Should Obese Children Be Removed From Their Homes?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

In Cleveland, Ohio an 8-year-old boy was removed from his home on the grounds that his severe obesity was the fault of his parental care. The young boy weighed over 200 pounds. For comparison, the average weight of an 8-year-old boy is about 60 pounds. The question isn't whether the boy was overweight, or whether his family could have done more in the 20 months that they were notified that his weight was a serious problem under consideration by the state. The question is whether or not foster care is really the best way to solve extreme obesity.

Dr. Art Caplan is bioethicist at the University of Pennsylvania. He talks about the case along with child and adolescent psychiatrist Dr. Joan Kinlan.

Guests:

Dr. Art Caplan and Joan Kinlan

Produced by:

Hsi-Chang Lin

Comments [5]

homebuilding from Oklahoma City

Taking kids out of their homes is a far too severe government action, generally. Severe restrictions on food ads and the mandated use of public teee veee and public radio frequencies re all manner of 'health education matters' is not.

Dec. 01 2011 09:30 AM
Angel from Miami, FL

Increased urbanization, privatization of parks and rec, and food additives would've brought this on eventually. You have to work in the fields (poor) or exercise frequently (rich). We have poorly fed kids in Appalachia and hungry homeless kids in Central Florida. We have TV ads selling high fructose corn syrup as if it was a naturally occurring combination. We add it to just about everything. Even if the middle class became the poor tomorrow the food processes we use would still keep them obese no matter how little they ate.

Face it: the US is as unwilling of protecting its own poor as it is incapable of protecting the world's impoverished.

Nov. 30 2011 03:11 PM
Brian from Hoboken NJ

Here's an idea- take the child and parents to a truly poor country like Sudan or Somalia or Ethiopia where children are literally starving to death. I am always at a loss and ashamed that I am part of a society eating itself to death while others starve.

Nov. 30 2011 09:01 AM
oklahoma

Ok, seriously, a government check for a foster parent is really going to inforce calorie intake and insure weight reduction. Yes sir!!!

Nov. 30 2011 08:42 AM
Elizabeth Rosenthal from New York

In today's discussion on childhood obesity, one of the guests (whose name escapes me) made a statement that bullying was a huge problem for overweight children.

While that statement is true, bullying is a different problem then obesity and the answer to bullying is not the victim changing their behavior. "Stop being fat" is not the way to helping a child being bullied about their weight.

If your guest had used that logic for any other type of bullying it would have been called out - why is it ok to use against overweight children?

Nov. 30 2011 08:03 AM

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