Harvard doctors: parents of obese kids should lose custody

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overweight child

According to a team of Harvard researchers, the next step in preventing childhood obesity should be removing obese children from the custody of their parents, and placing them into foster care. "Despite the discomfort posed by state intervention, it may sometimes be necessary to protect a child," said one researcher, citing the success story of a child who, after being placed in a home where she received three square meals a day and exercised moderately, lost 130 pounds. Another researcher qualified the statement a bit, explaining that the practice would "ideally will support not just the child but the whole family, with the goal of reuniting child and family as soon as possible."

Naturally, not everyone is all that enthusiastic about this idea, and one University of Pennsylvania bioethicist wrote, "The only basis for compelling medical treatment against a parent’s wishes are if a child is at imminent risk of death — meaning days or hours — and a proven cure exists for what threatens to kill them. […] Before we start grabbing porky youths out of their homes and sending them off to government fat camps, might we try to change our food culture?"

Hmm. While the sentiments behind this idea make some sense, the actual logistics of implementing it would be so problem-riddled and morally fraught that it's pretty hard to get behind even theoretically. Essentially, I'm only okay with this if I can somehow be guaranteed that all such children would be released into the custody of Beyonce, a further extension of her completely awesome work on Michelle Obama's "Move Your Body" campaign. I assume it would look something like this: