Obesity is a familiar topic to the United States. After all, the U.S. is the third most obese nation in the world, a statistic we are not generally proud of. Recently, America’s struggle with obesity reached a new, alarming point. A third grader from Cleveland, Ohio was removed from his mother’s custody for being so severely obese. The 8-year old weighed more than 200 pounds, four times the average weight for a child that age.
The child’s weight first came to focus last year when he was rushed to the hospital for breathing troubles. When social workers took note of his extreme obesity, they began to monitor his lifestyle and enrolled him in a variety of health programs. The boy did lose weight, but more recently, began to gain some back. Child services then requested custody of the boy, claiming his excessive weight is a form of medical neglect.
This is not the first time the debate over whether or not to remove obese children from their parents’ custody has been brought up. As obesity continues to grow in our country, more people find it starts with childhood habits, making it the parents’ responsibility to teach their children healthy eating habits. Others will argue that a parent cannot control every morsel that enters their child’s mouth.
Children are in school 8 hours a day, and doesn’t that make it the school lunchroom’s responsibility to offer healthy choices, rather than deep fried foods every child gravitates towards? Perhaps society in general needs a lifestyle change. How can we expect our children to grow up healthy when every other advertisement on the TV and radio, in newspapers and online is about some new, pre-packaged, high fat snack that appeals to every child’s senses?
So I turn the question to you, readers. Should children be taken away from their homes for being severely obese? And can we blame one person or group in general? Let us know what you think below!