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Journal of the American Medical Association: Put extremely obese kids in foster care

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Children who are extremely obese and in dangerously poor health should be placed in temporary foster care, a physician and a lawyer argue in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The commentary says foster care is more ethical than obesity surgery because long-term effects of the operation in children are unknown. The JAMA article was written by David Ludwig, an obesity doctor at Children’s Hospital Boston, and by lawyer Lindsey Murtagh, a researcher at Harvard’s School of Public Health.

Murtagh told the Associated Press that foster care may be needed to protect children suffering obesity-related health problems. The goal, Ludwig said, is to educate the family to allow for reunification.

Intervention helped in the case of a 12-year-old girl who weighed 400 pounds and whose parents had physical disabilities. After a year in foster care, she lost 130 pounds and her Type 2 diabetes disappeared. In another case, a 555-pound teen placed in the home of his mother’s sister lost 200 pounds in two years. 

CLICK HERE to see article



  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment jestrfyl

    Shall we do the same with bullies, slow learners, or nerds? This is simply foolish, lazy, and poorly thought through.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    What an absurd idea! Can’t the parents be “educated” while the child is still in their care? Surgery should be a last resort, IMO.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cknuck

    If they end up in some of the foster homes I was in they won’t be obese very long.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Henrietta22

    Is it better for a obese child to be pulled away from the love they have of each other, the mother and child, so he or she can lose weight, and also lose their relationship? The child is real, not a textbook paragraph in the AMA Journal. How is it that a family can be pulled apart in 2011, does the children belong to the state now?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    What is with this “new”format?

  • Rob Kerby, Senior Editor

    Looks pretty nice, eh?

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