Should parents be punished for letting their kids be fat?
What if having a fat child was considered a form of abuse? If Dr. David Ludwig, an obesity expert and professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, has his way, parents of morbidly obese children would face losing their offspring to foster care, the same way we treat caregivers who physically abuse and mistreat kids.
Is it extreme?
According to Ludwig, no. The idea behind Ludwig’s proposal is that extremely fat children face enormous risks such as type 2 diabetes and kidney and respiratory issues, among other health problems. Removing the children, from what Ludwig deems irresponsible parents, gives them time to reform and make nutritional changes.
As Latinos, we are largely a culture that adores chubby babies with double chins and chunky legs.
And there’s plenty of evidence that points to an obscene number of fat children and their expanding girth across America. According to the CDC, 17% of American kids are obese—that’s 12 million overweight children! In fact, this is the first generation that is NOT expected to outlive their parents.
Granted, the problem isn’t always about overeating and too little exercise. Sometimes it is about hormonal imbalance. But child obesity is largely a preventable issue.
Ludwig may have touched some nerves with the foster care proposal, but there’s no question we need solutions and resources to combat childhood obesity such as Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative.
Do you agree that obese children should be removed from their homes?
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