Ohio's 200-Pound 8-Year-Old Prompts Parent Issue

The case of an 8-year-old Ohio third-grader weighing more than 200 pounds has renewed a debate about whether parents should lose custody if a child is severely obese.

Roughly 2 million U.S. children are extremely obese -- weighing significantly more than what's considered healthy.

A Cleveland Heights boy was taken from his family and placed in foster care in October after county case workers said his mother wasn't doing enough to control his weight, which puts him at risk for diabetes and hypertension.

The Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services agency said Monday it stands by its custody move, approved by a judge.

Administrator Patricia Rideout says the agency is working to reunite the boy with his family. She says she's withholding the boy's name in his best interest.


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  • by lovingmom Location: enc on Dec 1, 2011 at 07:32 PM
    I have a 9 y/o son. He is obese. His weight is 123. height 4'5. We bake our foods. Follow the diet the doctor gave us. We make him run one mile a day. He does 50 sit-ups daily. Jumping jacks and push ups. He has been doing this six months. He has not lost weight instead he gained weight. So use common sense folks, just because a child is overweight doesn't mean his parents areabusing him. BTW< breakfast at school is the same every week- Mon. pop tart/ Tues- sausage biscuit/ Wens. Breakfast pizza/ Thurs. Donut/ friday-Blueberry Muffin. Don't believe me Look up Lenoir county pubic Schools website and find their menu. You can try everything you know and what the doctor instructs and it still not work. oh, We don't have chips, ice cream, soda and/or junk food.
    • reply
      by excuse me on Dec 2, 2011 at 05:54 AM in reply to lovingmom
      Something is wrong with your story? What I'm not sure. 8 glasses of water, no WHITE food, fresh fruit and veggies.........it will come off.
    • reply
      by Audra - SoCal on Dec 3, 2011 at 09:31 AM in reply to lovingmom
      I'm certain you're honest that you're trying to do things the right way... but there are a couple of things to be aware of. The first is that you can't assume your child is not getting snack foods when you're not there. It's an epidemic in this country, that's just a fact. I'm genuinely not trying to be rude about it, it's just that you aren't the only source of food a 9 yr old has if you're not with him 24/7. The other is... I'm reading your list of the school breakfast menu and it makes me gag. You're not going to lose weight eating that stuff. It's all wrong. I know people think that schools are implementing a healthy diet plan these days but caloric intake is NOT your only concern by any means. There is a heck of a lot more to a healthy diet than counting calories, and in fact I have very little regard for that concept at all. Sugar in any form, but most especially high fructose corn syrup, is quite possibly the worst offender of them all. Eat breakfast at home, take a healthy lunch with you from home. Beyond that.. you'll have to find a way to make sure that he really isn't getting snacks outside your observation and that is difficult. If there is a real medical issue, then that requires a Dr's intervention. If it's a medical issue then treatment for it is appropriate.. but the right food still needs to be eaten and in the right portions. Please don't fall into the trap of believing that chips, soda, and ice cream are the only dangerous foods. A lot of things that seem healthy are most definitely not.
  • by pete Location: grifton on Nov 29, 2011 at 11:48 AM
    Move to japan start a career as a sumo wrestler.it pays real good.
  • by ECU Pirate Location: ENC on Nov 29, 2011 at 11:42 AM
    Does the kid play pop warner by chance?
  • by Anonymous on Nov 29, 2011 at 07:31 AM
    Post calorie information on all restaurant menus!!!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Nov 29, 2011 at 10:11 AM in reply to
      It's been done already
  • by Audra Location: SoCal, unfortunately on Nov 29, 2011 at 07:21 AM
    One solution would be if any state would follow through and restrict the type of food you are allowed to buy with food stamps. They TRIED to do it here but too many people had a hissy fit and it got thrown out. I say don't allow pizza, prepacked meals, chips, and other garbage. Food stamps are for the needy and if you're that needy, you don't need luxury food items, you need fresh vegetables and fruit, cuts of meat, bread, milk, and the like. Period. All I ever see is carts full of garbage, whether it's Welfare or food stamps, either one or both. It's disgusting. I understand the theory that it's hard to maintain a healthy weight on low income food, but the real problem is the low income mentality. What I see is people not even making a minimal effort to get SOME healthy food in that basket. A child in a home like that not only has fewer choices but is taught to do the wrong things. There you have it.
    • reply
      by Charles on Nov 30, 2011 at 06:21 AM in reply to Audra
      Definetly a part of the problem.
    • reply
      by uh on Nov 30, 2011 at 08:34 AM in reply to Audra
      I agree- perhaps mandatory dietician approved menus should be set up, like a treatment plan of sorts, for families utilizing food stamps.
    • reply
      by ~ALPHA female~ on Dec 2, 2011 at 02:01 AM in reply to Audra
      Audra, I do agree with you there. I'll see those huge carts of food and it's filled with 30 boxes of frozen pizzas, 100 packs noodles, 50 packs hotdogs, 20 big boxes of hot pockets, and cases of sodas. I never see fresh meat, or vegetables. Sometimes it's more than one cart full of frozen dinners and snacks. Along with food stamps, these people need to be made to take a nutrition class. And just like coupons, there needs to be a limit on how many of a certain BS items you can buy.
      • reply
        by Audra - SoCal on Dec 3, 2011 at 09:22 AM in reply to ~ALPHA female~
        Bleahhhh... yeah. I can't identify some of what I see as being actual "food". I shop at Food 4 Less here a lot (which is a Kroger store), and it's low-price for this region. So you know of course the food stamp/welfare shoppers are there. Every so often I forget it's the 1st or 15th or shortly after one of those.. One day I ended up behind a couple with two packed carts like we're talking about. By their spun behavior, I figure the state is feeding them food and their feeding their habit with any real money they have. I simply could not believe the JUNK they were getting though. TWO carts of it. I think both of you are right, there needs to be a class & accountability. They provide classes for employment qualifications, so why not this too? We were on food stamps for a while when I was young, but we didn't eat like that. :-P Fortunately my mother exercised the controls that it seems the state needs to step in and mandate now.
  • by JC on Nov 29, 2011 at 06:44 AM
    this is why McDonalds should not be the kids main food source, I would also guess that they use their food stamps to buy pizza, soda, chips, and wait don't forget that dip...veggies?? Fruit??? who needs those!
  • by Charles Location: Chocowinity on Nov 29, 2011 at 06:41 AM
    While there are both insightful and irrational comments on this story the bottom line is that not enough information is given to make an intelligent judgement as to the validy of removing this child from the home. In such a case, shouldn't we reserve judgement until we have the needed information and trust, for the interm, to the judgement of the professionals involved? I think we can all agree that no normal 8 year old should weigh 200 lbs. I further think we can all agree that in the visiable US public today we can see many persons, adult and children, who are overweight and that this constitutes a serious problem in our nation. The diet and physical activity of children are important in maintaining a healthy weight and normally are the sole responsibility of the parents, however, with so many children obiviously obese, and with the resultant health problems related to that obesity (physical and emotional); the public does have an interest in the issue and I believe that a healthy debate on the subject, and how best to address it,is past due. I wish the best for the child and the family and hope the issues involved are resovled for the betterment of all. For all of us concerned with the issue, let's committ to being involved with our children's health, their education and school systems, and lending a helping hand to all, parents and children, who may need our assistance with both. I am thankful for all the individuals who took the time to read the story, and made the effort to comment. America's children need all of us on this one.
    • reply
      by kinston on Nov 29, 2011 at 09:29 AM in reply to Charles
      What they need to do is put PE BACK in schools for the entire year. Not just for 1 semester like they do now. And make it mandatory. Make the final exam a fitness test of so many push ups, pullups, situps and if you cant do them then you fail that class and if you are a senior you dont graduate untill that class is passed. make home ec classes mandaory at all levels and teach these kids how to cook and what to buy.this should be the case for all grades, also.
      • reply
        by Angela Demoranville on Nov 29, 2011 at 10:27 AM in reply to kinston
        I agree whole-heartedly with putting PE(phys ed)for the entire school year.Nine times out of ten, we can be sure kids aren't active once they are home.When I was younger, we had PE, came home to change into play clothes and played outside until called to wash for dinner.We were lucky if Mom let us in to use the toilet!The health of our kids is mandatory now more than ever with all the new technology keeping them off their feet.To give some credit, there are games that make you move just not to enticing for the yougsters.
        • reply
          by Formerly O.L.I. on Nov 29, 2011 at 12:02 PM in reply to Angela Demoranville
          I took Phys. Ed. in seventh, eighth and ninth grades, as it was a requirement. After that, I did not choose it again. I didn't like sharing the showers afterward. I guess guys don't care about that, but girls are different. Anyway, I did go out for track, became a majorette, was active in scouting, and many other activities. I loved swimming at my Dad's club on weekends. In other words, I didn't stop being physically active after phys. ed. It really is up to the parents.
        • reply
          by Charles on Nov 30, 2011 at 06:19 AM in reply to Angela Demoranville
          I agree whole heartedly with the PE issue. I was dumfounded when school systems began cutting PE out of their curriculum. I too spent most of my childhood outside playing games and sports; no AC, no video games, no cable TV, etc, meant no real reason to go inside. And, like you, my Mother had strict guidlines about us being inside once our homework was completed. Many changes in our society has meant many changes in children's environment. I don't call the changes bad, however, I fear we adults have not adequatly provided for our childrens physical needs in the light of those changes. Hopefully we can see those needs addressed, alomg with the other issues in our culture, that lead to this problem.
  • by porkhop Location: g'ville on Nov 29, 2011 at 06:21 AM
    A sad sign of the times, with no simple solution. It is amazing to me that there are now advertisments on TV urging kids to play outside for 60 minutes. When I was a kid I couldn't sit still for 60 minutes. Of course, I had no video games or ADHD meds, either. And my Dad could always think of things for me to do.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 29, 2011 at 05:55 AM
    Folks, do some research before throwing CPS under the bus please. This case is well over one year old and the mother (there is no mention of another parent in any article I can find) has been offered help and medical advice for over a year and has chosen to ignore the situation. In the last year this kid gained more than 20 pounds when the mother was warned and counseled about his diet. She has chosen to allow the child to consume as many calories as he wants, which does rise to the level of negligent abuse and CPS made the difficult, but correct, decision.
    • reply
      by Angela Demoranville on Nov 29, 2011 at 10:50 AM in reply to
      If the mother or care-giver had been counseled and offered assistance and she ignored the situation, this is or should be a case of negligent buse.Being counseled and still ignored means to me that she is not fit.Your kids'welfare should come first.
  • by Mom on Nov 29, 2011 at 05:35 AM
    Sounds like the child controls the parents instead of the parents controlling the child. There is no excuse for an 8 year old to weigh over 200 pounds.
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