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07/13/2011 at 01:00 PM ET

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Jacqui on

Instead of taking a child out of his home and away from his family for being morbidly obese, why not go after the REAL culprits here — the big businesses who insist on putting high fructose corn syrup in absolutely everything, despite the FACT that it a huge contributor to the rise in childhood obesity.

Sarah K. on

Jacqui, to an extent I disagree. It’s a parent’s job to make sure their child is healthy, not some random business. That being said, removing children isn’t always the answer. I would be ok with it on a case-by-case basis if the child was morbidly obese and CPS has tried to educate the parents and the parents refuse to change their child’s diet. It’s upsetting to see young children who are severely overweight and then their parents buy them a giant ice cream cone or candy, etc. Of course the child wants it, but parents are supposed to know better. Willful ignorance of an obvious life-threatening risk to your child is abuse.

Jacqui on

Sarah K., I do agree with you about a parent’s responsibility, but what you apparently don’t know is that HFCS is not just in candy and sweets, it’s in everything from baby formula and ordinary spaghetti sauce to ketchup and canned soups, just to scratch the surface.

Parents have to be responsible, but so do big corporations and to that end, so does the US government. If we could start at the top, a lot of these health problems would take care of themselves.

And who is to say the Foster parents are all going to be Jamie Oliver?

Sarah K. on

Jacqui, for a child to be morbidly obese (like the 400 lb. 12 yr. old in the article) the problem is not just HFCS. Contrary to your comment, I do actually know that seemingly innocent foods contain artifical sweetners and preservatives. But, children don’t become morbidly obese from baby formula or having ketchup occasionally. When a child is morbidly obese, the problem often lies with the parents.

So yes, I agree that we should be proactive in forcing companies to change what they put into food. But, when a parent watches their child continue to pack on pounds, struggle to breathe, and suffer from diabetes, the problem is with the parents. If you get parents to realize that the food they give their child is killing them, maybe you’ll have a stronger force to go after the large companies.

And maybe the foster care isn’t the best, but when a parent continues to contribute to their child’s mounting health issues and refuses to listen to reason, something has to give. If a parent were hitting a child you would remove them. Knowingly giving your child heart disease is also abuse.

fuzibuni on

If the government decides that taking obese children out of their homes is the answer, there will be a massive flood of new foster children in the system.

I live in a low income neighborhood and there are a lot of overweight kids here. The kids eat cheap food, and use junk food as a source of comfort when things aren’t going so great in their lives. There aren’t parks to play in, and not many parent’s enroll their kids in sports.

But I can pretty much guarantee that foster care is not the answer. Poverty and lack of education is the main cause of the problem, and compounding the issue is the fact that the cheapest food available in the United States is junk.

Childhood obesity is not going to be fixed by removing children from their parents. We need to deal with the cause not the symptom.

Jillian on

I agree with you fuzibuni.

the parents are to blame…..sorry, but they are, you can’t blame HFCS, because there are millions of things you can buy without it. I do not have one thing in my house ever that has it. my child doesn’t it eat or fast food. Why……because I don’t buy it. If a child is obsese, they are not just eating HFCS, they are eating a lot and eating non stop. They are eating a lot of bad things.

I do not blame the US Government for children being obsese. I blame the parents who make poor choices in what they feed their children.

Jacqui on

I just have to point out that I said HFCS is a “huge contributor” to childhood obesity, not the one and only contributor.

Jillian on

Okay, Jacqui…

Julie on

I don’t think adding 12.5 million children to the CPS rolls is the correct way to approach this problem. Instead of fighting over HFCS, we should be bringing back daily recess and gym classes. Kids need to move!

fuzibuni on

and yes, HFCS is evil.

Sarah K. on

I feel like I need to clarify. I am absolutely not advocating putting all overweight children in foster or even all morbidly obese children. After all options are exhausted (education, resources, etc.) and parents refuse to see a problem with their child being morbidly obese, then I wouldn’t object to the child being placed with a family member or maybe foster care. If the problem is education or resources, it’s not because the parents are just ignoring an obvious threat to their child’s life.

There is definitely no one right answer to this problem. But, I definitely agree that schools need to have more gym/recess time and healthier food options. Kids spend wayyyy too much time in front of tv and computers.

Jillian on

Sarah, I agree

Julie, I partially I agree. Here all our kids have gym for the most part. We cant have recess in a lot of our CPS due to size, fighting, or gangs. But what they don’t have is activity at home! Parents allow their kids to play video games all summer instead of being active… kills me! My daughter, nieces and nephews are all very active and none of them are even overweight. I as a parent owe it to my daughter to be sure she is healthy! Kids are not only getting overweight at school…….they are getting overweight at home.

Cate on

Kids don’t exercise enough at school? Then they can do it after school or on the weekend. Unless the case is medical, obesity is 100% at the fault of parents.If you do not have the knowledge to cook healthy food for your children, then find the information. I am so sick of these families where mum is fat, dad is fat, kids are fat, even the dog is fat!

Parents need to stop blaming others for their parenting downfalls and start accepting responsibility. I was speaking to a mum the other day and she was complaining that her son’s school didn’t have enough drug and alcohol education. Instead of spending time teacher her own child, she instead spent a few hours writing to the school complaining. SERIOUSLY?!

I absolutely do not believe that placing kids in a foster care home is the right solution, but the fact the government needs to step in because parents are failing is embarressing for all concerned. Parents, stop expecting other people to parent your child! Raise them, teach them the skills they need and hope you have done a good enough job!

Jillian on

Cate, I totally agree!