Three Children Go Into Care Because They Are Too Fat

Three children have been removed from their parents and taken into care because they are too fat, it has emerged.

The youngsters were separated from their families because of fears that their weight was getting out of control.

The issue was first highlighted this year when Cumbria Council revealed it had taken an eight-year-old girl from her parents because she was overweight.

The council was forced to take action after the child’s weight soared to more than nine stones, forcing her to wear size 16 clothes.

A Freedom of Information survey of councils has revealed two children have been taken into care by Tower Hamlets Council in London and Lincolnshire Council after concerns about their weight.

Doctors and health professionals argue that obesity – which can cause heart disease, liver conditions, diabetes and respiratory illness – is as much a threat to children’s health as malnutrition.

Dr Colin Waine, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, said: “Taking children into care for this reason should never be necessary.

“What we should be doing is monitoring children from birth so we can detect any deviations from the norm at an early stage and action can be taken.

“We should be able to work with families to prevent a weight deviation becoming a severe condition, like the child becoming obese.

“But if the parents refuse to collaborate and the child becomes obese, I consider that a form of child abuse and taking them into care may be the last resort.”

At the British Medical Association’s conference in June, doctors put forward a motion calling for the parents of obese children under 12 to be targeted under child protection laws.

Although the move was rejected, many doctors still believe steps should be taken to curb the UK’s obesity epidemic.

Dr Matthew Capehorn, a GP from Rotherham, South Yorkshire-said: “If you are faced with a child who is severely undernourished alarm bells would be ringing.

“But the same approach is not taken when faced by a child who is obese.

“Having a child who is overweight poses as much of a danger to their health as a child who is suffering malnutrition, arguably, even more risk.”

British children are among the most overweight in the world, with around one million obese children under 16.

It is thought as many as one fifth of boys and one third of girls will be obese by 2020.