Childhood Obesity and Government Intervention

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Childhood Obesity and Government Intervention
Jaime Long
ENG122: English Composition II
January 30th, 2012

Childhood obesity has become a major concern as America’s youth continues to consume more food while exercising less. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention regarding Americans, “approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2—19 years are obese” (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011). Some members of the American Academy of Pediatrics view obesity as a form of medical neglect and Child Protective Services can now remove an obese child from their parents when the child’s health is considered dangerous. While some experts argue that an obese child should be removed from parental custody in extreme imminent life threatening cases, the government should support the parents rather than remove the children from their homes because there should be more focus on other factors outside the home contributing to obesity, the nation’s foster care system is already overloaded, and the separation can cause emotional damages to the family. This paper will provide the reader with a common understanding of the obesity epidemic while illustrating the argument as to whether or not the government should have the right to remove an obese child from their parents and be placed in a foster care environment. The author will explain the opinion of some members in the medical community and when Child Protective Services deems removal necessary. This paper reflects the author’s standpoint that the removal of parental custody is too extreme for both the families and the foster care system. Children in America have become more obese for several reasons. The nation lives in a multitasking fast-paced society that markets highly unhealthy foods with supermodel ads and toys as the attractions. Not to mention, the convenience of a fast food or prepackaged quick meal with little to no after dinner clean up. School menus...
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