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.
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. — Cleveland Plain Dealer
Isn’t it comforting that county case workers are more concerned over a kid’s waistline than his (pick one) drug use/criminal tendencies/test scores/vocational potential, etc.? Nah. He’s fat as J-Lo the Christmas goose, so they swoop in and separate him from his family.
Now what? His foster care supervisors — which, if you know anything about this industry and the people involved, should send a shiver of revulsion and loathing through your body — are going to address the kid’s problems better than his natural family, teachers, and playground bullies? Is this serious?
Damned if I know what to do with a 200 pound 3rd grader, but I suspect my first move would be to cut off his revenue streams. He has to be buying his fat cells somewhere.
Next I’d try a lock on the refrigerator door, and purge the house of all the sugar-centric fat-building crap most modern kitchens feature in abundance.
That probably wouldn’t work because the kid is too far gone. So we might try removing his teeth, wiring his jaw shut or, better yet, force-feeding him five times daily until he develops a psychotic aversion to food of any kind. That will cure the obesity problem and the county can claim the new anorexic head case as a victory.
Like I say, I really don’t know. (Can you tell?)
Here’s what I DO know: nothing will work until you get fatso himself to buy in. Somebody has to give enough of a shit about this kid’s welfare to get through to him, and I sincerely doubt that if his own family can’t, anybody else can. Foster care? He’d be better off kidnapped by gypsies, or sold to the circus as a freak.
The sad fact is, not every problem has a solution, and when it comes to neurotic kids, often the most merciful and effective approach is none at all. Choose the least evil, and steel yourself for a bad outcome. It’s sort of like voting for president.
Which suggests that in the short term, try tying him to an armchair in front of 24-hour videos of Republican candidate debates. If he has one decent bone in his body he’ll lose his appetite. Or would that be considered child abuse?