Sunday, July 15, 2007

Child Obesity=Parental Neglect

Sandy Szwarc at Junkfood Science has a horror story about an 8yr old British girl who was taken from her parents because she is 1 foot taller and fatter than her peers and was made a ward of the state. Evidently, obesity is now going to be classified as a form of parental child abuse according to the linked Times Online article which says in part:
There are no guidelines for social service about the issue. Anne Ridgway, chairman of the Cumbria Local Safeguarding Children Board, said: “Parental behaviour that leads to childhood obesity can be a form of neglect. But a child’s weight becomes a safeguarding issue only in extreme cases ? and thankfully they are very rare.”
I suppose deliberately overfeeding a child could be a form of abuse or neglect but there is no mention in the articles that Ms. Ridgway has any evidence of this. I get the impression that she is just assuming that because the child is fat, it is automatically the parents' fault.

Now I'm all in favor of laws against child abuse provided there exists objective evidence of same. No parent has the right to violate his child's right to life. But as any parent can testify, a child with cuts and bruises is not prima facie evidence of child beatings. Nor is a fat child proof of overfeeding. You'd think that the fact that this child was 1 foot taller than her peers just might be a red flag that something other than obesity was at work. But no. Obesity is the problem and the parents are the villains. As Ms. Szwarc shows, no study has ever demonstrated that obesity causes tallness. As my masthead says, government encouragement makes facts irrelevant.

Even more sinister is the fact that removing an 8yr old child from his or her family can be a very traumatic experience, especially if the family atmosphere was a loving one, and there was no evidence in the article to show it wasn't. Obviously then, mental health must be sacrificed to purely physical concerns. Let the child be a mental basket case as long as she's a thin one.

Admittedly, this is happening in Britain which doesn't have any allegiance to individual rights which means, they rely on a benevolent ruler. They're getting what they asked for when they agreed that their children belong to the state. What is scary though, is that what is happening in Europe now will be tried here in America next. The social engineering dictator wannabes can't wait to get that kind of power. Like global warming, obesity is just another tool to get that power.
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