Sorry Kids, You’re Overweight – So We’re Putting You Up For Adoption

By  | 

Authorities in the UK have threatened to remove four children from their parents’ home and put them up for adoption or in foster care. Why? Because the children are overweight.

The Telegraph reports that the unnamed couple has seven children, six of whom are overweight. Three years ago, social services warned them that their children would be taken away from them if they did not bring their weight under control. According to the article, the family lived in a council-funded house for two years, where they were placed under constant supervision. Social workers observed them during meal times and found that no dietary rules were imposed. Needless to say, there was little improvement in the children’s weight.

Now four of the children – three girls aged 11, five and one, and a boy aged five – are under threat of adoption or “foster without contact,” which means that the parents would be unable to trace them. (For the record, the couple are not guilty of any crime, including deliberate abuse or cruelty, as the article points out.)

I had to read this article more than once just to be sure I wasn’t missing anything. Because the idea of a family being broken up like this is incomprehensible. We all know that obesity is a huge problem right now; in fact, one new study predicts that half of all adults will be obese by 2030. There are clearly major repercussions to this trend, and few people would argue the benefits of teaching children about nutrition and the importance of physical health. But there’s only so much that “authorities” can do, and removing children from their parents’ care seems like an extreme move – and a major breach of human rights.

A Dundee City Council spokesperson told The Telegraph, “The council always acts in the best interests of children, with their welfare and safety in mind.” But, in this instance, I’m just not buying it. I wish I knew of a better alternative – an obvious one would be to educate this family about proper nutrition and exercise – but even if that proved ineffective, I highly doubt that splitting up a family and removing helpless children from their parents (and siblings) would be in their best interest.

(Photo: Digital Vision)