Attention all parents of obese children, this is your wake-up call.
In the very near future, the government will:
And for those of you who think that this would never happen:
In February of 2007, a judge in New York state took a child away from her parents due to her their refusal to address her obesity. She was placed into foster care. A similar case occurred in Iowa in 1992. Courts in several other states (California, Iowa, Indiana, New Mexico and Texas) have also recognized morbid obesity as an actionable issue.
Australia’s child obesity specialist, Dr. Shirley Alexander, said that “in extreme cases parents should lose custody if they repeatedly fail to address their dietary problems“. pdf
“Passive acquiescence by a doctor in the neglect of a severely obese child … could constitute a breach of a doctor’s duty of care,” Dr Alexander and three colleagues wrote in an article in Medical Journal of Australia.
Dr. Alexander went on to say:
“In a sufficiently extreme case, notification to child protection services may be an appropriate professional response. Obesity has a significant adverse effect on a child’s well being, (with) both immediate and long-term medical and psycho-social health problems.”
And it gets even juicier:
Melbourne child psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg said child protection authorities should be notified because leaving children to become obese was, in his view, “a form of child abuse“. pdf
“Given the sociological and psychological consequences of that form of obesity, I don’t actually have a problem with that (taking children from parents) because in some instances we are condemning some children to a life of health problems . . . basically an early death.”
Mr Carr-Gregg said taking children from their parents should only be done in extreme cases.
“We are talking here about what psychologists and medical people call morbid obesity. This is the threshold where this sort of thing should kick in, that’s not unreasonable,” he said.
Surprisingly, Children’s Welfare Agency chief Andrew McCallum disagrees. He says removing obese children from their parents is a ridiculous idea.
“We don’t need more reasons to bring more children into care in New South Wales or in Australia for that matter,” Mr McCallum said.
What we do need is:
Or, we can just sit back, eat another Big Mac and let the state raise our kids.