Taking obese children away from their parents may be a shocking idea, but so are the statistics on overweight children. According to the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, one in three kids are overweight or obese.
“There is a great deal of immobility, in fact children forgot how to play,” said Dr. Mouhanad Hammami. Dr. Hammi is the Chief of Health Operations for Wayne County with a background in Pediatrics. He participated in Wayne County’s multicultural obesity conference at ford field Wednesday. He says children are not exercising enough, and making poor food choices that are often learned by example.
“You cannot convince your child to eat an apple if he sees you eating a cookie,” said Dr. Hammami.
The lack of nutrition education parents have is one reason why a Harvard pediatrics professor named David Ludwig is proposing an extreme idea. The idea would allow states to have the authority to remove extremely obese children from their homes and be placed in foster care.
His opinion piece is in Wednesday’s Journal of the American Medical Association. Ludwig believes that putting children in temporary foster care is in some cases more ethical than obesity surgery.
“I wouldn’t go to that extreme, but it is definitely the responsibility of parents,” said Dr. Hammami.
Morbidly obese children are more at risk for Type 2 Diabetes, sleep apnea, and other harmful health problems.
“If I was feeding my kids alcohol everyday and someone took them away, everyone would understand. But if I was feeding them fast food everyday and they took them away everyone is up in arms. But I think you can make a lot of parallels there,” said Ron Morelli.
Ron Morelli appeared on season 7 of the biggest loser with his son Michael. He favors the idea as long as parents are willing participants.
“If you have a 14 year-old that weighs 400 pounds and you don’t know what to do you may welcome someone coming in and taking your kids. And helping them out because you don’t know how to do it,” said Morelli.
The radical intervention would be temporary until a parent and child could learn better nutrition and exercise techniques and then they would be reunited.
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