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Should Parents of Obese Children Be Charged for Neglect?

Are parents responsible for keeping their kids skinny? While parents can be charged for neglect if they don’t provide adequate treatment for chronic illnesses, such as asthma, diabetes, and epilepsy, a new article in the British Medical Journal suggests that obesity should be added to that list.

“We suggest that childhood obesity becomes a child protection concern when parents behave in a way that actively promotes treatment failure in a child who is at serious risk from obesity and when the parents or carers understand what is required, and are helped to engage with the treatment programme.” (“Programme” because they’re Brits!)

The researchers suggest that parents with obese children should be separated, but it seems unlikely to me that that would help fight obesity. Already, one out of three children in care programs are obese or overweight.

While nothing like that is being proposed in the States, it does raise an interesting hypothetical situation. Should parents be held legally accountable for their children’s obesity?

From The Guardian.