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Ohio takes child from parents for being too fat

By Stephen C. Webster
Monday, November 28, 2011 8:56 EDT
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Two children sit on a park bench with their mothers on Jan. 16, 2006. Photo: Flickr user malias.
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It’s almost like a scene from a distopic novella: Authorities in Ohio last week determined that an overweight 8-year-old boy was simply too fat, so they took him away from his parents.

Officials told the Cleveland Heights family that they were not controlling his weight well enough. The boy was reportedly over 200 pounds, well into the “severely obese” category, according to Cleveland’s Plain Dealer newspaper.

That extra weight puts people at risk for diabetes, hypertension and other weight-related disorders, doctors say.

The state’s Department of Children and Family Services insisted that the third grader was being neglected, and that his mother was not following doctors’ orders to control his weight.

The family’s lawyer disagreed, claiming that the state massively overstepped its role in taking the boy, and that his health risk factors do not pose an imminent threat to his well being.

Apart from the moral quandary of seizing custody of a child over eating habits, the sheer volume of obese children also bears consideration: Over 12 percent of children in Ohio are obese, the paper noted.

Despite the numbers, the unnamed third grader is the first child in Ohio to be taken from his parents for being overweight, according to The Associated Press.

Photo: Flickr user malias.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
 
 
 
 
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