Doctors Want Parents of Obese Children to Lose Custody
An opinion piece published in Wednesday’s edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association says placing extremely obese children temporarily in foster care is sometimes more ethical than weight loss surgery to control obesity.
Dr. David Ludwig, an obesity specialist with the Children’s Hospital Boston, said the point is to act in the child’s best interests by providing them an environment that the parents cannot. Roughly 2 million American children are extremely obese. Some have obesity related conditions like Type 2 Diabetes and liver problems that could kill them by age 30 according to Ludwig.
It’s these kids for whom foster care should be considered says Ludwig. Several years ago a 90 Ibs. 3-year-old girl was brought to his clinic. The girl’s parents both had physical disabilities and little money. Last year, at age 12, the girl weighed 400 pounds and had already developed diabetes, high blood pressure and sleep apnea. She was placed in foster care shortly thereafter, where she has since lost 130 Ibs.
In cases like these, Ludwig feels temporary state custody should be an option.
“Out of medical concern, the state placed this girl in foster care, where she simply received three balanced meals a day and a snack or two and moderate physical activity,” Ludwig said.