Should Childhood Obesity Be a Form of Medical Neglect?

As obesity is plaguing our nation, it is no surprise that it is finding its way into the legal arena as well. In a recent case out of Ohio, a 200 pound 8 year old boy was removed from and placed in foster care, with the social workers citing medical neglect for the removal.[1] A typical 8 year old weighs around 60 pounds. The social workers stated that the boy’s mother was not doing enough to control her son’s weight problems. Children’s services was first notified of this family a year earlier, when the boy was brought into the hospital for sleep apnea problems, which can be weight related. This story, and others like it, begs the question whether childhood obesity can be classified as medical neglect, resulting in the removal of the child from the home?… <Read More>

Childbearing and Obesity

Ever wonder why some families have more of a tendency to be overweight? According to a recent New York Times article, it was found that childless couples have a healthier lifestyle;  they tend to eat more meat and less dairy.  The information was gathered from the December issue of European Review of Agricultural Economics.  The British researchers found that childless families consume 4.4 pounds more fruits and vegetables than those with children  (Childless Couples Have Healthier Diets).

This information graves the question… what can be done to adjust this research?  Can lawmakers control what is fed to children or is it strictly a decision to be made by individual parents? The autonomy that a person or persons have within their personal life is something that Americans have as a right under the constitution.  But what if the results of such autonomy effect the well being of the country as a whole? The obesity rates in the United States are extraordinary and obesity often  starts during childhood.  If adults with children are forced to lead healthier lifestyles it could possibly lead children to do the same.  This is not to say the government should control what people buy and eat, but something needs to be done on a more localized, personal level if obesity rates are to be reduced in the near future.… <Read More>