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The local family services department claims that the boy's obesity was caused by his home environment and that his mother neglected to help him slim down -- a claim she disputes -- putting the honor roll student at risk for health problems such as high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes.
Some experts argue that feeding a child too much is just as much a threat to kids as not feeding them enough and that it should be considered a form of abuse. But is obesity enough to take a child from home? Here's what the iVillage community is saying about the issue.
"How on earth does a child his age weigh 200 pounds? He's almost 9 years old, and even if he were in the 95th percentile for weight for a boy his age, that would still be only around 90 lbs. He weighs more than two 95th percentile boys his age combined! Even with a genetically slow metabolism, I don't understand how this is possible with proper nutrition and exercise. Either he has a serious undiagnosed disorder, or something is horribly wrong with his diet and activity (or both)." -- finally.me
"Instead of removing the child which could be detrimental to mother and child, I would suggest nutrition courses.....I propose having the parents take a nutrition course and if that doesn't solve the problem then maybe some home visits." -- srprsboy
"I most certainly hope that medical professionals and social workers worked with this mom for a time before they took such an extreme measure as to place him in foster care. However, if mom couldn't do anything to control his weight (or wouldn't), it's probably in his best interests to get him somewhere that will control his weight." -- bunnierose
"And where would all these kids go after they've been removed from their homes? I'm pretty sure that there aren't enough foster homes for the 12% of all American children who are morbidly obese. And who's to say that the foster parents will have any better success at slimming them down?" -- debbiedoes-keyboarding