Childhood Obesity and CPS
At what point does overfeeding a child constitute medical neglect? In Britain, childhood obesity could result in removal from the home.
Social workers are placing obese children on the child protection register alongside victims thought to be at risk of sexual or physical abuse.

In extreme cases children have been placed in foster care because their parents have contributed to the health problems of their offspring by failing to respond to medical advice. The Sunday Times
Two brothers were even convicted of causing unnecessary suffering for obesity in a dog.

While Britain is certainly "ahead" of us in this regard, their concern for childhood obesity certainly is not unique to our European friends. In a study commissioned by the US Department of Health and Human Services (also what Child Protective Services falls under), the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies tells us,
"We recognize that several of our recommendations challenge entrenched aspects of American life and business, but if we are not willing to make some fundamental shifts in our attitudes and actions, obesity's toll on our nation's health and well-being will only worsen." Medical News Today
How many of our fundamental attitudes are we willing to shift in order to combat overeating and slothfulness among children? Exactly how much power are we going to give to the Federal Trade Commission and external review boards (all outside voter control) to regulate the marketing and distribution of foods deemed unhealthy? Should the school system be monitoring student weight on an annual basis? How much interference from the state and local agencies are we willing to tolerate in private homes to monitor the eating and exercise habits of our citizens?

And when will we decide that noncompliance equals medical neglect, thus turning cases over to child protective services?

I agree that obesity is a problem. But I can't help but think this approach falls under the plethora of activities our central government is engaged in which perhaps is done in the name of the "common good" but is another step toward the "end" that President Pierce foretold.

hat tip: Joanne Jacobs

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