Should Parents Lose Custody of Obese Children?
The debate is running rampant all over the internet since the opinion piece in the Journal of the American Medical Association by Dr. David Ludwig, an obesity specialist at Harvard-affiliated Children’s Hospital Boston, argued that putting children temporarily in foster care is in some cases more ethical than obesity surgery. Catch up on the story in the ABC article: Should Parents Lose Custody of Super Obese Kids?
There are very strong opinions on both sides of the debate and those that sit in the middle. Personally, I don’t think the foster care system is equipped to handle or even the right organization to deal with this issue but I do think Ludwig has done an interesting thing. He has activated people to take a serious and hard look at this epidemic. And I do believe that obesity especially in children is reaching epidemic status. The Center for Disease Control concurs as stated on their website:
The Obesity Epidemic
More than one-third of U.S. adults (over 72 million people) and 17% of U.S. children are obese. During 1980–2008, obesity rates doubled for adults and tripled for children. During the past several decades, obesity rates for all population groups—regardless of age, sex, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, education level, or geographic region—have increased markedly.
What would I like to see happen?
- I would like for nutrition and physical education to become a prominent (and well-funded) part of every school system.
- I would like to see infant/early eaters nutrition to be included in baby birth classes.
- I would like every pediatrician to discuss healthy life habits during well-baby visits and beyond.
- I would like to see every American get behind Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign.
- I would like to see school lunch programs overhauled.
- I would like for there to be stricter regulations about marketing junk food to children. And along with that I would like rules that prohibit sugary cereal makers from misleading consumers with their “Good Source of Whole Grain” labels ( Yes – I know they are made with whole grains but what about the other crap in there?).
- I would like fresh foods to be priced so people from all economic situations have access.
- I would like this debate to make a difference.
What do you think? Join the conversation on our Online Community: Should Parents Lose Custody of Obese Children?