Obese Third Grader Taken From Mom, Placed in Foster Care

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    Default Obese Third Grader Taken From Mom, Placed in Foster Care

    A Cleveland third grader who weighed more than 200 pounds was taken from his mother after officials reportedly said she did not do enough to help the boy, who suffered from a weight-related health issue, to lose weight.
    “They are trying to make it seem like I am unfit, like I don’t love my child,” the boy’s mother, who was not identified, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “It’s a lifestyle change and they are trying to make it seem like I am not embracing that. It is very hard, but I am trying.”
    Officials first became aware of the boy’s weight after his mother took him to the hospital last year while he was having breathing problems, the newspaper reported. The child was diagnosed with sleep apnea and began to be monitored by social workers while he was enrolled in a program called “Healthy Kids, Healthy Weight” at the Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital.
    The boy lost a few pounds, but recently began to gain some back, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported. At that point, the Department of Children and Family Services asked a juvenile court for custody of the boy, citing his soaring weight as a form of medical neglect, according to the newspaper.
    Taking obese children from their families has become a topic of intense debate over the past year after one high-profile pediatric obesity expert made controversial comments in the Journal of the American Medical Association advocating the practice in acute cases.
    “In severe instances of childhood obesity, removal from the home may be justifiable, from a legal standpoint, because of imminent health risks and the parents’ chronic failure to address medical problems,” Dr. David Ludwig co-wrote with Lindsey Murtagh, a lawyer and researcher at Harvard’s School of Public Health.
    A trial is set for the boy’s ninth birthday next month to determine whether his mother will regain custody.

    But one family who has been in the same position as the Ohio family told ABC News they disagreed with the practice when “Good Morning America” spoke with them in January.
    “Literally, it was two months of hell. It seemed like the longest two months of my life,” mother Adela Martinez said.
    Her daughter, 3-year-old Anamarie Regino, weighing 90 pounds, was taken from her parents and placed into foster care a decade ago.
    Anamarie didn’t improve at all in foster care, and she was returned to her parents. The young girl was later diagnosed with a genetic predisposition.
    “They say it’s for the well-being of the child, but it did more damage than any money or therapy could ever to do to fix it,” Martinez said.
    Anamarie Regino, who is now a teenager, agreed.
    “It’s not right, what [Dr. Ludwig] is doing, because to get better you need to be with your family, instead of being surrounded by doctors,” she said.
    When told of the Regino case, Ludwig said his solution of state intervention did not always work.
    “Well, state intervention is no guarantee of a good outcome, but to do nothing is also not an answer,” he said.
    Original article here.
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    Default Re: Obese Third Grader Taken From Mom, Placed in Foster Care

    While I don't believe taking the child away from its family would necessarily help any more than providing support and keeping an eye on them would I must admit that there comes a point where, predisposed or not, you have no excuse for letting your child's health slip. If loss of custody is needed to teach some parents that then so be it.

    That said I wish nothing but the best for this child and his family in becoming and remaining healthy.



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    Default Re: Obese Third Grader Taken From Mom, Placed in Foster Care

    But is it possible that the government is being overzealous in their decision? What if the child's mother could not afford the necessary medical care, and instead of paying for it, they opted to take the child away?

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    Default Re: Obese Third Grader Taken From Mom, Placed in Foster Care

    Perhaps. Indeed, in this case I will admit that I did as I often do and forgot that the NHS is only, well, here. :P Still, why do you necessarily need health care to keep your child slim? Even predisposition is not a condemnation. What I feel needs to be done is for the government to either provide food stamps for healthier foods only or push for food prices to be adjusted so that cheap, unhealthy crap is not "the" option. I'm not sure what America does to provide these kinds of support but imo no matter the situation it can usually be done as long as you can at least afford the right foods and find some way for children to exercise (until we get into the land of medical problems, anyway). For me a part of it is parents not taking the easy way to keep their kids happy in the short term - in a lot of cases over here anyway.



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    Default Re: Obese Third Grader Taken From Mom, Placed in Foster Care

    Well, generally, children who are morbidly obese tend to have underlying medical issues that caused the obesity, because getting to that kind of weight is not normal. Kids eat. Kids eat a lot. I can tell you that from my younger siblings. They also eat a lot of crap, but they're not obese. They may have a few extra pounds on them, but they're healthy non the less.
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    Default Re: Obese Third Grader Taken From Mom, Placed in Foster Care

    None in my family ate a large amount. Kids don't always eat a lot; I in fact was underweight because I've always eaten like a sparrow, the same story for one of my two sisters and my brother despite all of us being very active and having two parents who both appear to be predisposed to being overweight. The biggest thing I do when looking after children is giving them healthy foods little and often. Big meals eaten quickly are not healthy no matter how hungry you feel you are; you should eat slowly and pace yourself because you won't know when you're really full otherwise. Granted, I can see how getting some children to do this would be difficult, but it's never been impossible for me. I myself spent many hours sat at the table because my parents felt I hadn't eaten enough when I felt perfectly full and have always eaten slowly and so refused to force myself to eat any more. I don't speak for everyone but it took a long time for my parents to stop trying to make me clear my plate before I leave the table or decide that I simply cannot be hungry again so soon.

    I suppose it depends how this discussion could go - whether it's necessarily about this particular case or the other questions it can spark. I personally feel that despite there being genuine medical and economical reasons there are also a lot of things we could change to stop our children becoming so unhealthy - so while there's always another side to the story we wouldn't always be wrong to assume that the situation could've been avoided or that "carrying a little extra weight" isn't a good thing, either. I struggle to believe that the majority of cases of overweight children could not have been prevented, but perhaps I am simply too sceptical.



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    Default Re: Obese Third Grader Taken From Mom, Placed in Foster Care

    Activity has a lot to do with it too. Kids now have technology to keep them entertained and that combined with unhealthy eating can easily cause obesity if not balanced with enough exercise. And exercise is free, there's no excuse at all for a parent not to make sure their child gets enough.
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    Default Re: Obese Third Grader Taken From Mom, Placed in Foster Care

    Child obesity is a sign of neglect. The only valid question is whether the child would be better off with the state or with the parents with added supervision from the state. I dont think its too crazy for the state to simply demand the child gets exercise and the mother learns to feed her kid properly.

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    Default Re: Obese Third Grader Taken From Mom, Placed in Foster Care

    When I see an obese child, the parent is often either just as obese or does not hesitate to buy them junk food. Or both. Inexcusable.

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    Default Re: Obese Third Grader Taken From Mom, Placed in Foster Care

    The problem is parents often buy children unhealthy food and dont make them exercise, its a problem, and if they are raised that way, they dont know any different. Most likely the parents were raised that way themselves as well.

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    Default Re: Obese Third Grader Taken From Mom, Placed in Foster Care

    Wow this article makes me think of this one little girl I saw yesterday at a Christmas Carols I volunteered at, she was obese to say aleast and judging by her height she was no more then between 7-10 years of age. Makes me wonder what might happen to that kid (Unless she's got one of those medical problems that cause it).

    I am not really sure I agree with taking kids away because of that to be honest, if a kid hides candy bars in his socks or school locker or whatever how are you supposed to monitor that? Just seems wrong somehow though.
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    Default Re: Obese Third Grader Taken From Mom, Placed in Foster Care

    What really got me was one of the comments on the news article:
    "They sit in front of tv or the x box or a handheld device for hours on end"
    "the x box"
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    F*cking sh*t.
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    Default Re: Obese Third Grader Taken From Mom, Placed in Foster Care

    This reminds of a symptom of eugenics rendering its ugly head.

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    Default Re: Obese Third Grader Taken From Mom, Placed in Foster Care

    I dunno. I'm on the fence. Taking the child is a bit extreme, but it makes me wonder why the child is so big. Maybe the mother just can't say no or something.
    Last edited by Oswin; 4th December 2011 at 12:12 PM.

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    Default Re: Obese Third Grader Taken From Mom, Placed in Foster Care

    I understand how keeping the boy in that home would somehow justify taking him away if his mother was inherently neglectful, but taking him away because of a weight related issue I think was a bit brash. I mean, the mother seems more to have some self-control and discipline issues rather than anything else. While I don't think taking custody away from her was the right way to go, persuading his mother to send him to a weight loss camp or something of that nature would suffice I think.


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