UK:Fat kids taken away from parents

Countdown until the nanny-state lovers show up to say they think this is a wonderful idea: 10-9-8-7-6-

By Kevin Widdop

THREE children have been taken away from their parents and put into council care because they are TOO FAT, the News of the World can reveal.

Experts said they were dangerously overweight for their age and feared for their long-term health.


And social workers argued their parents were guilty of NEGLECT because they were unable or unwilling to help their kids to lose weight.

But the three cases may be just the tip of an iceberg because local authorities do not always list obesity as the reason children are taken into care. They are lumped in with figures for abuse and neglect.

The plight of the three overweight children was revealed after we made a request under the Freedom of Information Act. It follows the storm over Connor McCreaddie, eight, who was nearly taken into care earlier this year when he reached a staggering 14 stone.

After an outcry, Connor, from Wallsend, near Newcastle upon Tyne, was allowed to stay at home with mum Nicola.

But in the first six months of this year, social workers in Tower Hamlets, London, and Lincolnshire, DID take youngsters into care because of "issues relating to obesity".


And in July, an eight-year-old girl was taken away from her parents by Cumbria County Council and made a ward of court because she was too fat.

Her mum, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said last night: "Our world has fallen apart. I'd do anything to get her back.

"Our daughter doesn't overeat. She has always been chubby but she's always out playing with other kids. The only bad thing we've given her is fizzy drinks."

Lambeth Council in London also revealed that it had placed a child on the "at risk register"

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Isn't "News of the World" basically one of the UK equivalents to the National Enquirer and other tabloids? (Or am I getting confused with another publication?)

Anyhow, a few years back in Jackson, Michigan a woman had her son at least temporarily taken away from him due to his obesity. I'll have to see if I can find a link. Here's the details I can recall from the story:

The kid was about 4 years old and weighed somewhere around 150 pounds. He was in the hospital due to medical complications, and the medical people were strictly regulating what he could eat. The mother was busted sneaking the kid McDonald's meals in the hospital.

Found a link to the story I was thinking of. My recollection of a few details was a little off...sorry - I have a good memory, but not enough to accurately recall all the details of a news article from 2002!

Anyhow, here's a link to an archived post of the article, if you want to read it.

Basically, mom has obese child (3 years old, 120 pounds). Mom says its not her fault - she feeds the kid properly. Kid is put into foster care and loses 50 pounds in 9 months. Mom smuggles McDonald's as a "snack" to him on supervised visits and gets reprimanded by a judge.

Okay - I lied. I did just find some follow up info.

From 2004 - a news article from which I get the impression that the mom's parental rights got terminated. (Apparently she appealed the ruling and the appeals court agreed with the judges actions.) I'm posting the story and not the actual link b/c the site I found it on had a bunch of annoying graphics, pop-ups, and sounds - didn't want to subject everyone here to that!)

Court upholds judge's ruling

Thursday, March 18, 2004

By Steven Hepker
Staff Writer

The Michigan Court of Appeals acted swiftly in siding with a Jackson County
judge who terminated parental rights to a morbidly obese boy.

The court issued its opinion Tuesday, one week after receiving the case.

It ruled Probate Judge Susan Vandercook "did not clearly err" in severing
the parental rights of Amanda Redman and Jason Ostrander to Jerad
Ostrander, who weighed 120 pounds at age 3.

Vandercook also cut Redman's parental rights to her infant daughter, Tesha,
born a year ago.

"Moreover, the evidence did not show that termination of respondent
Redman's parental rights was clearly not in the best interests of Tesha,"
the upper court concluded.

The Family Independent Agency removed Jerad from Redman in 2001, and
Circuit Judge Chad Schmucker placed the boy in foster care that October.

Case workers said Redman overfed the boy and refused to take responsibility
for his weight and his poor health. He was too fat to walk and suffered
lice, scabies and other ailments the FIA blamed on Redman.

She angered the judge and caseworkers when she fed the boy fast food during
supervised visits with him. Pleading her case on the "Dr. Phil" show, too,
did not endear her to local officials.

Redman was 15 when she got pregnant with Jerad and dropped out of school.
She became pregnant again, by another man, during her fight to regain
custody of the boy. She gave birth to Tesha in February 2003, and
Vandercook immediately ordered the infant removed to a foster home.

Officials said Jerad lost considerable weight away from his mother and is a
healthy 5-year-old boy.

Both children will be adopted -- likely by the foster parents -- after
Redman and Ostrander exhaust their appeals.

Vandercook severed parental rights of Tesha's father, and he has not

-- Reach reporter Steven Hepker at 768-4923 or

if it's a tabloid or not, but this is REALLY becoming a big deal in England. The case you mentioned, yeah, that mother needs horsewhipped, but my point is, where do you deaw the line? I myself was grossly overweight as a child, and stayed that way until the seventh geade-at which time I had a huge growth spurt and got as skinny as a rail. And I just had a normal diet. Back then, even though we ate lard and butter and all that, there were very few artificial things like steroids, preservatives, coloring, etc; so I'd be inclined to think my diet was healthier than todays, no explanation. But I could have been taken from my mother by the government under this type of big brother scenario. Who would decide?



"They keep talking about drafting a constitution for Iraq.Why don't we give them ours? It was written by a lot of really smart guys, and we're not using it any more".


'I used to have compassion, but they taxed it and legislated it out of existence.'


OK,I agree she's a nut,now see my post above.



"They keep talking about drafting a constitution for Iraq.Why don't we give them ours? It was written by a lot of really smart guys, and we're not using it any more".


'I used to have compassion, but they taxed it and legislated it out of existence.'

I agree that it doesn't seem like a good idea to have as a widespread policy.

Sure, there are very extreme situations like the one in the story I linked. That kid probably would have been dead of a heart attack by the age of 10 at the rate he was going. Couldn't find any follow-up stories - kid would probably be 8-9 years old now, wonder if he ever ended up back with his mom?

Its one thing to take a kid away when his health is obviously at risk like in that situation. But I can't even begin to imagine how they could approach taking fat kids out of the home a widespread public policy???

Besides, aren't there shortages of suitable foster homes out there? What happens when you start taking these kids out of the home and don't have anywhere to put them?

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