Photo: robad0b via flickr
An opinion piece in Wednesday’s Journal of the American Medical Association says putting overweight children into foster care is more ethical than obesity surgery.This has of course set off a firestorm of responses around the internet.
Harvard-affiliated obesity specialist David Ludwig tells the AP he just wants to provide kids with the help they need:
State intervention “ideally will support not just the child but the whole family, with the goal of reuniting child and family as soon as possible. That may require instruction on parenting,” said Ludwig, who wrote the article with Lindsey Murtagh, a lawyer and a researcher at Harvard’s School of Public Health. “Despite the discomfort posed by state intervention, it may sometimes be necessary to protect a child,” Murtagh said.
Ludwig considered the issue following his treatment of a 90-pound 3-year-old girl he treated several years ago. When she was 12, she weighed 400 pounds.
“Out of medical concern, the state placed this girl in foster care, where she simply received three balanced meals a day and a snack or two and moderate physical activity,” he said. After a year, she lost 130 pounds. Though she is still obese, her diabetes and apnea disappeared; she remains in foster care,’ he said.”
There are about 2 million extremely obese children in the U.S. who develop medical problems that could end their lives by the time their 30 years old.
Critics say of Ludwig’s proposal say there are many factors involved beyond the home and treating just one facet of the problem won’t solve it.
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