So I wake up this morning to an e-mail from long-time Shapeling Buffpuff, with a link to this story. Scottish Social Services have threatened to remove six children, ages 21 months to 12, from their parents’ home, unless the kids lose weight within three months. To “safeguard their welfare.”
‘Cause, you know, nothing says “safeguarding welfare” like taking children out of a loving home.
Buffpuff on the U.K. media response:
Needless to say I woke up this morning to a tirade of holier than thou anti-fat rhetoric radio presenters and listeners alike. All the clichés were present from donut-scarfing to emotional eating to “where’s-their-sense-of-personal-responsibility?!”
The Mirror helpfully offers a taste of that with a point-counterpoint feature about whether this is a good idea or not. Representing the “Great idea!” camp is Tam Fry, Chairman of the Child Growth Foundation, who I can only assume is the U.K.’s answer to MeMe Roth.
In 99 per cent of cases, obesity is so avoidable. Letting a child get so fat is a form of abuse as there’s a possibility they could die before their parents.
It’s important they are taken out of their homes and put under 24-hour surveillance from doctors and nurses.
We have no hesitation in removing a severely undernourished child from their home. We should be as concerned when they are seriously overweight.
The blame is not always entirely the parents. In this case, where were the health professionals to intervene early?
Going into care is a last resort. But if your kid is obese, do something. Apart from the name-calling they will suffer, do you want a death on your hands?
Where to begin?
It’s “so avoidable” in 99% of cases? Um, [CITATION NEEDED.]
Fat children could die before their parents? Well, yeah, so could anybody. But the people who screech about how THE OBESITY EPIDEMIC BOOGA BOOGA BOOGA will inevitably result in a generation of parents outliving their children still have no goddamned answer when you point out that life expectancy continues to increase. And it did so while obesity rates were rising (which, psst, they aren’t anymore, at least in the U.S.). Not to mention, both of the parents in question here are fat; if you believe obesity is deadly, how the hell do you figure it’s going to kill their kids before them?
And “letting” your children get fat — as if it’s something all parents can easily control — is “child abuse” tantamount to starving them? They should be under 24-hour surveillance? People can seriously say this shit with a straight face?
Speaking of which, what happens when parents are forced to “do something” about their fat kids (since we all know the thought would never have occurred to them before Social Services stepped in)? Well, when one of those kids is an 11-year-old girl threatened with losing her parents unless she loses weight, take a wild fucking guess.
[The mother] fears the girl, 11, may develop an eating disorder as she now shuns proper meals…
Way to safeguard those kids’ welfare, there, folks. A girl who’s too terrorized to eat is way better off than a fat girl. Keep up the good work, you despicable assholes.
Oh, and hey, let’s not forget this part:
The Dundee family came to the attention of social services when they asked for help in caring for the kids, including the girl, three, who has developmental problems.
Let that be a lesson to you, parents: Don’t ever ask for the help you need with your kids. Jesus.