|  PARENTING CHAOS HOME  |    |

Your Children Must Lose Weight or We Put Them in Care

The parents of six children have been told they have to change their lifestyle to enable the children to lose weight or they will be taken away from them and put in care.

The mother and father who have not been named to protect the identity of the family have been given three months to see a significant improvement or they could risk losing all their children.

Their 12 year old son carries a weight of sixteen stone. One of his sisters’ aged 11 weighs twelve stone and the other aged 3 weighs four stone.

The couple’s 21 month old toddler with a weight of 26lbs has raised concerns with social workers who have labelled him ‘overweight’.

The 39 year old mother of the children who herself weighs 23 stone said “This is every family’s worst nightmare”.

She said in an emotional interview that she and her 52-year-old husband who has a heart condition were now living in fear.

She admitted: "They keep making an issue about the kids' weight. I don't even own a deep-fat fryer.

"All my food is home-cooked and the kids are not fed junk food at all.

"I feel we are being victimised. Children can carry a bit of puppy fat but they tend to lose it as they get older. Ours are not being given that chance."

The family are going through a stressful time with the threat of the children being taken away from them and some of the youngsters are now suffering because of it.

Their twelve year old son is being bulled at school and has developed anger-issues while their eleven year old daughter because of her anxiety has stopped eating proper meals.  Her parents are fearful that she may develop an eating disorder because of the fear she is going to be taken away from her parents and siblings.

Two of the younger children aged ten and seven are also being classed as overweight but their parents insist this is just ‘puppy fat’.

Family Asked Authorities for Help

The social workers became involved with the family when the parent asked the authorities for help in managing their children; mainly for their three year old daughter who suffers from development problems.

The children have been bombarded with questions by social workers and they are all fully aware of the outcome if they do not lose weight, which in turn is making them more anxious and stressful.

A close family friend was reported as saying "They are a very vulnerable family who have simply been picked on.  If they had just struggled on in silence I firmly believe they would not be in this horrendous situation.

"The parents do both have problems with their weight but the children are spotlessly clean. They are in the bath every night and their clothes are beautifully ironed. You never see them running around with bags of sweets." She went on to say.

Dundee City Councils’ social workers have recommended the parents encourage their children to attend dance classes and take up football to help them lose weight.

This Has To Be Last Resort

Critics are deeply worried about the intrusiveness of social workers and are questioning the powers they have that could end up with them breaking up families.

Dr Colin Waine, of the National Obesity Forum, said: "This has to be a last resort. We must understand the health dangers associated with obesity, but the approach I favour is regular monitoring of children's weight from birth to avoid drastic action like this."

Nadine Dorries, the Tory MP for Mid- Bedfordshire and a former nurse, described the measure as "draconian".

"A far more sensible and cost effective solution would be for the local authority to provide round-the-clock support within the home, aimed at both assisting the children in attaining a healthier lifestyle and educating the parents," she said.

Scotland now has the highest percentage of obese children after the USA and England is close behind with the amount of children and adults becoming more overweight and endangering their lives.

Tam Fry who is the Chairman of Child Growth Foundation said they had no hesitation in removing a child from its parents if they were severely undernourished! At the same time, we should be concerned when they are seriously overweight.

“Obesity in 99 per cent of cases is avoidable and letting a child get overweight is a form of abuse” he said.

He feels that it is important for the children to be taken out of their homes and placed under a medical professional team for 24 hour surveillance.

The Children’s Weight Clinic in Edinburgh gives essential support to families involved by offering guidance and educating them with advice on healthy eating and activities; which in turn makes for healthy and fit children.

The director of the clinic, Laura Stewart believes that parents just need to be taught how to do thing the right way.  It’s not as if they are doing things wrong on purpose, more of a not knowing!

Growing Number with Eating and Living Habits Changing

With the never ending supply of junk and convenience foods, with parents now having to hold down full time jobs and children spending more and more time in front of a computer or the TV the fast growing pace of overweight children is alarming.

With 800,000 children now classed as obese this shows that levels have trebled since the 1980s, and the chances are that 70 per cent of tubby children and teenagers will become obese adults.

Children as young as thirteen have been given weight loss surgery on the NHS which highlights Britain’s childhood obesity crisis.

Leading health expert are giving warnings that the current generation of overweight youngsters run a risk of dying before their parents.