Whose Children Are They ?

ABC News posted an article today about Harvard University child expert Dr. David Ludwig’s recent statement that some parents should lose custody of their severely obese children.

The article reports:

“Ludwig, an obesity expert at Children’s Hospital Boston and associate professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, shared his divisive idea in an opinion piece that ran in the Journal of the American Medical Association Wednesday: that state intervention can serve in the best interest of extremely obese children, of which there’re about 2 million across the United States.”

I agree that childhood obesity is a problem.  However, I disagree that even the threat of taking children away from their parents is the answer.  There are a lot of factors in play here.  Some obesity may be inherited, some may be the result of poor eating habits, some may be the result of disease, some may be the result of lifestyle issues (too many video games–too little exercise), and some may be the result of some of things that are routinely injected into America’s food supply.  Taking children away from their parents addresses very few of these issues.

To me, the important part of this article is the idea that taking a child out of his/her original family because he is considered obese is even possible.  The article at ABC relates the story of a family whose child was removed from their household because of being obese.  The child was returned to the family after two months–she did no better in foster care.  The young girl was later diagnosed with a genetic predisposition.

I am not willing to let the government take children away from families because of obesity.  The idea that foster care is better than a family because a child is obese is just horrible.  If you want to control obesity in children, put gym classes back in the schools and encourage an active lifestyle.  That’s not the total answer, but it would help.