Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Wreck of the Hindenberg

This young man has been getting a lot of press recently. He is 8, he weighs 14 stone. Now, I'm not a nutritional expert but even I know that weighing more than your age is not a good thing.
The powers that be are worried that his excessive weight may adversely affect his health, which is akin to wondering whether driving into a brick wall will adversely affect your car.
The debate is whether what his mother has done to him is child abuse and therefore if he should be taken into care. My response would be definately yes to the first and definately no to the second.
Turning an 8 year old into an enormous, piggy-faced gut bucket is undoubtably abuse but if he gets put into care the enormous food bill may well cripple the welfare state on its own.
Maybe I am a cruel an heartless person but, this is Darwinism in action and I think it is our duty to stand back and watch for the good of the species.


Billy said...

One thing has been bothering me during this whole affair: is it worse to be stupidly fat or stupidly thin? Which way should be encouraging the kids?

violetforthemoment said...

According to the Wright Stuff (which I catch the beginning of because I am pathologically incapable of getting up before 8:45 regardless of what time I have to be at work) his mum responded to accusations of abuse by saying "Of course it isn't, if I didn't love him he'd be thin." Oh dear. Food is love. Fat people are jolly and happy. Thin people are unhealthy and must have got that way through enforced starvation rather than the simple expedient of eating vegetables instead of Big Macs.

Billy, I think children should be thin in the interests of financial prudence. You don't have to keep buying new clothes if you're getting thinner, just knock a new hole in your belt for free. Plus they're likely to lose their appetites a bit so you save money on food too.

I have never been broody. Can you tell?

Chaucer's Bitch said...

I think he should definately be taken into care under the "ounce of prevention" clause. The fact is that the state is going to pay for all his rediculous medical bills later in life. Smokers, the morbidly obese, and people who don't wear seatbelts or motorcycle helmets shouldn't get treatment from the NHS.

Billy said...

I'm always a bit dubious about the "deny treatment" approach just because it is so open to abuse.

For example, would you treat someone with malaria who was stupid enough to go a malarial area? What about liver transplants for chronic alcoholics?

ziggi said...

absobloodylutely, I couldn't agree more.

Tedward's Missing Ear said...

CB lay off the smokers, the average smoker subsidises the nhs through taxes on their cigs over a lifetime, by far more than they cost in treatment terms and we don't get alzheimers (admittedly usually because we're dead)

Robert Swipe said...

I think you're being too squeamish by far, Doc.

He's Wayne Rooney. He plays for Man United. He's hitched to a minger. He deserves everything his binge eating/drinking/tabloid titilating lifestyle has in store for him.

Up the hammers!! and L.U.V. on ya,


realdoc said...

The NHS cannot go down the line of not treating the so-called 'self-abusers' because there is no end to it:
fat people
travellers to areas with malaria
players of sports
bad drivers
people who are inept at DIY
people with infected piercings
people with STDs
people who lose their virginity too early and increase their risk of cervical cancer
people who stand too close to big speakers and go deaf
people who insert inanimate objects in their nether regions and are unable to retrieve them

the list is endless.
None of us are blameless but shit that kid must get up early to eat enough to get that fat.

herschelian said...

I am not a medic so I wouldn't dream of commenting on how that child became so obese so young. However I am a magistrate in the Family Courts and I would be EXTREMELY dubious about taking the kid into care; it is a very draconian step and in this case, what little I've gleaned of it from the media, there is no guarantee that his life would improve. He might well loose a bit of weight in the short term, but the damage done to him in other ways could be awful. The mother needs help to get her child healthy. The kid needs some careful supervision and mentoring, relearning eating patterns and exercise. There is more to this story than mere overeating inappropriate food I suspect. BTW how many 8 yr olds are 5ft tall with a size 8 shoe? he seems large in every way, not just fat.

Spinsterella said...

Brilliant list Realdoc.

llewtrah said...

The whole family is in need of help. The kid demands food every 20 minutes and acts up if he doesn't get it. The mother is stressed and gives him food - i.e. his preferred junk food - just to keep the peace. He's a food addict and apparently he steals and hides food. The mother won't put locks on food cupboards. Sounds like something is wrong with his leptin and dopamine receptors.

If they got rid of all the junk food in the house and replaced it with fresh fruit and veg so the only food he could steal was healthy it this might help. If she locks the food away, gives set amounts at set times and refuses to give in to his begging and tantrums he'd soon learn the tantrums get him nowhere. Giving in just reinforces the bad behaviour.

She's also made bugger all effort to get him to eat fruit and veg. He had 1 bite of apple and didn't like it? In that case, let him stay hungry. If he's not hungry enough for an apple he's not actually hungry.

Apparently the mother refuses to turn up for family counselling/guidance.

First Nations said...

this is a very visible example of most dysfunctional circumstances.
there is nothing you can do short of placing the whole family group into a fully facilitated 24-7 lockdown environment. take them all completely out of their present context and retrain the whole dynamic from the ground up. And that isn't my conclusion alone; thats the conclusion of my best friend out here who works for cps. ( i love having her to wave around!)
Lets say there was such a facility. Government funded, ready willing and able to help. Completely voluntary.
Do you think that mom would go for it?

my solution is this: do what they do with unruly boys out here in the west. come this summer, send the evil little dirigible to work on a farm way out in the middle of nowhere bucking hay. just three months out of his life, and mom gets a vacation from his crap. I guarantee you he won't come home looking like Baby Huey.
It works like magic.
(hell, ask my husband if you want an example. he spent half his summers that way.)

Anonymous said...

Indenburg? He's more like the flipping Titanic. Quick, send an iceberg.

If he ever goes swimming he'll have a fleet of whaling ships in pursuit.

rockmother said...

Just shoot the bastards thats what I say! Well, no not really - of course not but I couldn't resist an off the cuff out of order remark on impulse.

I wholeheartedly agree with Llewtrah and I also think that sending him into care won't help at all. It's not the kid that is the problem - it's the parents. I have to shamefully admit thinking that when I heard and we go to obesity-timebomb-ville to talk to fatboy's mother on the News at 10 the other night - I thought out loud to myself - "I bet she's fat and ugly with long greasy hair". I was right. Not that that has anything to do with it. But, how could anyone LET their child get that obese/ill? It is like slow assisted suicide. When he was 5 and weighed 7-8 stone surely they were wondering whether things were getting out of hand? I'm certainly no body fascist and my son is as thin as a rizla - god knows why as he eats us out of house and home but when he is sneaking the 2nd yoghurt and embarking on the 4th sneaky biscuit in a row I get him to put it back and chose fruit. Sounds really draconian but letting him think he can have nice things as ordinary everyday food is a recipe for disaster on many levels.

Anonymous said...

YOu would have thought that a school teacher or a dentist or SOMEONE ould have noticed that this boy was morbidly obese BEFORE NOW! He didn't just gain nine stone over night did he? So, why did no - one say anything???????

rockmother said...

Interestingly, I saw an article in the Sunday papers yesterday stating that the father blamed himself for his son's condition. He said that his son turned to comfort eating after witnessing him violently beat his mother on many occasions over the years. At least he had the guts to admit it but how tragic is the long term damage - not just physical but mental too?