Friday, July 16, 2010

When does obesity become a child protection issue?

Childhood obesity alone is not a child protection concern, nor is failure to control weight. But consistent failure to change lifestyle and engage with outside support indicates neglect, particularly in younger children, say experts in a paper published in the British Medical Journal today.

The suggestion that childhood obesity may raise child protection concerns is highly contentious, but there is little published evidence on the issue and no official guidelines for professionals.

So a group of child health experts, led by Dr Russell Viner at the UCL Institute of Child Health in London, set out to review existing evidence and propose a framework for practice.

They found increasing evidence linking adolescent and adult obesity with childhood sexual abuse, violence, and neglect, but found no studies examining the relation between child protection actions and childhood obesity. Data are also lacking on the long term outcomes of child protection strategies in relation to weight control, other metabolic disorders such as diabetes, and psychological health.

In the absence of evidence, the authors suggest that child protection actions are not warranted for childhood obesity alone or failure to control weight. "The aetiology of obesity is so complex that we believe it is untenable to institute child protection actions relating parental neglect to the cause of their child's obesity" or "to criticise parents for failing to treat it successfully, if they engage adequately with treatment," they write.


Source and More:
http://www.physorg.com/news198479541.html

Your Child's Weight: Helping without Harming
A Parent's Guide to Childhood Obesity: A Roadmap to Health
Fed Up!: Winning the War Against Childhood Obesity

No comments: