Neil Katz talks about a group of scientists who advocate putting obese children in foster care. Does that mean somebody visits homes, weighs the kids, compares them to some government guideline, and takes away the kids who fail? That would seem rigid and insane.
There are a lot of parents out there with bad lifestyles, bad life skills, bad economic prospects and bad personal values. A lot of them have custody over kids. There’s an idea in America that everyone has the right to be parents. I think these are problems, and they should be solved before we treat parents offering milk duds like parents offering meth.
If foster care isn’t good enough to take all the kids who need to be taken, then we should make fixing it a most urgent priority. Don’t fight inequality for 60-year-olds and ignore inequality for six-year-olds. And when we do start putting kids in foster care for their own welfare, we should consider all areas of child health, including nutrition and exercise.
But, we have to keep it in perspective. Some kids are born heavy, some are going through awkward years, and a lot of kids like a satisfying combination of sports and sugar. Only the extreme cases warrant extreme action. We shouldn’t just lock up the fat kids, and we should realize that a large part of this is fad thinking.