The American public is often shocked when reading stories about 90 pound toddlers. The public is appalled when reading about a 400 pound teen. It isn’t uncommon for talk show hosts and their audiences to propose a variety of solutions – everything from support for the children and family to suggesting the removal of the children from their homes.
This morning, the topic resurfaced. Harvard researchers Lindsey Murtagh and David Ludwig have taken the controversial stance that “super-obese kids” should be removed from their homes and placed in foster care.
The callers to the radio show seemed to focus on “obese”, implying the kids who are overweight, but not the extremes – and every caller was mortified at the suggestion, suggesting every excuse from genes to disorders. I wonder if the question were posed differently if they would be as mortified.
“If a child were morbidly obese, tipping the scales at 300 pounds and has yet to graduate elementary school, would you suggest that the child is in danger? If so, what would you think about putting that child in foster care?”
My answer to both examples is equally sure – Hell no, the kid should never be removed from their home because of their weight. Removing a child from an otherwise loving home because of their weight sounds a lot like a Nazi society, suggesting that people should all look the same. I am aware of the repercussions of an obese child growing to adulthood and the health problems they will have – but are these doctors aware of the repercussion on the child’s psyche for being removed from the home?
I am not suggesting that there isn’t a problem of obesity and these extreme examples don’t need help – I am suggesting that compounding the problem by forcing a child to question the love of their parents (and trust of adults) is far from the right answer. I don’t know what the answer to obesity is in this country. If I did, I would not only no longer qualify myself, but would be showing up on a lot more talk shows. I do know that legally ripping apart a family because they don’t fit your mold of what is right will lead to far worse effects on the country.
I have brown hair and hazel eyes . I don’t think I deserve any less than the blonde hair/blue eyed woman – do you?