• Why is it that letting you child get fat is child abuse, but letting your child be a disruptive monster in school is not? It’s OK to raise a criminal (that the British coddle), but not a sumo wrestler. How much weirder can modern society get?

  • It would be negligent not to point out that the Daily Mail is not a very well respected source of information. Add a grain of salt, to taste.

  • At one time homosexuality was considered a disease. But the comments of a physiologist in the 1950’s convinced me that homosexuality is no more a disease than left-handedness. The doctor told of all the ways he tried to cure his patients. He came to the conclusions that his patients were just that way. We now think the decease theory of homosexuality to be ignorant and cruel.

    The late Merv Griffen featured diet books on his talk show. He was the Oprah Winfrey of his time. He reported that he tried every diet featured on his show, all to no avail. Merv died a large man.

    Sandy Szwarc has followed the medical literature on obesity for years. She is great and has the wonderful blog http://junkfoodscience.blogspot.com/

    As I understand Ms Swarc’s work: obesity does not conform to the food intake vs. exercise accounting, (That might be because 85% of calories are used to maintain body temperature. ); junk food has nothing to do with obesity; and some obesity is healthful from an epidemiological viewpoint. Wellness is hokum.

    For some reason President Obama has set dangerous nuts upon our country -Dr. Wolfe, for example. I love our President, but his left wing naivete brings tears to my eyes.

  • I concur with William Nuesslein’s outstanding commentary in post 3.

    The Scottish authorities are acting in a cruel, discriminatory fashion. They are under the barbaric, unscientific, naive misconception that these parents chose to become obese, and are willfully making their genetic progeny obese.

    As far as President Obama is concerned, I notice he has appointed a pudgy Surgeon General, who will hopefully leave us alone, unlike the unfortunate residents of New York City suffering under the endless food regulations of Nanny Bloomberg.

  • [sarcasm]This is clearly a step forward for the interest of children. The British Social Services should quickly follow up with a bold plan to seize the children of uneducated parents, then they can seize immigrant children and finally any child being brought up in a family below the poverty line. [/sarcasm]

    Seriously, this is absolutely insane.

  • It’s the Daily Mail. I believe them as much as I believe stories about Bat Boy.

  • For those who feel that Daily Mail clips are beneath them, a Google News search on “obese + Dundee” quickly yields similar clips from the UK Times, Telegraph, Guardian, Time, the Scotsman, and many other media outlets. The latest development is that the newborn (but not the others) has been returned to the parents.

  • We occasionally source stories from the Daily Mail at our blog, and while always try to verify the story through a more “respectable” outlet, sometimes the Mail simply has the best coverage. I suspect that, as in the United States, there are some stories the BBC, etc., just don’t want to cover.

    This is hardly a British phenomenon. Only one news outlet in America wanted to cover the John Edwards love-child story, and it wasn’t a “respectable” one. But we can all thank the Enquirer (and Mickey Kaus, who’s none too respectable himself) that the one serious contender less suited for high office than Joe Biden isn’t our Vice President today.

  • I think the real danger is the parents might eat the child.

  • Patrick, I don’t think the Enquirer had anything to do with Sarah Palin’s defeat.

  • But, contracting private nannies at several hundred thousands dollars a year to help them eat right? That is crazy.

  • @William Nusselein. Having read Sandy Swarc’s blog in the past, I would guess she’s cherry-picking the data to some extent… however I will accept that the relationship between weight and calorie intake isn’t a simple one– people do have different metabolisms, after all.

    And that reservation aside, I think the “crusade against obesity” is having some very unfortunate effects. For instance, did you know that Ralph Lauren’s alien-praying-mantis model photographs are just fine with some people, even if they do promote anorexia? Because at least that’s better than being fat, right? (Yes, there really are people who say this.)

  • I have mixed feelings on this. I despise forcibly taking children from their parents, but we do so in cases of physical and mental abuse. Yet obesity can have the same consequences, or even worse in some cases.

    And to #3 William Nuesslein, obesity has nothing to do with “food intake vs. exercise”? “junk food has nothing to do with obesity”? Are you serious? I’m hoping this was an attempt at sarcasm.

  • @John Rohan. Don’t be silly. Overfeeding children may be potentially bad for their health, but it’s not abuse– not unless the parents are tying them up and force-feeding them, anyway. There’s an endless number of reasons parents could be deemed to put their offspring in danger of future ill-health or social disadvantage in one way or another (Cf Valhawk above). Meanwhile, children seized and put in state care aren’t exactly guaranteed to be at no risk of physical or psychological harm.

    Since this is the Daily Mail we’re talking about, there may, of course, be more to the case than what is stated in the article– perhaps there is reason to suspect actual abuse or neglect.

  • Now you can see why the UK went anti-gun ownership. To get away with crap like this.

  • John Rohan,

    The GUTS and DONALD studies join a profusion of other studies, both clinical and epidemiological, over the past fifty years demonstrating that fat children and adults as a population normally eat exactly the same as thin people. And regardless of their diets, children will still naturally grow up to be a wide range of heights and body weights. “Multiple researchers, using a variety of methodologies, have failed to find any meaningful or replicable differences in the caloric intake or eating patterns of the obese compared to the non-obese to explain obesity,” concluded David Garner, Ph.D. and Susan Wooley, Ph.D., for example, in their review of some 500 studies on weight in Clinical Psychology Review.

    Random reader,

    I followed Sany Swarc daily for a couple years. Her work is very professional. She knows what good science is and sites well constructed studies. She also explains clearly what is lacking in many press releases used by main stream media. She does not cherry pick.

  • Thanks CTrees, now thanks to you and Walter I got to start believing the Bat Boy stories…

  • First of all, everyone ought to know you don’t contact social services if you want help. Secondly, if two obese people have children, how likely is it that their kids will not be overweight?

  • A 225-pound 13-year-old, 170-pound 11-year-old, and 60-pound toddler do sound gigantic, and if their weight were actually harming their health then I think there may be a case for intervention. The photograph, though, does not suggest obesity so much as large build.

  • I seem to remember an interesting precedent:

    Brothers found guilty over ‘grossly’ obese dog