Foster Care For Severely Obese Children

Lindsey - posted on 07/13/2011 ( 13 moms have responded )

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According to this news article, a recent opinion piece in the Journal of the American Medical Association, authored by Dr. David Ludwig, suggests that in cases of severe obesity placing the child in temporary foster care may be warranted.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2011...

What do you think?

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Caitlin - posted on 11/07/2011

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I've heard of some moms that think that food is a way that you show love to your kid, and heard one openly admit that she knows what she's doing is unhealthy, but that he likes twikies more than fruit, so she gives him what he wants. She knows nutrition, she knows about exercise, she just doesn't seem to be able to make the connection. in that case, the kid is better out of the home. There are cases like that, and because they are kids, someone is enabling them by buying the food for them and making it available. If they are not willing to stop and offer healthy alternatives, I feel that it IS abuse and merits removal of the child from the home. Either way, the kid is going to grow up unstable...

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Kimberly - posted on 01/05/2012

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I think you have an overly simplistic view of how to tell if obesity is due to bad parenting. My youngest daughter is obese. Why? I haven't the foggiest idea. She has no diagnosed medical condition that causes it, (ironically she has celiac's disease which commonly causes FTT) because the doctors haven't figured out what is causing it yet. She eats the same diet as my other two rail thin children, so it isn't that she is getting junk.

As a matter of fact, back when I was dirt poor-living on bologna sandwiches and mac and cheese- she was in the 5th percentile for weight. Had she been a healthy eating obese child back then, I wouldn't have even had the option to check for a medical problem because I couldn't afford to take her to the doctor.

Jessie - posted on 11/18/2011

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Diane, I think you are talking about Jamie Oliver right? He is from England, I adore him, he is kind of dreamy ( don't tell the mister I said that, lol). Anyway, the point in my statement as relevant to the topic is that I don't think that across the board childhood obesity is due to parental negligence, especially when it comes to lower income families. My concern for the idea of social services stepping in is that this is, to me, a massive over simplification of the problem. I liken this to attempting to put a bandaid on a gunshot wound. I agree with Kelina in that sometimes we need a third party to guide our hands (and I totally understand that Grandparents can be a bit over bearing. My mother vehemently thinks it is wrong that I encourage my daughter to try spicier foods). I don't, however, think the government need come into every pantry, look at your food, and tell you to toss out the Doritos. Instead, as communities, we need to encourage our local governments to provide access and education! Here in the Twin Cities we have recently implemented the use of EBT at our local famer's markets, there are community gardens in nearly every neighborhood, and several food co-ops. Rather than relying on Child Social Services to monitor our children's food intake, I think we should ask ourselves what, as a community, we could be doing to help all members of our local society access healthy food. Kelina, I have to say, that you inspired me to donate some whole wheat noodles to my local food bank!

Kelina - posted on 11/18/2011

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I absolutely agree Jessie. It came to it recently that there was a chilnnce I was going to have to go to the food bank and I really didn't want to because I know what kind of food they get. White no name noodles, spaghetti sauces filled with salt and preservatives, and all sorts of other crap because it's cheap! WE recently cut al that kind of stuff out of our diets and it took our bodies a month to clean all the crap out(that month sucked for diaper changes lol) I was afraid to add all that back in because of what it would do to our bodies. Diane I think the reason the government has stepped in in so many places is because they are the only ones who can without getting sued, and if they do get sued they can afford it. Most bad parents are also money hounds, can you imagine what would happen if a grandparent steeped in a took away a child that was being abused? Besides the government controls what we learn in public schools and is stepping up things like teaching healthy cooking in schools and stuff like that but kids have to elect to take those courses. It's the same with adults they have to elect to take the courses that teach them about food and healthy parenting and that just doesn't happen with bad parents because they don't give a shit. the parents who are unintentionally screwing up their kids will often take the help when it is offered to them by an UNBIASED third party. If you feel like someone is judging you or telling you what to do(which lots of families are good at) you're not going to listen to them. The government doing this job also keeps vindictive grandparents from stepping in and taking kids because their kids didn't listen to them. My mom went and talked to social services because I left my son with a babysitter. He was downstairs asleep and they were upstairs with a monitor and no locks between them. The real reason she was mad-I wouldn't put a bib on my son. In my area they have implemented things like a community garden but they aren't real good at advertising stuff like that. For the most part our system is what we as a nation have made it.

Diane - posted on 11/18/2011

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Amen Jesse!! Shame on me for making it sound like a simple issue. I apologize to all here for that mistake. I would like to say that it is MY feeling that the government has taken on way too many social and family issues which leaves them little time to deal with government issues. Our nation has turned to the government way to much to deal with what we as parents, grand parents etc; should be dealing with. It took a man from England (could be australia) to come to this country to shake up our eating habits and have the whole country listen. I for one am embarrassed by that. Thank you Jesse for taking the time to write this into a true perspective.

Jessie - posted on 11/17/2011

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Personally I think this is a systemic problem that does not start only in the home. First step in my opinion is to reform school lunch programs and bring healthier food to the lunchroom. Second, reform food stamp programs to allow access to farmers markets and other healthy food options, limit access to fast foods. Third, amp up community education on home cooking, nutrition, and sustainability, Fourth, encourage community gardens! Fifth, end government subsidies to corn producers.

Kelina - posted on 11/08/2011

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I would like to clear up some confusion around the foster care system. First, a child will not be taken simply because they see there is a problem. The first step will be offering help. they know that they are an already overworked, underpaid, pvercrowded system and will try to keep kids with their families if at all possible so unless there is an immediate danger posed to the kids, they will not be immediately removed from their homes. The first step would be to offer the family help. Access to funded parenting classes, nutrition experts, and things such as that. If that failed, there would be a direct intervention with the family in which they would be warned that if the behaviour continued and things did not change then the child would be removed. Occasionally depending on the case, the child(ren) still will not be removed even if whatever is happening continues because a judge will not allow it. And Diane it seems like your friend and her daughter are willing to do the work and want to lose the wieght. There are some people out there that don't. There are people out there that despite the fact that theirs kids want to lose weight, they won't support them in it. And there are parents out there Who believe food=love and that the more they feed their children the kinds of food they want the more they love them when really what they are doing is slowly killing them. People DIE because obesity related complications. I think it is absolutely right that if a fmaily refuses help to control their childs weight, that the child should be removed, because what that parent is really saying is i don't care if my child dies as long as they're happy, or i don't care about my child.

Diane - posted on 11/08/2011

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Depends on the trauma level this idiot is willing to impose on the child and parents. If the parents are obese it is a family issue and should be treated as an overall family treatment not separation and trauma which will only increase the obesity issues! I personally have a friend and her daughter who are both obese but they found help thru their church ( I know), and both have begun to work together and have lost 100 pound between them and still going! I can't imagine what wouldhave happened to them both if Foster care had been implemented as a solution! TRAGEDY!

Jocelyn - posted on 11/07/2011

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Foster care seems a bit extreme to me. I think mandatory parenting classes, nutritional classes, and fitness classes would be a better route to go. Keep the family under watch, have weekly weigh ins etc but keep the kids in the home. It could be as simple as the parents are just idiots when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle.

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I don't think foster care would help. Someone should step in and teach the parents nutrition and exercise habits.

Constance - posted on 07/14/2011

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We have eough children in the system that aren't wanted. Why are we looking at going to these extremes? Educate and help that is what is needed. Not tramatizing kids because someone thinks the only way to handle any problem is to remove a child from a loving home. We don't always make the best decisions as parents but sometimes a little guidance is all anyone needs. Help not punish because even in the system it fails kids every single day of the week. Why are we even thinking about destoying a child?

Lindsey - posted on 07/14/2011

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If somebody were to starve their child to the point of malnutrition, it is abuse and there would be no hesitation in removing that child from their care. How is that different from feeding a child junk day after day and never encouraging them to exercise to the point where they are severely obese and suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes, heart and liver problems? Isn't that abuse? Shouldn't that child be given every opportunity to get healthy?

As for the emotional damage caused by placing the child in foster care; just imagine the psychological and emotional damage that would be caused to a child who is entering kindergarten weighing 100 lbs, or starting high school at 300 lbs.

I do wonder how much more can be done to educate people on the importance of proper nutrition and exercise. If people read the newspapers, or watch TV, or have access to the internet, they would realize that childhood obesity (along with all of the related complications such as diabetes) are on the rise. Common sense would tell them that a banana and a glass of milk makes a much healthier snack than a bag of chips and a can of soda. When I visit with my family doctor, he always asks what types of food my son is eating, if he is getting a variety of the basic food groups, and how much "junk" I allow him to have. When I was pregnant, I took prenatal classes and they explained the importance of a balanced diet for myself, and also for my child. What more can we do? The knowledge is out there. I don't think that the problem lies in a lack of knowledge.

As for a lack of resources? Well, I suppose in some cases junk is less expensive than the healthy alternatives. But if people aren't willing to invest in their child's health and well-being, what are they willing to invest in? I know it is easier said than done when money is tight, but we all have to make sacrifices for our children. If I had to choose between healthy food for my son, or cable TV and a cell phone, well... for me it wouldn't be a choice. And taking a child to the park to play for an hour is much less expensive than buying that new video games.

So I think what is comes down to is time and effort. Yes, it does take more time and a little more effort to prepare healthy meals, but again it comes down to how much people are willing to invest in their childrens health. If they need a quick meal, think a healthy sandwich from Subway or if their only alternative is McDonalds, remember they serve salads.

Now, I'm not refering to children who are slightly overweight, or those who have a diagnosed underlying health problem that contributes to their obesity. I am talking about severely obese children whose parents aren't willing, or are unable, to take the time and effort to do everything that they can to ensure the well being of their children.

As you can tell, I am passionate about this particular issue. Children today are so much less active, and eat so much more crap, than a generation ago, and so many parents just don't seem to get it. In the majority of cases, obesity is preventable!

So I guess what I am getting at is that the idea of foster care for these children shouldn't be slammed outright. It should be an option for these kids when nothing else can, or is, being done.

My two cents.

Tah - posted on 07/13/2011

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This is utterly ridiculous, so you take the children..then what..put them in a already overcrowded system, then what, return them to the same family..probably worse mentally thennthey ever were to begin with..how about education and incentives.....

http://www.circleofmoms.com/moms-need-mo...

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