There is a controversial debate on whether children who suffer from dangerous and life-threatening obesity should be removed from their parents? Does having a severely obese child equate to abuse? Some health policy researchers believe so.
I found this recent book review on the New York Times blog centering on how the weight and nutrition of the pregnant mother affects her children and it’s relation to the obesity/abuse debate. The book review references this article about an obese toddler taken from her parents which is a particularly sad story. In this case, the parents went to great lengths to try to understand what was going on with their daughter. In my mind they were not responsible in any way for her weight problem and should not have shouldered the blame for a medical mystery.
The research demonstrating a link between uterine and early childhood environment and weight problems later in life creates new questions about whether the health conditions we attribute to “lifestyle choices” are truly a matter of choice. Will placing dangerously obese children in foster care help their chance of a healthy future or has the damage already been done? What do you think?