents vs a health issue?

While it is a radical approach indeed it may be the best one for the safety of the child. instead of spending towards foster care, couldn't you hire a nutrition coach and train them to new behaviors?
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:53 PM
Location: Georgia, USA
19,813 posts, read 24,291,876 times
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Originally Posted by AONE View Post
one is assuming the foster homes offer anything better....

Isn't there and assumption the child is being overfed by the parents vs a health issue?

While it is a radical approach indeed it may be the best one for the safety of the child. instead of spending towards foster care, couldn't you hire a nutrition coach and train them to new behaviors?
From the expanded article above, they spent an entire year with this mom, including participation in a program for young children who are overweight.

"The mother agreed to enroll the child in a special Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital program called Healthy Kids, Healthy Weight.
That program has evaluated more than 900 overweight and obese children from the ages of 4 to 8 since 2005. A team of specialty doctors, nutritionists, psychologists and others treat the children and work to educate families about creating healthy eating habits.
Dr. Naveen Uli, a pediatric endocrinologist and co-director of the program, said he is seeing more children who are quickly developing diseases that in the past were seen only in adults, like Type 2 diabetes and hypertension. These can affect a person's health, life span and health care costs, he said.
But he said interventions need to be targeted, if possible, for the whole family.
Uli said many families in the program have found it difficult to relearn how to eat, to read and translate confusing food labels and to make the healthy choices. Not all families complete the intense 12-week program, or they are unwilling or unable to grasp the seriousness of the threat, he said."

The program:

Childhood Obesity Program | Healthy Kids, Healthy Weight | University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital | Cleveland, OH

This mother had access to resources that are not available everywhere and still could not get on track to help her son lose weight. I do not think she understands how serious her son's problem is.
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Old 12-01-2011, 03:31 AM
Location: Texas
14,079 posts, read 16,470,492 times
Reputation: 7688
There seems to be an awful lot of people here who buy into the idea that it takes a village to raise a child, whether they know it or not. Few seem to question the government's right to even be involved in this issue.

It's as if y'all have accepted the basic concept that government knows better than parents and is in a position to tell parents how their kids should be raised. In MHO, that's a dangerous mindset because it opens the door for the government to step right into your living room so long as it claim the "best interests" of the child as an excuse.

Let's not forget that this case is different from a case involving actual, physical abuse or malnutrition. Those things are an IMMINENT danger to the child, whereas being overweight is POTENTIALLY detrimental to him.

Do you really want to hand the government the right to take over raising YOUR children for some perceived POTENTIAL harm something might cause?
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