Obesity

Should Fat Kid Be Taken From Parent?

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Via AOL News and from Jolly Olde Englande comes our libertarian ethics question of the day: Should an 8-year-old boy who tips the scales at 218 pounds (and god knows how many stones and kilos?) be taken away from his mother?

Some details:

Authorities are considering taking an 8-year-old boy who weighs 218 pounds into protective custody unless his mother improves his diet, officials said Monday. Social service officials will meet with family members Tuesday to discuss the health of Connor McCreaddie, who weighs more than three times the average for his age….

A spokeswoman for health officials in Wallsend, North Tyneside, 300 miles north of London, said the hearing was part of a process that could eventually lead to Connor being taken into protective care. She declined to comment further….

An unidentified health official was quoted as telling The Sunday Times that taking custody of Connor would be a last resort, but said the family had repeatedly failed to attend appointments with nurses, nutritionists and social workers.

"Child abuse is not just about hitting your children or sexually abusing them, it is also about neglect," the official was quoted as saying….

Connor's mother said he steals and hides food, frustrating her efforts to help him. He eats double or triple what a normal seven-year-old would have, she said.

Read the whole story here.

While I suspect that most Reason regulars will agree that the size your butt is not the government's business, at what exact tipping point does the size of a child's butt become same?

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  1. When it becomes so big it actually starts to spread over into the neighbors yard.

  2. You know, even if you accept that this is abuse, then what? State intervention? Ship the kid off to fat camp, degrade him because of his weight, force him to get in shape? And that is somehow going to be beneficial to the overall well-being of the child?

    State intervention should be reserved for worst case situations, because there is very little upside to the intervention relative to the destructive consequences of separating a parent from a child.

    And being 218 lbs is nowhere near a worst case situation.

  3. All the parent has to do is claim that she made an appointment with National Health and that they will be seeing the doctor then – which will be in about 6 years. Or do you move up to the head of the National Health queue if you’re abused?

  4. While I suspect that most Reason regulars will agree that the size your butt is not the government’s business, at what exact tipping point does the size of a child’s butt become same?

    I’d say it’s when the parents are actively force-feeding the child to make him overweight.

  5. “David | February 27, 2007, 11:29am | #
    While I suspect that most Reason regulars will agree that the size your butt is not the government’s business, at what exact tipping point does the size of a child’s butt become same?

    I’d say it’s when the parents are actively force-feeding the child to make him overweight.”

    why – is his foie gras especially tasty? kewl!

  6. HA! Great comments all! (thwap get over hear and clean this screen!)

    I’m with MP, it’s not enough to that the parent is bad, or even flagrantly bad (which does not appear to be the case here), the state has to show they would be better before I’d allow them to rip a child from the loving arms of their parents. That’s a high hurdle, and they’re not even close on this one.

  7. Moose,

    Probably not. Unless they’re cramming him full of figs with wine and honey.

  8. How about oral hygiene? Is the UK govt. prepared to separate children whose parents don’t get them proper dental care?

  9. “Ship the kid off to fat camp…?”

    Put him to work in a coal mine, and watch the pounds melt away. But then somebody would come along complaining about that.

    The ultimate enterprise of the nanny state is not a quest for solutions, it’s a quest for problems previously unnamed.

  10. Connor’s mother said he steals and hides food, frustrating her efforts to help him.

    I’m not necessarily siding with the state, but from a personal responsibility threshold, I’m calling bullshit. If he’s stealing and hiding food, punish him. If that doesn’t work, put a lock on the fridge and on the pantry. Sure it will be annoying to have to get a key every time you want a snack, but boo-fuckin-hoo.

    All the parent has to do is claim that she made an appointment with National Health and that they will be seeing the doctor then – which will be in about 6 years.

    Article says that they’d missed appointments with nurses, etc. At some point that crosses a line from just overfeeding the kid to refusing to get him medical treatment.

    If the kid’s got an eating disorder, or a hormone imbalance, then the parents need to get treatment. If he’s just a piggy-piggy lard-ass that eats and she finds her efforts to help ‘frustrated’ then she needs to make stronger efforts. Seriously, any parent that can’t get better control of the diet of a 7-year-old just isn’t trying.

  11. Tough cases make for bad precedents. I don’t think he should be taken away, but I wouldn’t be shocked if that bad precedent is set as a result of a bad mother who whines “I can’t stop him from stealing and hiding food.”

    And if anybody knows about this sort of thing it would be our famous “lunchstealer”. 🙂

  12. I eagerly await an “Extreme Home Makeover” show based on this…”super sized edition”.

    But, seriously, the parents are obviously not able to handle this kid on their own. So, either the government steps in, or they just sit back and watch him die. Which is the “lesser of two evils”?

  13. Gotcha, David. 🙂

    (you don’t think kidney pie and boiled tongue will give that special flavo(u)r?)

    Maybe if they fed him Girl Scout Cookies?

    Wait – that’d be reason to take him away from his folks.

    Actually, IMO they should take him away from his parents for such a fucking gawdawful first name.

  14. Maybe if they fed him Girl Scout Cookies?

    Maybe it they used Trefoils. Only the sickest deviant would want a chocolate mint pate.

  15. I’m not fat. I’m big boned.

  16. “But, seriously, the parents are obviously not able to handle this kid on their own. So, either the government steps in, or they just sit back and watch him die. Which is the “lesser of two evils”?”

    Wow Jimmy,
    That is a big leap there…

  17. Tough cases make for bad precedents.

    Truer words were never spoken.

  18. This seems to be a case where at least some level of state intervention is appropriate.

    It’s tough to imagine the state doing a worse job of raising the poor kid.

  19. But, seriously, the parents are obviously not able to handle this kid on their own. So, either the government steps in, or they just sit back and watch him die.Yeah, that happens all the time.

    Headline: Fat Kid Dies ‘Cause He Was Too Fat

    I think I saw that in the Weekly World News.

    As for adding these parents to the list of parents who have discipline issues with their kids…well, let’s just say that’s one frackin’ long list.

  20. “If I didn’t give him enough at teatime then he would just go on at us all night for snacks and stuff,” she told ITV. – Connor’s mother.

    So, this kid bugged them all night for snacks and stuff…and they willingly obliged instead of putting their foot down and saying no. Apparently, it’s not just about him stealing and hiding food.

  21. I’m with David on this one.

    I don’t think the government should intervene at all on this one unless the parents are force-feeding the kid and egging him on. Unless you are monitoring someone 24/7, it is impossible to control someone else’s diet. Even if he is obese, I’m sure he can live well into adulthood.

  22. The boy – and family – presumably now know his main claim to fame is being fat.

    This doesn’t sound good – but one wonders whether the family is now over-egging his symptoms:

    “At four times the average weight for his age, he has broken four beds and now sleeps on a mattress on the floor.

    “And he has not been to school for weeks – because he cannot manage the five minute walk without running out of breath or vomiting.”

  23. So, either the government steps in, or they just sit back and watch him die.

    In about thirty-five or forty years, over the course of which he’ll have many chances to try to slim down.

  24. Ok, show of hands: how many of us quietly laughed when Augustus Gloop fell into Willy Wonka’s river of chocolate?

  25. 15.57 stone.

  26. MP

    Headline: Fat Kid Dies, Government Blamed.

    You know that when this kid does finally croak there will be several people asking, “where were the authorities?” “Why did they allow this to happen?”

  27. Can I raise my hand if I both laughed loud, and was a little envious? mmmmmmmmmmmm, chocolate river.

  28. I just find it hard to believe that anyone’s getting fat on British food.

    While there is a case for neglect here, I don’t think it’s worthy of yanking the child from the home. The benefits of living with a healthier diet would overcome the damage of being pulled out of a loving home. Perhaps there’s some other measure of state coercion which could goad the parents into being a bit more responsible.

  29. It’s tough to imagine the state doing a worse job of raising the poor kid.

    Ah yes, juvie and orphanages, those bastions of acceptable parenting.

    Absent extreme abuse, the state should mind its own fucking business. Of course, since this is Britain we’re talking about, the concept of individual liberty is obviously irrelevant.

  30. I have no opinion.

  31. “smacky | February 27, 2007, 11:59am | #
    Ok, show of hands: how many of us quietly laughed when Augustus Gloop fell into Willy Wonka’s river of chocolate?”

    Second what David said.

    (my worry was that Augustus soiled himself when he fell in, thus getting Wonka Chocolate, GmbH yet another citation (to go along with violating illegal immigration laws) for environmental damage and health code violations!

  32. This doesn’t sound good – but one wonders whether the family is now over-egging his symptoms:

    “At four times the average weight for his age, he has broken four beds and now sleeps on a mattress on the floor.

    Good point, finding a bed that will support 218 pounds should be pretty easy.

  33. I meant “wouldn’t overcome.”

    Duh.


  34. Absent extreme abuse, the state should mind its own fucking business. Of course, since this is Britain we’re talking about, the concept of individual liberty is obviously irrelevant.

    This sounds like a case of extreme abuse to me.

  35. Good point, finding a bed that will support 218 pounds should be pretty easy

    Unless children’s furniture in the UK is made of balsa wood, I don’t see why the beds are breaking in the first place.

  36. David,

    So, in the meantime, this kid will be allowed to suffer not only the physical effects of being fat, but also the emotional effects that come along with it. He has trouble walking the 5 minutes to school! Do you really think he will live into his 40s in his current condition? 218 lbs…from the pics, at least 100lbs of that being nothing but fat. Eight years old, or seven…w/e. I’m sure his still young heart isn’t developed well enough to carry that load for very long. And, in the meantime, I’m sure the parents will need assistance covering all of the resulting medical bills from his obesity. What should the government do then? Tell them to fuck off??

  37. “Absent extreme abuse, the state should mind its own fucking business. Of course, since this is Britain we’re talking about, the concept of individual liberty is obviously irrelevant.”

    So extreme neglect is peachy keen, then?

  38. Just to clarify one thing: I don’t think the gov should take the kid away, but they definitely need to do something in the way of helping this kid. What’s a good compromise? I don’t know.

  39. andy,

    It’s not really “neglect”. The parents are enabling what the boy wants. It’s just another spoiled child, except this one likes to eat…a lot. Although I will grant you that they are neglecting to take him to a child psychologist or psychiatrist, on the condition of his willing abuse of food; but maybe they really don’t believe it’s a psychological problem.

    “Neglect” would be if they had no food in the house and the boy was starving, or came to school unwashed all the time.

  40. Jimmy,

    Based on nothing more that the anecdotal evidence of fat kids(two of three in this kids range) I grew up with still being alive, I’d say yes.

    Besides, you’re confusing the issue. I don’t think it’s a good think that the kid is obese, I just don’t think his being so constitutes abuse. At worst, it could be considered negligent parenting, but by that standard, so could a great many other things.

  41. This being the UK, why haven’t they come up with a solution that involves sticking an RFID chip up his ass and putting him under 24/7 video surveillance?

  42. 1) Do the orphanages in Britain still make kids walk on huge turning spindles ala the movie Oliver? If so, than maybe he does need to be moved to such a facility.

    2) If the government is so concerned about the enternal life of it’s constituants, why isn’t it forcing everyone to become Christians or Buddists, where there is actually a chance at an eternal life?

  43. MAAAAAAAAM!!!! AH NEED MAHR CHEEEZYPOOFS!

    Seriously, this does sound like the Cartmans, minus the whole slutty single mother thing.

  44. Also, I’d be willing to wager that this boy has a low IQ or is somewhat dimwitted. I would guess he might be emotionally stunted or something. Either way, absent sexual or physical abuse, there is probably something wrong with his neurological wiring. He should see a doctor, probably.

  45. This is extraordinary abuse of state power. First of all, the state’s ability to “help” children in even extreme cases of parental neglect is very limited. Just doing “something” is not enough. “Something” has to be better than staying with your neglectful parents. The outcome of foster care and other state-sponsored care is abysmal.
    certainly, every effort should be made to help him loose weight. But whether it works or not, breaking up the family because of childhood obesity is simply obscene.
    What would i suggest? I suggest they change pediatricians and find someone willing to work with them without salivating about “taking away the child”.
    218 pounds is unhealthy, but the panic over obesity is getting out of hand too…and I am an obesity doctor.

  46. How can anyone get that fat eating that awful British food?

    Anyway, on point, no the state shouldn’t intervene. I don’t care if Augustus Gloop here is so fat that the tide comes in every time he comes within 100 yards of the beach.

  47. Looks like Ma McCreaddie could stand to miss a few meals, too. Oh well, at least she’s not dressing Connor up as a tart.

    “Child abuse is not just about hitting your children or sexually abusing them, it is also about neglect,” the official was quoted as saying….

    So much for the official’s grasp of English. Both abuse and negligence are blameworthy, but we do still try to distinguish between intentional harmful acts and the harm failure to exercise a responsibility causes. Anyway, I’d say the McCreaddies’ best bet would be to move to Germany. Connor would still be a porker, but at least all those Cadbury chocholate bar vending machines in England would be replaced by beer vending machines. [Cue Barney belch sound effect here…]

  48. How about a live-in caretaker, i.e. a nanny?

    It was the suggestion about the “Extreme Makeover” show that made me think of that. If the parents can’t discipline the kid, find someone who can. In terms of cost it’s probably no big deal, and anyway they already have state-funded healthcare.

    Best case scenario, kid doesn’t get taken away from his parents, his health improves, the nanny gets a great resume builder and the British taxpayer is no worse off than before.

    Worst case scenario, working-class Brits start massively overfeeding their kids in order to get a state-funded nanny.

  49. It would seem that forceful government intervention might work. Actually having someone visit the family on a regular basis to check on the kid. Then if that didn’t work, they could remove him.

    I see little difference in this case and one in which a forty year old mentally retarded person were treated the same. If a court assigned a guardian to a retarded person who abused or neglected him, the court would think nothing of taking him away.

    The kid is 300% overweight. I’m 6’5″ and weigh a little more than this kid. I need to eat like 3600 calories a day with any activity at all. Lying is bed is 2400 calories. How the hell does this kid get that much food? It would be like if they let him get into a liquor cabinet, found him drunk, bought more liquor and didn’t lock up the cabinet. This is a butter beast, but not a butter beast who is legally responsible for himself.

    Let the government take him away if he can’t be helped in the home. Let his ham tears will flow. In the long run it will be better than dying at age fifteen.

  50. There are genetic conditions, such as Prader Willi syndrome, that cause abnormal appetite and obesity in young children. The boy should be examined for such conditions before the parents are condemned.
    http://www.obesidad.net/english2002/default.htm

  51. They should be taken from parents and put in the custody of Carl’s Jr.

  52. Let his ham tears will flow.

    This sentence is even funnier because of the grammatical errors. This is why I can’t quit H&R.

  53. “I don’t see why the beds are breaking in the first place.”

    Apparently he likes really rough sex.

  54. “Seriously, this does sound like the Cartmans, minus the whole slutty single mother thing.”

    Mom, you’d tell me if you in some German Scheisse videos, wouldn’t you?

  55. “de stijl | February 27, 2007, 12:27pm | #
    “I don’t see why the beds are breaking in the first place.”

    Apparently he likes really rough sex.”

    actually, you probably mean *tough* sex – what the hell kinds of positions would he need to be successful?? His gut probably protrudes further than his johnson, or his rod, or whatever it is in the parlance of today’s youths. like, would she use a pulley system?

    Actually, please don’t answer. I don’t even want to try to guess.

    How could he do it?

    d’oh!

    (p.s., Hi Smacky! Glad you can’t quit H&R! Maybe as of March Grylliade will be worth it again)

  56. “what the hell kinds of positions would he
    need to be successful?”

    VM,

    You’re assuming he’s a pitcher. maybe he’s a catcher.

    BTW, Go Twins!

  57. de Stijl:

    oh my! mercy!

    AL Central: GO TRIBE 🙂

  58. Go Devil Rays :s

    Now I hide my face in shame forever…

  59. VM,

    Sorry! Sometimes I just can’t help myself. I’m horrible.

  60. Second the “Go Tribe!”

  61. jimmydageek – nah – at least you’re not a fan of the… Pirates 🙂

    Although being a fan of the Deviled Eggs would be tough!

    de stijl: you’d better keep it up, tho! 🙂
    “Mom, you’d tell me if you in some German Scheisse videos, wouldn’t you?”

    “Mom! Kittie’s being a dildo”

    (are you in the Twin Cities?)

  62. I second what omar ali md said. (Except the part about being an obese doctor. I am neither a doctor nor obese. That kid weighs about 1.4 times what I do at 5’10” tall)

    Twins?
    Tribe?!
    Gimme a good goddamn break, you freakin’ losers!

    Let’s go, Go Go White Sox!

  63. VM,

    “Here, Kitty-kitty!”

    Minneapolis boy most of my life until 4 years ago when I moved to lovely Des Moines, IA. (50309 – Represent!)

    Go I-Cubs!

  64. The fat kid should just be mercilessly mocked by his peers until he stops being such a fatty.

  65. Serious question for the “Hands off Mommy’s ickle Diddykims!” among us:

    Why would the kid not eating to the point that he couldn’t make the five minute walk be a better case for state intervention than the kid eating to that same point? Assuming that the kid simply didn’t want to eat and they indulged him, the way they’ve indulged the child’s eating habits?

    Both, to my mind, are extremely bad for the heart and ultimately fatal. So why is one better than the other to your minds?

  66. Is there any particular reason one would want to let the stupid kids of stupid people grow old enough to reproduce by letting the state abuse them into shape in state custody?

    Oh right, there’s the whole thing about national healthcare where everyone else’s taxes go to pay for the medical expenses of fat people. Stop addressing these issues in a vacuum. If my tax dollars were being used to treat obesity in some kids, I want a say in how that kid is fed. I say ship him off to the thin farm.

  67. High#:

    WHITE SOX WHITE SOX GO-GO WHITE SOX
    LET’S GO GO-GO WHITE SOX
    WE’RE WITH YOU ALL THE WAY
    THEY’RE ALWAYS IN THERE FIGHTING
    AND YOU DO YOUR BEST
    WE’RE GLAD TO HAVE YOU OUT HERE
    IN THE MIDDLE WEST
    WE’RE GONNA ROOT ROOT ROOT ROOT WHITE SOX
    AND CHEER YOU OUT TO VICTORY
    WHEN WE’RE IN THE STANDS
    WE’LL MAKE THOSE RAFTERS RING
    ALL THROUGH THE SEASON
    YOU WILL HEAR US SING
    LET’S GO GO-GO WHITE SOX
    CHICAGO’S PROUD OF YOU
    WHITE SOX WHITE SOX GO-GO WHITE SOX
    ROOT ROOT ROOT FOR THE WHITE SOX
    WE’LL CHEER YO OUT TO VICTORY
    WHEN WE’RE IN THE STANDS
    WE’LL MAKE THOSE RAFTERS RING
    ALL THROUGH THE SEASON
    YOU WILL HEAR US SING
    LET’S GO GO-GO WHITE SOX
    CHICAGO’S PROUD OF YOU
    PLAY BALL!!!
    WHITE SOX WHITE SOX GO-GO WHITE SOX
    LET’S GO GO-GO WHITE SOX
    CHICAGO IS PROUD OF YOU

    (was really cool when they won. I grew up in Ohio and am a residual Indians fan, but am terribly disappointed in the fans when they booed Jim Thome. He should have been cheered and honored. Otherwise, I confess that the White Sox aren’t usually on my radar, unless they’re playing my least favorite team from my least favorite part of the country, the Redsux)

    Was raised a Cubbies fan, but strangely enough, St. Louis was always a second favorite – best fans in beisbol. That contradiction explains quite a lot, I think. 🙂

    Timothy: grin. Your compassion for young kids knows no bounds 🙂

  68. Timothy | February 27, 2007, 12:55pm | #
    The fat kid should just be mercilessly mocked by his peers until he stops being such a fatty.

    It’s all fun and games until he decides to sit on someone.

  69. metalgrid: Bah, like he could catch them. And, hey, the exercise of chasing his tormentors around could be good for the little porker.

  70. Sandy – excellent question!

    If the parents starve the kid –> fatal result.

    Poor monitoring of his diet –> long term complications, including increased potential for fatality from said complications.

    The former sounds to my ears like abuse, the latter sounds like rotten parenting that is heading down a bad road.

    Smacky (12:14) sums it up, as do the thoughts of others, too.

    High #:
    Sounds of the White Sox

    and

    lyrics and MP3 to “Go Go White Sox”

  71. Timothy: Don’t under-estimate the power of surprise. He could just ambush his peers in the boys room or the lunch hall.

    On the plus side, with his weight, his chances of a lifted, dunked swirly are greatly reduced.

  72. VM,
    I have that song on my iPod.
    Booing Thome was low class. I was proud that I was part of the standing O that Sox fans gave the Big Hurt last summer.
    I have a good friend who is a Cleveland fan. I don’t hold it against him. My wife is a lifelong Cubs fan. I still love her. I’ve been to Fenway. Red Sox fans are very welcoming (don’t cuss in the stands though). My boss is a Cards fan. He’s still a blast to work with. My next door neighbor is a Yankees fan from upstate New York. I’ve pondered slashing his tires. 😉

  73. There are genetic conditions, such as Prader Willi syndrome, that cause abnormal appetite and obesity in young children. The boy should be examined for such conditions before the parents are condemned.
    http://www.obesidad.net/english2002/default.htm

    But that’s actually part of the point. The parents have skipped medical appointments for the kid. If the kid were fat because he was sick and the parents were doing all they could to get him well so he could drop the weight, it wouldn’t be an issue. But they’re not even taking the kid to the doctor to see if there’s anything to be done, and they’re not controlling his food supply. They’re basically saying (if the article is accurately depicting the situation) “We tried asking him to eat less, what more do you want?”

  74. “He’s really at risk of dying by the time he’s 30,” Waine said.

    Can that fool name two living people under 30 that really aren’t at risk of dying?

    Make the kid walk the five minutes to school each day, can’t make it = “no soup for you!” Pretty soon the problem solves itself because once he is bedridden he won’t be “stealing and hiding” food. Oh, and earplugs are cheap.

    The most disturbing thing I find is that as of now the A-Oh-Hell poll shows almost half of despondents respondents would take the kid away.

    Do you think the boy should be taken into protective custody?
    Yes 47%
    No 33%
    Not sure 19%
    Total Votes: 130,602

  75. I second the “Who watches the AL?”

    As for you White Sox fans, it’s the Cubbies turn to be the stars of Chicago.

    Nick

  76. Screw it. Just give him some lipo.

    We’re gonna win, Twins
    We’re gonna score
    We’re gonna win Twins
    Watch that baseball soar
    We’re gonna win, Twins
    Give a hip-hoo-ray
    Cheer for the Minnesota Twins today

  77. “Booing Thome was low class.”
    Very. It was disappointing.

    Funny about Red S. experiences you had – we were at the Friday game at Comisky last summer against them, and the boston fans (with those fucking accents) were the rudest group I’ve ever seen at a baseball game. Spitting on South Siders – one girl swung at a guy, even! It made the acrimony between OSU and U of M seem mellow!

    (It was more unpleasant than sitting in Wrigley with a bunch of trixies who don’t know the game and talk on their phones the whole time)

    Apologies if this has been mentioned already – re: topic of parenting and neglect, abuse, and bad decisions: (when life imitates South Park)

    Mom Taught Children to Fake Retardation
    ——————–

    By Associated Press

    February 27, 2007, 2:32 AM CST

    TACOMA, Wash. — A woman admitted Monday that she coached her two children to
    fake retardation starting when they were 4 and 8 years old so she could collect
    Social Security benefits on their behalf.

    Rosie Costello, 46, admitted in U.S. District Court that she collected more than
    $280,000 in benefits, beginning in the mid-1980s. Most was from Social Security,
    but the state social services agency paid $53,000.

    Costello pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the government and Social
    Security fraud. Her son, Pete, 26, pleaded guilty earlier this month. Federal
    prosecutors in Seattle said Monday authorities had not yet located her daughter,
    Marie.

    According to the plea agreement, Costello began coaching her daughter at age 4,
    and later used the same ruse with her son. He feigned retardation into his
    mid-20s — picking at his face, slouching and appearing uncommunicative in
    meetings with Social Security officials.

    Social Security workers became suspicious and uncovered a video of Pete Costello
    ably contesting a traffic ticket in a Vancouver courtroom.

    Pete Costello is scheduled to be sentenced May 11 and faces from six months to a
    year in prison, as well as $59,000 in restitution.

    Rosie Costello is scheduled for sentencing May 17. Her standard sentencing range
    was not immediately available, but in the plea agreement she agreed to repay the
    government.
    Copyright (c) 2007, The Associated Press

  78. Actually if they keep him chronically underweight, VM, he may outlive all of us. Note I didn’t say starve him to death, but just to the point he’s weak and can’t walk for five minutes.

    If you can’t walk for five minutes, to my mind, you’re in need of some radical measures if you expect to live more than a couple of years. It really doesn’t matter which end of the scale’s you’re at, you’re in deep, deep doo-doo.

    I mean, he’s not getting to school at all. So it’s not like he’s showing up unwashed–he’s not showing up, period.

    I’m not sure evolution shouldn’t just take its course, but I’m not sure why this is less egregious than other forms of well-intentioned but ultimately fatal neglect.

  79. scales, not scale’s…violated my own pet peeve.

  80. When you put it that way, I see your point, Sandy. Of course, a lot of people on this blog would have you believe that an 8-year-old is entirely capable of making their own decisions about anything, and any adult who would try to interfere with their questionable judgements is just an officious scold.

    Anyway, I think it’s safe to say the parents are tards, and they’re not faking it, either.

  81. We had a cotton candy bush in the backyard when I was growing up. Every summer I would pick that bush clean of the sweet, red berries and my mother would yell and yell when she saw its stripped branches. I didn’t care that she yelled or that all my permanent teeth fell out and I became the only kid in fourth grade with dentures. My weight ballooned and I hit 300 pounds before I was 10 years old. My soft, pudgy fingers couldn’t use pencils, so I was allowed to bang out my vocabulary tests with a sawed-off broom handle and a special typewriter with keys the size of quarters. The children at school were merciless. They would hide things in the pendulous folds of my unfeeling fat. They would poke and prod and throw pudding. The teasing got to me one fateful day and I sat on one of my tormenters, Billy Krager. My bulk crushed Billy’s head like a fragile robin’s egg under the whirling blade of a lawnmower. I didn’t cry as Billy’s mother wailed and called me a monster, as the school nurse carefully tweezed pieces of Billy from my fleshy buttocks. Billy’s father was more pragmatic. He bent down, punched his wife in the crotch and ordered her to shut up and start ovulating.

    I miss being a kid.

  82. Substitute “his or her” for “their” in my previous post.

  83. “As for you White Sox fans, it’s the Cubbies turn to be the stars of Chicago.”

    Stars of Chicago? Maybe. Stars of the NL Central? Never! Go Cards!!!

  84. Um.

    Sugar – that was one of the most disgusting, fucking twisted things I’ve ever read.

    Beautiful. You hereby challenge Mr. Darkly for winning teh Intertubes today!

    You are honorary leader of the Happy Tree Friends, too (on my name)!

  85. Ha Ha. I laff at you Smacky, for you’re grammar are unpossibly bad.

  86. FinFangFoom,

    Aw, I was laughing with you, not at you, but if you want to laff at meh anyway that’s ok.

    And I second VM…that post was great, SugarFree.

  87. I know. Plus their isn’t incorrect when they’re are three kids in there.

  88. SugarFree,
    You’ve won my heart.
    ?

  89. Perhaps they should put all food sources five minutes walk away from him, and then move them out a little further every week.

  90. Someone fetch that boy a bucket. He must vomit.

  91. I advocate allowing any person to petition for custody of any child on the basis that the child’s parents are unfit. The state’s role would be limited to adjudicating the petition.

  92. VM, smacky, and highnumber,

    Thank you very much. After the “ham tears” item my absurd story switch got flipped.

    SF

  93. I guess they can TRY to seperate that boy from his mummy. If a 218 pound kid doesn’t want to move, he ain’t going nowhere.

  94. Mr. Nice Guy:

    after dinner mint?

    all your triglyceride belong to us.

    (DavidS: cool!)

  95. MNG,
    A friend of mine worked at a mental health facility for children for a time. There were quite a few obese kids there every bit as large as this kid.

    Indeed, the most common thing they had to deal with where they were concerned is their tendency to engage in “flopping”, basically, going limp and being too fat to move.

  96. The thing is, the Brits are assuming that having all that extra flab is a BAD thing. I can already think of a wide range of career choices for the lad:

    1) Cruise Liner Anchor
    2) Gym mat
    3) Temporary levee
    4) Stand-in for the Michillin Man, Pillsbury Dough-boy, etc
    5) Preventer of Continental Drift (the next enviro-craze)

  97. I mean, he’s not getting to school at all. So it’s not like he’s showing up unwashed–he’s not showing up, period.

    This is not to say that he NEVER gets to school, but he’s missing a lot of extra school due to his poor health.

  98. 1) Cruise Liner Anchor

    Well, he’d do better as one of those fenders they throw over the side to keep the ship from bumping into the dock. He couldn’t be an anchor, because fat floats. They could attach thermometers adn wind gauges and other instruments to him and anchor him in the English Channel as a weather buoy, though.

  99. Panic over.

    BBC reports that boy will remain with family.

    “In order to move this matter forward we have made a formal agreement with the family to safeguard and promote the child’s welfare.”

  100. Instead of taking him from his parents, I think we should just take him to a candy factory dump him in the chocolate river and let some little orange guys teach him a lesson about diet

  101. psst – coyote – Smacky already mentioned Augustus.

    lunchstealer:

    I’ll be going to the gym now, thank you very much. 🙂

  102. Mr. Nice Guy,

    I don’t deny the existence of micro-drift, but I have doubt about macro-drift theory. It’s just a theory. It’s not fact. There’s a growing movement among scientists to review the assumptions of so-called Drift Theory.

    There are holes in the theory… have you ever seen a transitional continent? Can the geological record prove drift? How can something as irreducibly complex as a continent form from “convection currents” in the “magma” under the Earth’s “crust?”

    And sublimation is obviously part of the homosexual agenda.

  103. So much for the left’s fetish for “diversity.” Now we’ve gotta make sure everybody looks the same, too.

    Seriously — can’t we go back to accepting that some people are just fat? When did it become an article of faith that a given person is overweight simply because he “eats too much”?

    I have been skinny my entire life. As in, too skinny. As in, probably unattractively so at certain points. And I eat more than anyone I know. I always have. I am 38 years old, and trust me — I’m never going to balloon up. It’s just not the way my body is built. Isn’t it possible that others have the opposite problem? More to the point: Can’t we just fucking leave people and their bodies alone?

  104. No man is an island.
    Except this kid.

  105. Sugar – just ignore MNG when it comes to drift. He’s a shill for Big Drift.

    Connor?
    As grown up

    for the Wonka Theme

  106. And sublimation is obviously part of the homosexual agenda.

    Subduction leads to orogeny, and we all know how God feels about that!

  107. Yes the state should take the kid away but it should not stop there. The government needs to forcibly sterilize the parents, and all parents like them, so they can’t put future offspring at risk!

  108. 99 kilograms (almost the ton!)

    Putting him in custody probably wouldn’t do much good, but the threat of it has forced his family to do something, which is good (in my opinion, although from a libertarian viewpoint this intervention is completely unjustified).

  109. I just find it hard to believe that anyone’s getting fat on British food.

    You’ve obviously never had a chocolate Hobnob. The Brits are masters of the high art (and sometimes low art — see Twiglets and Irn-Bru) of junky snacks.

  110. I could totally get fat if I ate the only palatable British food: fish & chips

  111. He’s getting fat because he’s capturing his peers and jamming them up into his folds of fat, slowly absorbing them like a venus flytrap or Freddy Krueger.

  112. Drift Deniers:

    You all are haters and should be locked up.

    Continental Drift is indeed a reality. As we speak, South America is swinging up and will ram us up the jacksi by 2015! FACT!

    “Oh, Mr. Nice Guy”, you may lament, “Even if this is true, Continental Drift is a natural geologic occurance and there is nothing we can do!”

    WRONG and WRONG!

    Continental Drift is DIRECTLY CAUSED BY HUMANS! And we can put a stop to it!

    For over a hundred years, humans have allowed high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) to slowly filter through the earth’s crust and into the delicate magma beneath. It’s a scientific fact that HFCS, when mixed with the precious magma, results in an extremely high viscosity that slides our plates towards DESTRUCTION.

    So if you have any shred of decency, stop consuming HFCS NOW!! Or at least purchase “Corn Credits” to offset your illicit consumption.

  113. Boy, the hostility and ridicule aimed at this kid is grisly to behold. I guess fat people are the niggers of the 21st Century. You’re all a bunch of assholes.

  114. Should an 8-year-old boy who tips the scales at 218 pounds (and god knows how many stones and kilos?) be taken away from his mother?

    1st, divide the 218 pounds by 2.2 and you will have the number of kilograms.

    Authorities are considering taking an 8-year-old boy who weighs 218 pounds into protective custody unless his mother improves his diet, officials said Monday.

    The State must be the father, then . . . Did the State impregnate the woman at some time?


    Social service officials will meet with family members Tuesday to discuss the health of Connor McCreaddie, who weighs more than three times the average for his age…

    Is it not so quaint that the State would care so much about the life of one boy when that same State sent troops to be butchered in Iraq? (And yes, I know the note is talking about an English boy. I am talking about the English State)

    A spokeswoman for health officials in Wallsend, North Tyneside, 300 miles north of London, said the hearing was part of a process that could eventually lead to Connor being taken into protective care. She declined to comment further…

    Which means the State is lying about wanting to discuss the health of the boy. It has already reached a decision to take him.

    An unidentified health official was quoted as telling The Sunday Times that taking custody of Connor would be a last resort, but said the family had repeatedly failed to attend appointments with nurses, nutritionists and social workers.

    “We would only do it as a last resort, but we already are way past that as far as Nanny State is concerned, so . . .”

    “Child abuse is not just about hitting your children or sexually abusing them, it is also about neglect,” the official was quoted as saying….

    No, of course not. Child abuse is whatever the State defines, as a matter of expediency.

    Connor’s mother said he steals and hides food, frustrating her efforts to help him. He eats double or triple what a normal seven-year-old would have, she said.

    The woman already conceded defeat. The State will always attack those that are the weakest and the most ignorant. A more intelligent person would simply say that the State is not the father of the child, and that bureaucrats should be minding their own business, but that is asking too much of a State-educated civilian.

  115. Boy, the hostility and ridicule aimed at this kid is grisly to behold. I guess fat people are the niggers of the 21st Century. You’re all a bunch of assholes.

    Gawd, shades of Santorum’s crying little girl.
    Nothing has been directed to this little boy’s attention. Some of us may seem insensitive, perhaps some of us are. None of us are getting in this little boy’s face and taunting him. None of us are threatening to take him away from his mommy. None of us are claiming that he should be forced to work as a slave. Well someone did suggest that he be forced to work in a coal mine, but I think they were jesting. None of us are suggesting that he be forced to ride at the back of the bus.
    I suggest that you are the hyper-sensitive ninny, and we are slightly detached observers having a wee bit of fun discussing this poor child who, for his own sake, needs for his parents and for himself to do something about his weight. Let him come and read these comments. I say that we have expressed here that we care more about the sanctity of his family than the British gov’t, and that outweighs (so to speak) the callousness that we express when we have a laugh at his expense.

  116. SeeingI cries Hamtears for the Butter-Child.

  117. Your hamtears are so yummy and sweet.

  118. I guess fat people are the niggers of the 21st Century

    Nope, niggers still are, but fat folks are gaining ground, metaphorically (they’re not very fast…being…you know, fat) with smokers still in the race. Come on you homosexuals, you’re just not trying any more!

  119. Damn work.

    lunchstealer: Subduction. I knew I blanked out on that. Crap.

    Seeingl: I can make fun of fat people all I want. I’m 1/15 fat guy on my mother’s side.

    Mr. Nice Guy: I don’t deny the existence of Drift, I just don’t know how forcing everyone to hold hands all the time is going to fix it. It’s creepy and my hands smell funny at the end of the day.

    Also, why has no one blamed the BBC yet… surely the kid is fat because of all of the junk food adverts he sees all day on TV, just like why kids are fat in America.

  120. The State must be the father, then . . . Did the State impregnate the woman at some time?

    Doubtful, the state generally prefers to fuck people in the ass.

  121. A case like this does challenge my libertarian instincts.

    He is seven. His parents have a duty to care for him, and that goes beyond not hitting him and not keeping him in a box, but also to things like making sure he goes to school and gets proper medical care. The state has decided that they have a right to ensure a minimum level of welfare for children. In this case, I think that the state is justified in intervention.

    I am 6’4 and have a 40′ waist, and Im about 224lb. This 218 lb 7 year old kid must clearly must qualify as serious obese. The mother’s story sounds like BS.

    I think that this is one case that the state could reasonably intervene, perhaps with a court ordering the mother to take the kid to the doctor, and submit to visits from the child welfare agencies. Taking the kid away would only be a last resort, but justified if there is no progress.

  122. If he weighed three times less than average, would anyone’s position on whether he should remain with mom change?

  123. It depends on why he was only a third of the average weight. Is his mother starving him? Is he refusing to eat? Is he vomiting up his food when his parents turn their backs? Does he have Crohn’s disease?

  124. This child is simply going to die. Look at his age and weight. If a government is going to get involved in cases of abuse or neglect, they need to be even handed. Which means in this case, the parents have lost their child for the short term (if they continue he will be dead no question.)

  125. David,

    Same sort of stuff that mummy said, but reversed.

    “We try giving him food, but he always says he’s not hungry. He hides his food so we think that he’s eaten it. I don’t know what else to do.”

    He’s so weak & undernourished that he can’t walk to school without fainting.

    Social workers / health workers schedule appointments that mummy blows off.

  126. Evinfuilt,
    Follow the link to the story. It has been updated. The mother has already struck some sort of deal to keep her son.

  127. This is a ridiculous story. Slacker, irresponsible parents are the kind you’ll find at http://www.slacker-moms-r-us.blogspot.com who are proud of it. Sad. Parents who are not afraid to be occasionally hated by their children will draw a harder line (and get a kick out of http://www.marksdailyapple.com/fuji). While I hate to diminish the word “abuse”, this kind of gross negligence and abandonment of adult reason (being a kid yourself, really) IS child abuse.

  128. de stijl,

    I think the immediate danger to the child’s health due to starvation changes the situation. As such, if the parents can prove that he is starving himself, he probably should still be sent away for treatment of whatever illness is causing him to do so.

    I’m not sure that obesity falls into the same immediate danger category.

  129. The bad news is that the kid will die young. The good news is that now we have someone to play the young Dudley Dursley.

  130. “Seriously, this does sound like the Cartmans…”

    No, no, no, Cartman was only NINETY pounds. 🙂

    “No man is an island. Except this kid.”

    I liked Bug-Eyed Earl opinion better: “No man is an island… but if you tie a few dead guys together, they make a pretty good raft”

    On a related note, may I suggest: http://www.fugly.net/g6/9m08.html

  131. Seriously — can’t we go back to accepting that some people are just fat? When did it become an article of faith that a given person is overweight simply because he “eats too much”?

    I second Tom’s comment (and I am also a skinny guy who eats A LOT). I suspect there’s a strong genetic component to this kid’s fatness.

  132. Continental Drift is DIRECTLY CAUSED BY HUMANS! And we can put a stop to it!

    Don’t worry Mr. Nice Guy, lunchstealer already has the answer!

    Well, he’d do better as one of those fenders they throw over the side to keep the ship from bumping into the dock.

    Who needs Dutch finger dikes?
    Hmm… sounds like a good name for a Girl Scout cookie.

  133. Your right to spread your butt ENDS where my nose begins.

  134. “I suspect there’s a strong genetic component to this kid’s fatness.”

    Just out of curiosity, what exactly is your evidence for this? It seems like it could just as plausibly be largely environmental.

    In my limited and subjective experience, overweight people want to put most/all of the blame on genes, and slimmer people want to put most/all of the blame on behavior. Overall it’s obviously some combination of both (and we don’t really know how much each contributes); in each specific case it’s very hard to tell.

  135. “Also, why has no one blamed the BBC yet… surely the kid is fat because of all of the junk food adverts he sees all day on TV, just like why kids are fat in America.”

    Perhaps no-one has blamed the BBC because the BBC doesn’t show adverts of any sort, junk food or otherwise.

  136. “Which means the State is lying about wanting to discuss the health of the boy. It has already reached a decision to take him.”

    Yes. That’s right. Apart from the fact that it has already been announced that the child won’t be taken from his parents.

  137. dhonigma,

    Ah, so close to my argument, but it slithered out of your grasp in the end.

  138. Connor McCreaddie has a genetic syndrome which causes him to be both abnormally tall as well as abnormally heavy. If you pay attention to his statistics stated in the story, you might notice that as well as being heavy, he is nearly a foot taller than an average child his age. There are plenty of diets that can cause someone to be overweight. There is no diet in the world that can cause a child to grow a foot taller than normal by age eight.
    How do I know that he has a genetic disorder and is not just a glutton? I have a child that is just a few months younger than him that could be his twin. Other than hair color, they look identical. He was born right at average length and weight, but by his two month check-up he was off the charts and has stayed that way.
    After taking him to numerous doctors who had no idea what was wrong with him, we finally ended up at the genetics department of Children’s Hospital of San Diego. The doctor ran many tests and concluded that he has a genetic disorder. Unfortunately, it is not a common enough disorder to have been named or studied, much less a cure or treatment to have been found.
    His mother and I been have been married and together all of his life, and have worked constantly on his weight issues all of his life to no avail.
    I cannot speak for Connor but my son has mild Autism and it is very difficult to change his habits. We have been working very hard to add foods to his diet, but have had very little success. He does dislike new foods, he is afraid of them.
    If you will notice from the story, Connor does not eat large amounts of sweets and treats, but large amounts of meats. This is not something that a self indulgent glutton does. His mother also states that he is constantly hungry. Again, this is not consistant with the glutton. Gluttons eat when they are bored or anxious, not when they are hungry. (This has been shown in scientific studies.) There are gluttons around who are overweight because of personal habits, but if you look carefully, Connor does not seem to be among them.

    Scincerely,
    Scintor

  139. Thanks for the insight, Mark McDonald/Scintor.
    Good luck to you and your family.

  140. BAD BOY YOU SHUDNT EAT SO MUCH XD

  141. what next! hitlars youth?

  142. the fact that they have split the kids up is terrible. They intentionally do that as a ‘divide and conquer’ technique.

  143. Very informative and useful, loved this fat kid article. Thanks, also you can visit Best Fat Burner Reviews here

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