Shame on you David Ludwig for making a conclusion that belies all common sense and sensitivity. How can you justify the idea of taking children away from their parents because of their obesity? How is such a move in the best interest of the child?
Should parents lose custody of their kids if they get too fat?
A commentary in Wednesday’s Journal of the American Medical Association says yes.
Harvard obesity specialist David Ludwig says putting children in temporary foster care can be more ethical than providing weight-loss surgery – but only in extreme cases.
Ludwig says the point is not to punish the parents – but to act in the child’s best interest, and provide care that the parents do not or cannot provide.
Ludwig says the goal is to get those kids back to their parents as soon as possible – and for parents to learn the proper ways to prevent future obesity.
There have previous calls for government intervention, in cases where parents either neglect or refuse proper efforts to control a child’s extreme weight.
A doctor from London cited a Wisconsin case from 2009 in which a 440-pound 16-year-old almost died at UW Hospital in Madison.
Doctors had talked about reporting the parents for neglect – but they didn’t have to, because the girl later lost 100 pounds with her family’s help.
The Journal article comes a week after an annual study reported that 27-percent of Wisconsin adults are obese.
This method will further punish a child with enough to contend with as it is. No parent wants their child to be obese. Yes, some do more than others to avoid obesity, but that doesn’t mean that they are not loving and caring parents. Many of them, as reported, suffer from obesity themselves.
As a society we must learn to support rather than threaten. The child’s welfare does not rely on just a loss of weight but also the continued love and support from their parents. We must not fingerpoint or punish parents for obesity. It won’t help one bit. Instead we must offer as much support, education and guidance as we can to ensure that families are able to pass up cheap calorie laden products for the more expensive, yet far more healthy alternatives.