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Is childhood obesity child abuse or society abuse?

Posted on Aug 05, 2009 by Maggie LaBarbera

There has been a lot in the news lately about the child who reached 555 pounds. The mother was charged with child neglect. Now a debate is underway whether she can be charged with child abuse.

A child doesn't go from 90 pounds to 555 pounds overnight, not even over a year. This is a weight gain that was happening over years.

I feel for the child and for the family. I ask myself:

  • Did the child see a pediatrician?
  • What kind of help was she was provided to change lifestyles?
  • What about the school? They certainly must have been seeing this child grow to an obviously, unhealthy state.
  • What kind of nutrition program was the child getting in school?
  • Was the child getting regular exercise in school?
  • If the mother seeked help, would the insurance company pay for individual and family nutrition counseling?
How could this happen? Obviously this is an extreme case and it is just way to easy to point the finger at the mother. But it seems to me that our system failed this child all around.

What do you think?

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