T Nation

Mother Of 555 Pound Boy Arrested



Don't know if anyone has posted this story yet, but it raises a number of issues as far as government intervention into a fat child's life. If figures T-Nation might enjoy this.
Questions for debate...

  • Does the government have the right to arrest a parent for "neglect" if their child is overweight? If so, at what weight and/or body fat %?

  • If the child is over 18, can the parent still be blamed? If so, for how many years after the 18th birthday?

  • How would the government monitor fat children? By requiring all youth to weigh-in once a year and then wait to be judged?

I think this could open up a whole can of worms. Thoughts on the subject??


This is a ethics questions really. It attack ones way of how someone brings up his or her child. I'm sure I wouldn't want some one arresting me on how I bring my child up (I don't have any, and this is a extreme case). But on the other hand they are literally saving a life, but going as far as arresting the mother is a bit to much. They should educate the boy and his mother about fitness.

I really do believe people are very under educated now a days about fitness and it's benefits on health. Here in Canada he have what's called a Jump Start program that gives money to parents who cannot afford to put their child in sports or physical activity (Don't know about the U.S.). We even go as far as giving free passes to people that are to far away from town to have their kids become physically active.

If the child is over 18 I don't think the parent should be blamed. If it's caught earlier than yes.

This will never work I personally think. We cannot force someone to do something they do not want to. I say we move them all to a island to get in shape.



It should not be called neglect, I mean he was feed like a sumo wrestler not starved. Secondly was he unable to walk? If he was able to walk he can get up and feed himself, if he couldnt his Mom would have to bring the food to him.


555 pounds at 14 years old? No wonder Springer is still in business.


It shouldn't be called neglect, it should be called abuse. I am very against the gov't interfering with a parent's raising of their child, but I draw the line at abuse. I think the case has to be clear cut though--in other words a regular "fat kid" shouldn't be taken away from his parents, just like a skinny couldn't should because of some imaginary "neglect".

If, on the other hand, the kid is well into the morbidly obese category (and obviously fat instead of built), then yes, do something. I don't believe people (as a statistical whole, I realize there are individuals out there who are) are under-educated about healthy eating or activity, I think they're just flat out lazy.

It still doesn't take that much mental capacity to know to STOP FEEDING YOUR CHILD CRAP when he hits the 300 lb mark at 12-14. Come on.

No, at 18 years, you're on your own as an adult.

The gov't shouldn't monitor fat kids with a weigh-in or anything.


First of all...this is South Carolina, folks. South Carolina is not the type of place where something like this would be done because of pressure from anyone.

This kid is being exposed to a slow, apnea-ridden, joint-destroying, bed-sore/skin chaffing death each time good ole' greasy Southern Cooking and McDonald's is brought to him in bed, or he waddles, completely winded, to the phone to order a Pizza and Chicken.

Do I think his mother "loves" him? Yes, in her own way.

But she ignored every opportunity she was given to get the child some help, even to the point that an already money-scrapped DFS was willing to come up with ( in some way) the funds to get this kid some help.

To answer the OP...the State of South Carolina finally came to the conclusion where it said "No...you do not have the right kill, albiet slowly, your child..."; and they acted.

Will South Carolina prevail? Most likely not...and she'll be able to continue to "love" her child to death...



I almost forgot.

The mother also fled the State with the child when she was called to a hearing to merely discuss the boy's status and how best to proceed.