The author of a recently published article in the Journal of the American Medical Association has made a controversial suggestion that is beginning to stir much debate regarding child custody issues and the health of a child. The author is a doctor and expert of obesity at a children’s hospital. After studying childhood obesity for several years, the doctor’s article in JAMA questions whether parents should lose custody of their children if the children are severely obese.
The article notes that childhood obesity rates have significantly increased since the 1980s. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that nearly 17 percent of our nation’s children and teens are obese. The doctor suggests that these numbers are concerning, especially since obese children can face serious health risks such as developing type 2 diabetes or liver problems.
Part of a parenting is to address a child’s health concerns, especially if a child suffers from a medical condition such as obesity. If a parent neglects to address his or her child’s problems with obesity, the doctor suggests that the state should intervene.
“When a child is being put in harm’s way, he may benefit from some type of intervention to teach the child and the parents how to exercise and eat healthy,” commented the communications director of the Obesity Action Coalition.
However, others argue that although overfeeding a child may be just as neglectful as starving a child, there is not enough evidence that supports the idea that parents should lose custody of their children for failing to prevent their children from becoming morbidly obese. There is also no evidence to support the idea that removing an obese child from the custody of his or her parents would benefit the child’s health.
When it comes to determining child custody in the military, a dc military lawyer will consider what will be in the best interest of a child. This includes a parent’s mental health and physical ability to properly care and provide for a child as well as many other factors. But should a parent lose his or her rights over a child if the child is obese? Is raising an obese child a form of child neglect?