Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Oh, Yeah, That'll Work

An article in Sunday's Independent (UK) paints an ominous picture of what may be coming down the pike as a way to solve the epidemic of childhood obesity; simply take these children from their families and place them in care of the state.

"Doctors are calling for the parents of obese children under the age of 12 to be targeted under child protection laws and for their offspring to be taken into care."

Next month a motion will be presented at the British Medical Association (BMA) conference that will include provision for social workers to "treat childhood obesity as neglect" and allow state intervention, including removal from the home.

"Dr Matt Capehorn, who will present the motion on obesity in Torquay, said: "No healthcare professional would want to break up a family unit but this has to be considered if the child's health is being put at risk." Dr Capehorn, a GP, runs an obesity clinic in Rotherham, South Yorkshire."

The motion comes on the heels of our own American Medical Association releasing its latest Expert Committee Recommendations on the Assessment, Prevention and Treatment of Child and Adolescent Overweight and Obesity document on June 6, 2007. Noticably absent - media coverage to highlight its release!

Take some time to read it, I'll be writing more in depth about what appears to be in the works for us here in the United States! I'll note where the evidence stands for the recommendations in the document and point out data that's obviously being ignored in the efforts to reduce the prevalence of obesity in children.

Keep in mind as you read the document, this is from the same organization led by Dr. William Plested III, president of the American Medical Association, who was quoted as saying at a recent Rotary Club meeting in Jacksonville, Florida, “We’re going to pay for this with a generation of ‘fatsos’ with every disease you can imagine.”

Nice, huh?

13 comments:

  1. I had heard early rattlings about this before, but didn't think it would actually begin to take shape. Jeez, people are crazy.
    Adam;-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Simply unbelievable! So while we force the children to eat healthy, we also give them a complex about it all. This sounds like a good way to start some serious disorders associated with food. Could you imagine some young person afraid of gaining weight for fear of being taken away from their family - so they either quit eating, or become bulemic. Nice... glad this was thought through. *sheesh*

    ReplyDelete
  3. They're not going to be targeting your mildly overweight children here or even severely obese children whose parents are trying to serve nutritious meals and get their kids interested in physical activity.


    They're targeting those rare parents who, after repeatedly being told that their children are so obese or have so many obesity-related complications that they may not live to see adulthood, still refuse to take any action about it -- sometimes refuse to admit there is even a problem.

    That's neglect of the same order as starving your child. If it takes threatening these parents with losing their children to get them to take care of them, well that's better than them losing them to death.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow. While I do feel (personal opinion) that feeding your child rubbish IS neglect/abuse, this is a far cry from the solution. If there's no top-down legislation to address the food supply, marketing/advertising of unhealthy foods to children, and regulation of, say, vending machines in schools, this amounts to nothing more than unfair hypocrisy. Pretty horrible to say on the one hand that it's all parents' fault, but let the carb industry (corn, candy, soda, etc.) basically control public health via lobbies.

    ReplyDelete
  5. It cracks me up when a doctor spouts off about controlling health care costs- except his own. Or, heaven forfend putting a stop to actual malpractice. Starting with no nutrition in med schools please.

    What cost-reduction measures would he do in his practice if he still had one, I wonder.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Petra4:13 AM

    Over here politicians are thinking aloud about iet and fitness bootcamps for teenagers, obligatory "nutritional training" in school (an underweight health official claiming she is too fat and that everybody should eat whole grain low-fat vegetarian), extra taxes on fatty foods, special health insurance fines for being overweight...

    So you can beat your children, abuse them, and everyone will look away, but if they are fat you are losing your kids? What about (genetical) discrimination? what about malnourished kids? what about FAT politicians... it is all so sick...

    ReplyDelete
  7. ethyl d11:44 AM

    So the same governments that advocate a low-fat high-carb diet (which causes obesity) plan to punish people and their children who get fat following government dietary recommendations to eat tons of carbohydrates and restrict protein and fat? The same government that heavily subsidizes the wheat, corn, and soy industries and then recommends a gazillion servings of grains daily as the basis of a healthful diet will then punish us for slavishly obeying the USDA food pyramid? What really frightens me if the government gets involved in punitive measures against the obese is they will tax foods such as butter or whole dairy or legislate restrictions on fat in food and make it even harder and more expensive for those of us who eat real foods to do so affordably.

    ReplyDelete
  8. What really frightens me if the government gets involved in punitive measures against the obese is they will tax foods such as butter or whole dairy or legislate restrictions on fat in food and make it even harder and more expensive for those of us who eat real foods to do so affordably.

    I don't think you're far off the mark, considering the NIH last year published a report on tackling the epidemic of childhood obesity that included the following:

    "Tough choices will have to be made at all levels of society. There will be trade-offs in convenience, cost, in what's 'easy', in pushing oneself and one's organization, in choosing between priorities, in devising laws and regulations, and in setting limits on individuals and industries."

    ReplyDelete
  9. What no one ever mentions when the topic of childhood obesity comes up, is how likely it is that these children are fat because of genetic damage.

    There is a lot of good solid research, much done at Rockefeller University showing that normal people are unable to get very fat. It is only when there is a genetic problem that people get fat and stay fat.

    The genetic damage is probably coming from high levels of pesticides in our water and food, toxic chemical sin our air and water, and plastics in our environment.

    But admitting that the environmental pollution is causing genetic damage that results in a huge increase in childhood obesity, would hurt the ability of the corporate polluters to make their profits.

    So let's just blame the parents instead.

    Eventually this genetic damage will lead to an "epidemic" of infertility, at which point, the problem starts taking care of itself.

    Meanwhile, though a lot of people are suffering.

    ReplyDelete
  10. "Tough choices will have to be made at all levels of society. There will be trade-offs in convenience, cost, in what's 'easy', in pushing oneself and one's organization, in choosing between priorities, in devising laws and regulations, and in setting limits on individuals and industries."

    Oh yea, government interfering to save us from ourselves!

    And meanwhile the AHA continues to promote highly processed foods as "healthy" and the ADA continues to say that sugar/starch isn't a cause of diabetes and there is no need to remove it or severely restrict it in the diet....even for diabetics.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am not very religious, but once in awhile I see something that I think is so profoundly wrong at core that I have to wonder if, somewhere and somehow, some genuinely "evil" intent is driving it.

    As if the psychological -- and resulting physical -- impacts of ripping a child from its parents is not a million times worse, holy shit, what are these morons thinking? Do they think? Is this the result of 'dumbing down' the educational system? Of raising people in such a screwed up culture they're dissociated? If someone sat around for years and tried to think up the worst possible "solution" for childhood obesity they could not improve on that one.

    The Prussian approach to parentage was the belief that all children should be raised by the state, for the state's convenience, though always billed as 'for the children'. Hillary Clinton's entire book on the subject is heavily based on theories our near ancestors fought wars to keep our people free of, and liberally quotes from the driving philosopher of that. This trend in the UK is only slightly ahead of the same trend in the US, which is likely to get a lot worse once the Dems win back the presidency next year (which seems inevitable, unless a candidate as lousy as the last one is presented).

    "Food politics" are starting to reach a rather frightening level. When they want to outlaw everything down to B vitamins, make a TON of poorly tested questionably necessary 'immunizations' required for babies and children (resulting in the staggering growth in autism and childhood severe RA, but don't even look into that subject unless you want to end up frothing)... add that to the issues with seeds and produce and it becomes a pretty scary world.

    Garden while you can. Raise your kids while you can. I sometimes wonder what our world is going to be like in 80 years, and then I realize I probably don't want to know. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I am not very religious, but once in awhile I see something that I think is so profoundly wrong at core that I have to wonder if, somewhere and somehow, some genuinely "evil" intent is driving it.

    Your comment is eerily timed - I'm still working on my follow up post on the recommendations, and was in the middle of adding a quotes from Bertrand Russell & Aldous Huxley:

    "In like manner, the scientific rulers will provide one kind of education for ordinary men and women, and another for those who are to become holders of scientific power. Ordinary men and women will be expected to be docile, industrious, punctual, thoughtless, and contented. Of these qualities, probably contentment will be considered the most important. In order to produce it, all the researches of psycho-analysis, behaviourism, and biochemistry will be brought into play.... All the boys and girls will learn from an early age to be what is called 'co-operative,' i.e., to do exactly what everybody is doing. Initiative will be discouraged in these children, and insubordination, without being punished, will be scientifically trained out of them." -BR

    "There will be in the next generation or so a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them but will rather enjoy it ... [through] brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods." -AH

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous4:44 PM

    Wow.

    I work with parents who are dealing with their kids being taken by the state, and they are typically 1. poor (the reason for the "neglect") and 2. frantic. I can picture a well-meaning but frantic parent whose child is on the border of obesity REALLY giving the child a complex about food

    ReplyDelete