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UK Considers Taking 196lb 8 Year Old Boy Away From Parents

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#1
Ungodly

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Government agencies in North Tyneside, UK have put aside potential plans to take an eight year old boy away from his parents because he is unusually obese. After a number of social services agencies, police, and the boy's school authorities met and discussed the case.

Apparently the child weighs 196 pounds (14 stone) at 8 years old and this means his obesity poses a threat to his life.  The child is reported to have difficulty walking a short distance to school.

Is it the legitimate business of the state to step in when a child seems, as in this case, to be allowed to do potential harm to himself by parents assumed to be ineffectual?  Or is this matter a personal one that should be dealt with only by the family and their pediatrician?

#2
Unbeliever

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Heck, I can't call this one. He really doesn't look all that fat to me, very large certainly, but I've seen worse. He obviously does need to be taught some self-discipline, for sure, and his mum may need to take some assertiveness training and some parenting classes, but I don't really think they should be separated over a matter of this nature.

#3
Ungodly

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Yes, I'm inclined to agree. 

It's really always going to be futile to devote most of your energy just to staying alive, since everyone will die, but it is certainly tragic when a young child dies. 

The focus should be on quality of life instead, and the article clearly indicates his obesity is impacting this child's quality of life.  But being separated from your home and parents is going to be tremendously traumatic for an 8 year old child.

I think in this case the way it was handled should have impressed on the family the seriousness of this matter.  Hopefully it will be a learning experience for all involved.

#4
FlatEarth1024

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At the time of this comment, I am not aware of the presence or absence of any medical condition that would contribute to this poor boy's weight.  My feeling on the matter would definitely be influenced with that information.

To wit, if this kid has a glandular problem and his mother is feeding him fairly normally then surely the blame cannot be laid on her, and all efforts should be made to help her with his care.  However, if this kid is suffering from McDonald's syndrome and KFC-itis, then someone has to intervene, because then she is failing in her maternal responsibilities.

Remember our debate on the Jehovah's who let their kid go untreated back in January?  This could be the same thing from another angle.  This time, instead of refusing medical treatment, a child's parent is basically providing the weapon for the child to commit a slow suicide.  What do you do...let this kid get up to 600 pounds and have a stroke at 14?

#5
Ungodly

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Good comment, FE, right to the point.

The matter should not be ignored, certainly, and the various organizations involved in this case have made their concerns known to the family.  From what I have read of the matter, the mother admits to allowing the child to "eat multiple bags of crisps (potato chips) per day" and the child "demands snacks every 20 minutes".

Now any parent who feeds a child every 20 minutes is not doing a good job.  I think that the parents need to modify their interaction with this child, maybe start providing a little guidance, or act like grownups.

#6
The White Coyote

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I would like t see social services monitor the families progress but to remove a child from his home may do more harm than good. Too much government again going too far.


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