Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Foster Care for Obese Kids?

Should the government intervene if your child is grossly overweight?  Interesting question.  Seems that there is  a piece in Wednesday's Journal of American Medical Association that suggests just that.  According to this article there are "roughly 2 million US children who are extremely obese".  This is sad but not shocking.  I mean, let's face it, it's become an American and European passtime to joke about how fat Americans are. 

It's certainly a bad state of affairs when DSS would have to step in and take control of a home situation that has spawned an obese child.  And from the numbers that they mention in this article, we're talking about a 400 lb 12 year old.  Read that again.....FOUR. HUNDRED. POUNDS.  That's alot of weight.  For a prepubescent kid who has enough angsts without extra weight, I can only imagine how devestating it is to carry around this much weight.  Physically, to be sure.  But also, MENTALLY & EMOTIONALLY.

How do you feel about government intervention on this?  Is it the parents' fault if a child is obese?

My thoughts are this:  The issue of obesity in adults and children is a CULTURE issue.  The American lifestyle is, let's face it, very sedentary and very fast food oriented.  Until we make a major shift in how we live our lives, foster care, fad diets and exercise DVDs are simply band aids.  Obesity is  a symptom of a larger issue (no pun intended!).  Even the kids that were cited successfully losing weight by being in foster care, lost weight through portion and quality control and physical activity.  It's not rocket science, but it certainly IS a change in the way we live our lives. 

As far as government getting involved, does it really have to go that far? 

1 comment:

Judy C said...

I think putting kids into foster care for any reason other than abuse or loss of guardian opens a whole other bag of worms. You might be telling the child that the parent isn't good enough. Not a good message. If the child is obese and needs help, maybe it would help to refer the parent to the local health dept and go from there.