Are we really going to start removing fat kids from their parents as a solution to obesity? It does not seem to me to be a wall we should lightly hop over.
Yes, parents are responsible for their children. And extreme obesity may be a sign of deeper, more severe issues at home. But it is nonetheless seriously disgusting to see children wrenched from their parents when, at the highest levels, we are represented by a government that has made it abundantly clear it would prefer to pander to the interests of the frozen food industry than reform childhood nutrition. One in which presidential candidates mock children’s health initiatives as “nannying.” Even the authors of that provocative JAMA story recommended governmental “investments in the social infrastructure and policies to improve diet and promote physical activity among children.” It takes a village to raise a child without a body-mass index number in the danger level.
Imagine if you were a little boy, perhaps without the best body image, and you knew that seeing your mom was contingent upon losing weight. Now imagine the over 12 percent of third-graders in Ohio who are severely obese and may now be facing a similar fate. Whatever you think of parental accountability for childhood obesity, ask yourself this: If one child can be removed, what happens to the rest? Who’s going to decide which parents of obese kids are neglectful? And who will take care of their health when neither their government nor their families seem to know how?
When Michelle Obama says, “You should eat vegetables and exercise more,” Republicans may choose to see that as further proof of the impending Liberal Holocaust, but this kind of meddling threatens to legitimize such complaints. It may be a tragedy when a parent lets their child’s body go to ruin, but not only can we not prevent all tragedies, we do not have the right to do so. And when the government so clearly fails via the school system where it has proper domain in providing proper nutrition and necessary exercise, by what argument can it claim legitimacy? Throw in genetic components of obesity and the issue becomes hopelessly muddled. Failure to justify a power means conceding that power does not rightfully exist.