“Too Fat” Child Removed From Parent, Sent to Foster Care

An Ohio grade-schooler has been removed from his mother’s custody after authorities declared that she was not making enough effort to bring the 200 lb eight year old down to a healthy weight.

According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the boy’s health has been monitored for a year, and although he began to lose weight initially, he has since put the weight back on, leaving critics to say that his mother is incapable of assisting him with a healthy diet and exercise.

The child’s mother disagrees, citing her participation in a “Healthy Kids, Healthy Weight,” program, and says that he is in no eminent physical danger.  “‘They are trying to make it seem like I am unfit, like I don’t love my child,’ the boy’s mother said. ‘Of course I love him. Of course I want him to lose weight. It’s a lifestyle change, and they are trying to make it seem like I am not embracing that. It is very hard, but I am trying.’”  She thinks that other siblings and children might be providing unacceptable food to her son, resulting in his new weight gain.

State agencies have been known to intervene in cases of child neglect involving malnourishment, but this is the first time on record that a group has stepped in and removed a child for being too obese.  But with a vast percentage of the child population either overweight or obese, at what point, if ever, does intervention become acceptable?  And if “saving” a child from future health risks like diabetes and heart problems becomes a reason for removing a child from his or her family, how does that not set the stage for removing them for other “future health risks,” such as a parent who smokes around his or her children?

The foster care agency says it believes it has made the proper decision for the third grader’s overall well-being, citing recent weight loss since he was removed from his home.  But if he regains the weight, will he be returned to his mother, or just bounced to yet another home?


Photo credit: wikimedia commons


federico bortoletto

Grazie delle informazioni.

Lika S.
Lika P6 years ago

Granted, in some ways, giving ice cream and cookies to a grossly overweight child is a form of abuse, but, just because a child remains overweight longer than what society wants them to is no reason to remove the child.

This particular child is probably already self conscious to boot, and is aware of his own weight. The last thing he has is the love of his mother, and now is removed - yanked and stolen - from his own mother because of weight. What message does THAT send to this child? That he's "too fat and not good enough for mother's love"?

I refuse to pass judgment, because I don't know how tall this child is, and what other circumstances are surrounding it. We are all over weight at my house. My son included. I cook home made food. I use fresh or frozen veggies, and serve at least 3 servings or more of veggies, and no I do NOT put sauces and gravies on them. I use real brown rice, no instant. Whole grain breads. No prepackaged foods (my son vomits from high amounts of preservatives). An orange and healthy breakfast choices such as raisin bran, toast with peanut butter, etc...

As for exercise, he has his scooter & trampoline at home, and at grandma's he has a stationary bike, treadmill, and a park. We also do archery as a family, and do some walking. Am I an abusive mother because MY son is considered obese? I'm doing what I can, and we have a good relationship.

He is kind, generous, smart, well behaved, funny, and very much loved by friends a

Charli S.
Charlotte S6 years ago

Pretty soon they will remove children because you're not teaching them about Jesus, or you eat meat..or a 101 other things. study after study prove that children are better off with their birth parents in most cases. This country has become a massive nanny state in which the state decides what is best for you. Pretty soon you won't be able to do anything dangerous except die for the corporations that own our once proud nation. I see kids today whose lives are over regulated, over medicated and over protected. I'm glad I'm not a kid now. Perhaps if Mothers didn't have to work in order to help support the family maybe kids would have a better chance at a normal life.

Annmari Lundin
Annmari L6 years ago

Everyone, read Sharon C's posting 4:38PM PST on Dec 2, 2011, before making any more comments!

Charlene Rush
Charlene Rush6 years ago

This is a tough one!

As, I hate to see a child taken from his/her parent/parents, it appears that this mother is incapable of keeping her son, healthy enough to prosper. If she can't control his food at the age of 8, how will she control him in another couple of years.
The main issue is, why does he have this problem in the first place. If there is a physical remedy, then it must be pursued. If it is psychological, then therapy is in order, for him and his mother.,

Judith Howard
Judith Howard6 years ago

This is just wrong. So as the state deems obesity as criminal negligence by the parents, then what's next? No...the government has no right to interfere and it sets a dangerous precedent of being able to remove children for just about anything. Very traumatic for the child and the family.

Sharon C.

This child was 4x the weight he should have bee. Now imagine a an adult male that should weight 200 lbs, that would be a 6ft. - 6ft 4in., If he were 4x his weight, he would be 800 lbs.
Wouldn't you consider that a person in need of medical intervention?
What the story has let out is that the state worked with this family for 20 months and they were enrolled in a healthy living/nutrition program.
If you can't get in together in 20 months and the child can not breathe because of his weight, something had to be done. Hopefully, this will be their wake up call and they will realize the seriousness of the problem.

Valerie Hammett
Valerie Hammett`6 years ago

no kid should be taken away from their parents if they arent being abused. they say kids are 7 times more likely to be abused in foster care units and 10 more times likely to be sexually abused.

Donna J.
Donna J6 years ago

Why does this ONE particular child become a cause? Obesity in kids is everywhere in Canada and the US. BIG PICTURE, please.

How about reviewing all the crap in food and additives that get passed by the FDA and the lobbyists who push for food addiction, thus ensuring the prosperity of drugs and medical treatment for obesity, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes? Let's do a serious inquiry with these pushers.

Sue Matheson
Sue Matheson6 years ago