Junkfood Science: Update from UK: fat children taken by the state

October 30, 2008

Update from UK: fat children taken by the state

As a particularly vocal anti-obesity group in the UK continues to call for fat children to be taken away from their parents and put into state care until they lose weight, earlier this month the Association of Directors of Children’s Services had denied that it was happening. A spokesperson had told The Independent that fat children had not been removed from their parents by child protective authorities. But reporters kept digging. Finally, Councils just released the information following a request filed under the Freedom of Information Act.

As is being reported in newspapers across England this morning, at least seven children have been taken by state social services officials over concerns they were too fat — the youngest was a boy in Derby just six years old and another girl from Cumbria was just eight. [Her story was covered here.]

Earlier this month, Tam Fry, a board member of the National Obesity Forum, had said child obesity should be treated like child abuse and that state child protective services must remove these children from their parents and force them to lose weight, while their parents are rehabilitated by social services. In today’s Mirror, the National Obesity Forum appears to be setting its sights on babies, as Dr. Colin Waine, also with group, called for closer monitoring of infants. JFS readers will remember when earlier this year, Mr. Fry was talking of an alarming crisis of fat babies, which proved to be false.

Will the medical evidence and actual government statistics which negate the need or efficacy of these draconian actions reach public officials? We can only hope reason prevails for the welfare of children and their families.

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