Diets in Review - Find the Right Diet for You

Is Childhood Obesity Abuse?

obese boyHave our weight problems really come to this? Are parents of morbidly obese children guilty of child abuse on the level that it warrants them losing custody?

It’s not just in the U.S. – this is a worldwide debate. A Scottish couple lost custody of two of their six children because they failed to reduce the kids’ weight following warnings from Scottish social services.

In another case, a South Carolina mother lost custody of her 14-year-old son in May – he was 555 pounds. Jerri Gray didn’t help her case when she missed a court date to examine whether she should retain custody. The boy is currently living with his aunt. His mother, who was arrested, is facing criminal child-neglect charges.

“It’s happening more than the public is aware of, but because these cases are usually kept quiet [due to child-privacy laws], we have no record,” says Dr. Matt Capehorn, who sits on the board of the U.K.’s National Obesity Forum.

Authorities insist that removing children from their parents is a last resort. And since childhood obesity can lead to a host of adult health problems (diabetes, hypertension, heart disease), there is merit to the idea of putting on par with child abuse.

“Children are vulnerable. If they’re given food and told to finish what’s on the plate, they’ll eat it, and without exercise get bigger and bigger,” says Tam Fry, chairman of Britain’s Child Growth Foundation.

But there is some support for the idea that it’s not a black and white issue.

“It’s unfair to blame solely the parents, when there’s a myriad of other factors influencing a child’s weight,” says Dr. Dana Rofey of the University of Pittsburgh. Rofey runs a weight-management clinic, which is often called on during custody battles where squabbling divorced parents blame each other for making their child obese.

(via: Yahoo)

October 28th, 2009

> Leave Feedback

User Feedback

(Page 1 of 1, 3 total comments)


It is definately child abuse! I just feel so sorry for these poor obese children. They will be "picked on" in society and they will have major problems loosing weight when and IF they learn how to eat right. It is truly devistating and I think it all comes down to laziness.

posted Jul 31st, 2010 11:45 am


I am currently working on a research paper on this subject and would like to know if you can provide me with additional resources on child abuse and neglect. Thanks for your assistance

posted Feb 11th, 2010 8:11 pm


I think its absolutely child abuse, no attention and care for a child's health is very much considered abuse.

I really liked your site and I am interested in building a relationship with your site. I found your site interesting and very resourceful, too.

You can contact me back at my email address.



posted Dec 29th, 2009 2:56 pm


Leave Feedback

Skip the moderation queue by becoming a MyDIR member.

Already a member?

Need to sign up?
It’s free and only it takes a minute.
There are two ways to join:

Or, proceed without an account