This week the Journal of the American Medical Association released an opinion piece in regards to the issue of obese children. Their stance was that putting these children in foster care would be more ethical than obesity surgery. The author of this piece is joining forces with advocates who claim that the government should be allowed to intervene in extreme cases. So, should parents lose custody of the extremely obese child?
Dr. David Ludwig, an obesity specialist at Harvard-affiliated Children’s Hospital Boston, feels it isn’t the point to blame the parents, but to act in the child’s best interest to get them the help they need for whatever reason the parent can’t provided. I don’t know about many parents feel about this but in my opinion, this would be a clear case of government overreaching their authority.
Ludwig is quoted, “State intervention ideally will support not just the child but the whole family, with the goal of reuniting child and family as soon as possible. That may require instruction on parenting,” Ludwig, along with Lindsey Murtugh who is a lawyer at Harvard’s School of Public Health, wrote this article. “Despite the discomfort posed by state intervention, it may sometimes be necessary to protect a child,” Murtagh said.
While I feel that this is a problem in the United States and is the responsibility of the parents to provide healthy choices for their children, others like bioethicist Art Caplin feel it can be blame on other factors as well. He states, “obese children are victims of advertising, marketing, peer pressure and bullying _ things a parent can’t control.” Caplin continues “If you’re going to change a child’s weight, you’re going to have to change all of them,” Caplan said.
I can see his statement in regards to advertising and marketing, but peer pressure and bullying?
This has gotten out of hand with people who feel that the government needs to be involved in issues that they have no authority to be in. Where does it end? By what “standard” are they going to gauge a child being obese?
What has happened to this country where we remove ourselves from responsibility? Over the last few years, the federal government has been expanding their authority and if this is the next thing where they (government) are to get involved in, where does it stop?
Yes, these days families either have both parents working or consist of a single parent. Being with our children have become less and less as parents struggle to keep their financial lives in order. There are those though that just don’t care what their kids eat, but does that now make it the responsibility of the state? As it is, the government can’t even take care of the issues they are required to handle and now let’s throw in raising obese children. Ultimately this is a personal issue and that’s it. If it falls into child endangerment, child abuse or neglect, that one thing, but this crossing the line.
There are currently nearly two million children in the United States who considered extremely obese. As it is, the foster care system has trouble finding foster homes for the kids that need it. How would the system improve with adding obese children into the mix?