If your twelve-year-old is a 300-pound diabetic, have you failed as a parent to the point that your child should be taken away for his or her own safety? Health experts at Harvard say yes, it’s time to get tough and start removing fat children from their homes. It boggles the mind that we live in an age in which this is a pressing issue. The Atlantic Wire reports:
As the Western world gets fatter and fatter, the solutions to slimming it down get ever more draconian. Today, a pair of Harvard scholars writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association advocate stripping away the custody rights of parents of super obese children.
“Despite the discomfort posed by state intervention, it may sometimes be necessary to protect a child,” said Lindsey Murtagh, a lawyer and researcher at Harvard’s School of Public Health. The study’s co-author, David Ludwig, says taking away peoples’ children “ideally will support not just the child but the whole family, with the goal of reuniting child and family as soon as possible.” Ludwig, an obesity specialist at Harvard-affiliated Children’s Hospital, said his eureka moment was when a 90-pound, 3-year-old girl entered his obesity clinic a number of 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.