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Childhood Obesity Deemed Child Abuse

Posted by on May. 24, 2010 at 8:27 AM
  • 56 Replies

 

what do you think?

 Jerri Gray was doing all she could to help her son lose weight, her attorney says. But something had gone terribly wrong for the boy to hit the 555-pound mark by age 14.

Authorities in South Carolina say that what went wrong was Gray's care and feeding of her son, Alexander Draper. Gray, 49, of Travelers Rest, S.C., was arrested in June and charged with criminal neglect. Alexander is now in foster care.The case has attracted national attention. With childhood obesity on the rise across the USA.  Gray's attorney says it could open the door to more criminal action against parents whose children have become dangerously overweight.

"If she's found guilty on those criminal charges, you have set a precedent that opens Pandora's box," Grant Varner says. "Where do you go next?" In all of those cases, except the one in California, courts expanded their state's legal definition of medical neglect to include morbid obesity and ruled that the children were victims of neglect, the report says. Criminal charges were filed only in the California and Indiana cases, but the parents weren't sentenced to jail time in either

What the court can order

The New York case in 2007 involved an adolescent girl who weighed 261 pounds, the report says. The court ordered nutritional counseling, cooking classes and gym workouts.

Criminal charges should be a last resort, says Linda Spears, vice president of policy and public affairs for the Child Welfare League of America.

"I think I would draw the line at a place where there are serious health consequences for the child and efforts to work with the family have repeatedly failed," she says.

What's more often needed is a structured plan of action that's accountable to a court, she says.

Most of the time, the health problems tied to childhood obesity don't become chronic until adulthood, which makes it difficult to charge parents with child abuse, Spears says.

In the South Carolina case, Gray followed nutritional guidelines set for her son by the state Department of Social Services, Varner says, but Alexander apparently got other food on his own while not under his mother's supervision.

The boy has been placed in foster care, and Varner says he hasn't been allowed to speak to him. Gray has signed an agreement with a film documentary company for exclusive rights to her story and couldn't comment for this article, Varner says.

"There's a strong likelihood that this kid is going to school and could eat whatever he wanted to at school, because you've got friends who will help him buy food or will give him their leftovers," Varner says. "The big question is: What is this kid doing when he's not in Mom's care, custody and control?"

here is a link on it, if  you want to read more. http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.viewcustom&friendId=59791227&blogId=501645569&swapped=true

by on May. 24, 2010 at 8:27 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Kim3787
by on May. 24, 2010 at 8:30 AM

I have no volume at work on my computer but just the topic gets me going. YES, I think if you contribute to your child's obesity (meaning it's not a medical condition causing it) than that should be considered child abuse.

Dzyre1115
by Desiree` on May. 24, 2010 at 8:34 AM

What is the mother supposed to do if he is eating at school and while she is at work???  The child that I have that is overweight, by 10lbs or so, gets all of her access to undesirable food at school and at friends houses.   There is not a whole lot I can do except keep her active and watch her when I can without her knowledge.

laranadtony
by Emerald Member on May. 24, 2010 at 8:35 AM

I agree with that.My neighbor has a daughter who is now 22 but disabled.This girl is beautiful.She weighs about 400 pounds though.She has been told she has ttype2 diabetes,high blood pressure,edema and PCOS.I have tried to talk to my neighbor about letting the girl walk with me(I am on the 10,000 steps a day program)and she refuses.My husband is about to be out of town working so I asked if we could pay the girl to be here with me at night.She won't let her.I was attempting to teach the girl new ways to eat.She eats a box of pop tarts for breakfast.She will eat a couple of boxes of little debbie snack cakes a day.Her mother buys these things knowing this girl needs to lose weight.I am glad someone is taking steps to make someone responsible.

Kim3787
by on May. 24, 2010 at 8:36 AM


Quoting Dzyre1115:

What is the mother supposed to do if he is eating at school and while she is at work???  The child that I have that is overweight, by 10lbs or so, gets all of her access to undesirable food at school and at friends houses.   There is not a whole lot I can do except keep her active and watch her when I can without her knowledge.

How about teaching her about making healthy choices with food from a young age?

Lilypie - (FU7B)


Lilypie - (bldt)


 

TwistofCain
by on May. 24, 2010 at 8:37 AM

What about grown people who weigh that much?

mbaker331
by on May. 24, 2010 at 8:37 AM

alot of childhood obesity if not caused by a medical condition, is because of what the parent allows or has taught their child to eat.  i also blame the school districts for what they think is healthy to feed children,  Jamie olivers food revolution kind of drives that home its on hulu.  but the parent has the resposiblity to teach their child what is a healthy quantity to eat and the difference between wanting to eat and needing to eat.

Dzyre1115
by Desiree` on May. 24, 2010 at 8:37 AM

They all were raised by the same parents in the same house, she has a tooth for junk, it has nothing to do with what she was taught.  The other two make better choices.

Quoting Kim3787:

 

Quoting Dzyre1115:

What is the mother supposed to do if he is eating at school and while she is at work???  The child that I have that is overweight, by 10lbs or so, gets all of her access to undesirable food at school and at friends houses.   There is not a whole lot I can do except keep her active and watch her when I can without her knowledge.

How about teaching her about making healthy choices with food from a young age?


laranadtony
by Emerald Member on May. 24, 2010 at 8:37 AM


Quoting Dzyre1115:

What is the mother supposed to do if he is eating at school and while she is at work???  The child that I have that is overweight, by 10lbs or so, gets all of her access to undesirable food at school and at friends houses.   There is not a whole lot I can do except keep her active and watch her when I can without her knowledge.


Ok.I will give you that and it is a good point.But you are talking about 10 pounds overweight as opposed to 100 pounds overweight.

We should be in awe at the gift of having children rather than obsessed by our rights as a mother!

AngelicaRenee
by on May. 24, 2010 at 8:38 AM

Agree. For a perfectly healthy child, there is no reason they should be so overweight. the parents are the ones buying the food they are eating. The parents are the ones supplying the games and tv that are watching/playing instead of doing something physical.

When I was little I remember watching VERY little tv. we were always outside running around. From the time we woke up until it was getting dark. Also getting fast food was a rare treat for us too.

I can't watch the video right now but it's sad to me when I see kids so young who are so much bigger than I am. It's not right. I understand that a few of them (very few) actually have a legitamate medical problem causing the weight gain, but after knowing a few very over weight kids and seeing what they eat, and how little they play it's no mystery why they are that way.

Quoting Kim3787:

I have no volume at work on my computer but just the topic gets me going. YES, I think if you contribute to your child's obesity (meaning it's not a medical condition causing it) than that should be considered child abuse.


laranadtony
by Emerald Member on May. 24, 2010 at 8:40 AM


Quoting mbaker331:

alot of childhood obesity if not caused by a medical condition, is because of what the parent allows or has taught their child to eat.  i also blame the school districts for what they think is healthy to feed children,  Jamie olivers food revolution kind of drives that home its on hulu.  but the parent has the resposiblity to teach their child what is a healthy quantity to eat and the difference between wanting to eat and needing to eat.

Wow!I cannot believe how many of you moms make such good points.And you are right,if you teach them early on what is good and what is not ,they will lean toward what is healthy but you will have strayers but it won't be to bad ,like the PP's son is overweight by 10 pounds.That is not that bad.

We should be in awe at the gift of having children rather than obsessed by our rights as a mother!

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