Should Parents Lose Custody of Extremely Obese Kids?


Should Parents Lose Custody of Severely Obese Kids?

While Dr. David Katz, founder of the Yale Prevention Center, praised Ludwig as a physician, and found the editorial to be balanced and reasonable, he said there was not enough evidence that the state would do a better job of feeding children than their parents.

"There is no doubt that, whereas starving a child Is an obvious example of abuse, in an age of epidemic childhood obesity, it may be time to look at willful overfeeding in a similar light," said Katz.

But without having evidence that foster care would benefit a morbidly obese child more than his original caregivers and without knowing cost and benefit tradeoffs when the state takes children from their parents, it's too early to say whether this is an appropriate response, said Katz.

"I do believe that severe obesity in a child is a serious problem," Katz said. "The best approach to it is to prevent it rather than fix it. But when we need to fix it, for now, the state should identify the problem and offer solutions, but not impose them."

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