Tuesday, February 27, 2007

It's a WEIGHTY issue!

This is the news story that grabbed my attention this morning:

Mother May Lose Custody of Obese Boy

Now this tasty tidbit (no pun intended) comes from London where authorities are considering taking an 8-year-old boy who weighs 218 pounds into protective custody unless his mother improves his diet.

Social service officials will meet with family members Tuesday to discuss the health of Connor McCreaddie, who weighs more than three times the average for his age.

The health agencies organizing the meeting said they "have been working with the family over a prolonged period of time and will continue to do so."

An unidentified health official was quoted as telling The Sunday Times that taking custody of Connor would be a last resort, but said the family had repeatedly failed to attend appointments with nurses, nutritionists and social workers.

The Times of London reported that the boy, Connor McCreaddie, has broken four beds and five bicycles. The boy's family is reportedly claiming to have a history of aversion to fruits and vegetables. (WTF?????)

"Child abuse is not just about hitting your children or sexually abusing them, it is also about neglect," the official was quoted as saying.

Dr. Colin Waine, the director of the National Obesity Forum in Nottingham, England, called Connor's lifestyle "extremely dangerous," adding he is at risk of developing diabetes in his early teens, and cardiovascular and nervous system problems in his 20s.

"He's really at risk of dying by the time he's 30,"
Waine said.

Dr. Michael Markiewicz, a pediatrician, agreed.

"I'm not saying they can't care for him, but what they are doing is through the way they are treating him and feeding him, they are slowly killing him,"
he said.

Connor's mother said he steals and hides food, frustrating her efforts to help him. He eats double or triple what a normal seven-year-old would have, she said.

"If I didn't give him enough at teatime then he would just go on at us all night for snacks and stuff," she told ITV.

Connor, who lives with his mother and sister, has difficulty dressing and washing himself, misses school regularly because of poor health, and is targeted by bullies.

Dr. Phil did a special not too long ago. It's pretty amazing how overweight these children have become in such a short amount of time.

My thoughts ..... I guess what really bothers me is the lack of parental control. I mean really - my kids don't like vegetables either (hell neither do I) BUT I have enough control in my own household and enough imagination that we get the situation worked out.

AND I don't care what a child begs for - if I say no snacks in the middle of the night - then there's no snacks in the middle of the night. Now this hasn't been an issue but when potty training we did have a few battles with not getting a bottle or sippy cup right before bed but as I said earlier - what I say goes in my house. Period.

After all, it's for their own good.

Now keep in mind that all this parental control is tempered with a LOT of love. I am head over heels in love with my children and don't want to run a boot camp unless I have to. I want them to learn to do the right thing because they know it's the right thing to do, NOT because they are scared of the consequences. It's also much easier to start teaching good habits when they are young then when they get older.

BUT with all of that said, I am not sure it is the right decision to take this child away from his mother. Therapy with the family might be an alternative or to send them to a nutritional center as a unit. Emotionally, I think separation might make things worse.

I'm interested to know what do you think? And when your done pontificating ... scroll down and take the poll.


Do You Think The Boy Should Be Taken Into Custody?

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  1. I don't feel that this little boy should be taken from his home. Although part of this kid's eating disorder is tied to some part of his homelife, it would seem to me to uproot him won't help matters.

    The entire family needs some counseling in order to establish the proper chain of authority or should I say understand the roles of authority in the family structure. Not sure what role the father plays in this whole thing if any, but the mother definitely needs more of a backbone when it comes to the kids and giving in to their demands.

    This whole aversion to fruits and vegetables kind of strikes me as a cop out for taking the time to do what is needed for a healthy life style.

  2. You been tagged... check out my blog.

    I don't think the state has any rights to take this child away from his family... intervene by offering help for the whole family under the care of a doctor. HE didn't gain this weight overnight or even one year so they can't expect drastic changes over night for a family that obvious lacking nutritional and health awareness.