The food police, as it were, are on the case.
Cops in the UK arrested a mom and dad of a 11-year-old boy who weighed 210 pounds.
The parents were charged with suspicion of neglect and child cruelty. Teachers, social workers, and doctors (who had previously treated the youngster) apparently alerted authorities about the child’s obesity. At five-foot one, the pre-teen was determined to have a body mass index (BMI) of 41.8, which is classified as very overweight. The British Health Service considers a BMI of 30 and above to be obese. According to UK authorities, nearly 30 percent of kids in Britain are obese.
The parents were later released on bail and subsequently reached an agreement to make changes to improve the boy’s health including a strict diet.
A police spokesman, SkyNews reports, said, “While it is inappropriate to comment on this case specifically, it is important to stress that intervention at this level is very rare and will only occur where other attempts to protect the child have been unsuccessful.”
According to the boy’s mother, “The idea they could take away my son scares me so much. His weight isn’t that much of a big deal. I’m chubby and the whole of my husband’s side of the family is big. It’s genetics — you can be genetically fat.”
His dad added, “He’s always been big. He was born with shovels for hands and spades for feet. Everyone on my side of the family is big, there’s nothing we can do about it. I only eat occasional kebabs. Our son’s favorite snack is steamed broccoli — and he’s still big.”
Medical Daily pushed back on the genetic connection. The site explained, “Prevention is the key, and healthy lifestyle habits including eating nutritiously balanced meals and participating in physical activity significantly lower the risk of a child becoming obese regardless of the genetic susceptibility from their parents.”
Obesity is a worldwide epidemic across all age groups. In the US alone, obesity afflicts about 35 percent of adult Americans and 17 percent of children according to the US Centers for Disease Control. The associated healthcare costs have increased to an estimated $190 billion annually because obesity increases the risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other serious illnesses. A recent study predicted that more than half of the people living in 39 states will be obese by 2030.
Do you think that childhood obesity justifies police intervention?
[image via Shutterstock]