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News & Press: Child Nutrition

County places obese Cleveland Heights child in foster care

Saturday, November 26, 2011  
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CLEVELAND, Ohio -- An 8-year-old Cleveland Heights boy was taken from his family and placed in foster care last month after county case workers said his mother wasn't doing enough to control his weight. At more than 200 pounds, the third-grader is considered severely obese and at risk for developing such diseases as diabetes and hypertension.

But even though the state health department estimates more than 12 percent of third-graders statewide are severely obese -- that could mean 1,380 in Cuyahoga County alone -- this is the first time anyone in the county or the state can recall a child being taken from a parent for a strictly weight-related issue.

The case plays into an emerging national debate that has some urging social-service agencies to step in when parents have failed to address a weight problem.

Others suggest there's hypocrisy in a government that would advocate taking children away for being overweight while saying it's OK to advertise unhealthy food and put toys in fast-food kids' meals.

Read the Cleveland News Article.


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