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| Grewal Law, PLLC

Concerns about the obesity epidemic are reaching new heights, as a recent news story highlighted the incidence of a little boy who was taken away from his mother over concerns of child abuse related to his weight. The mother originally brought her son to the hospital because of breathing problems last year, which were related to his obesity. The third grader weighs in at 200 pounds and has troubles with sleep apnea and other weight-related issues. At his hospital visit last year, doctors told the boy's mother that he must lose weight and he was subsequently placed under the supervision of social workers in a weight loss program called "Healthy Kids, Healthy Weight".

The boy's mother is beside herself after her son was taken from her and placed in foster care. According to reports, the boy was beginning to lose weight under the program but started to gain a few pounds back. The boy's mother says that she was trying to follow the weight loss plan, but that it is difficult. Nevertheless, The Department of Children and Family Services asked a juvenile court for custody of the boy, citing concerns that his soaring weight was a sign of medical neglect on the part of the boy's mother. A trial is set for the boy's ninth birthday to see if his mother will regain custody.

This isn't the first time that a child has been taken away over alleged weight-related neglect. Adela Martinez's daughter, then 3-year-old Anamarie Regino, was taken away from her a decade ago because the little girl weighed 90 pounds at her young age. However, even after being placed in foster care the little girl did not lose any weight. Later medical tests revealed that the little girl suffered from a genetic condition that made it difficult to manage her weight. Anamarie is now a teenager and says that the experience permanently scarred her. Some doctors still advocate for the practice of taking away obese children over concerns of neglect despite some complications that make the matter of weight gain more complex than eating right and exercising.

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