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Court rules neglect caused child’s obesity, takes kid from family

| Nov 29, 2011 | Domestic Violence

This post covers an out-of-state child abuse case because the matter is both notable and timely.

It is no surprise that obesity is a big problem in Colorado and throughout the entire country. The recent health focus has been on overweight children, and it sounds like that focus is making for extreme rulings in some courts.

According to sources, a family lost its 8-year-old to the foster care system because of a child abuse accusation. There was no sign that the child had ever been a victim of violent abuse. There were no bruises or broken bones. What caused the family’s loss of the child was what the scale read. The young boy reportedly weighs more than 200 pounds.

Child abuse or any other type of domestic abuse allegation is incredibly serious. Even if a person is innocent of the charge, the mere accusation is enough to forever change a family’s life. The mother in this childhood obesity case claims that she has tried to change her son’s daily habits. The child was reportedly part of a hospital program aimed at helping to teach kids about a healthy lifestyle. That wasn’t enough, and the child is now in the custody of the government.

There are some who are critical of the county’s decision. A professor of bioethics and medical ethics says, “A 218-pound 8-year-old is a time bomb. But the government cannot raise these children. A third of kids are fat. We aren’t going to move them all to foster care. We can’t afford it, and I’m not sure there are enough foster parents to do it.” The emotional cost of children being taken away from their families cannot be ignored, either.

Also, there may be some cases with children who are overweight due to genetic problems. When one family loses a loved one because obesity supposedly is the result of neglect, the public needs to be prepared for history to repeat itself. More and more parents could soon find themselves fighting to keep their children due to a high number on a scale.


The Plain Dealer: “County places obese Cleveland Heights child in foster care,” Rachel Dissell, Nov. 26, 2011


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