From MetaFilter comes this sad story about a little girl who is unusually large (which the parents claim is due to steroids taken for asthma), who was taken away from her parents. Luckily, she is back with them now, but they are under constant surveilance. If there’s not already a cut and dry case of overzealous social services intrusion into a family’s home, this is in the running to be the poster child (literally) for it. Spiked Health has the whole story in The lock-up diet:
Derbyshire County Council in England has threatened to take into care a nine-year-old girl, Samantha Collier, who weighs more than 13 stone. Samantha’s parents claim that their daughter’s weight problem is due to steroids that she took to combat asthma – but that hasn’t stopped the local authorities from getting involved, after being alerted by a school nurse. Here Paul Campos, author of The Obesity Myth, describes what happened when obese toddler Anamarie Regino was removed from her family in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Most alarmingly, Anamarie’s saga helps reveal the lengths to which state power can be deployed in America today in the prosecution of the war on fat. Adela Martinez-Regino and Miguel Regino cannot allow their child to eat a spoonful of ice cream, or a piece of candy, or to drink a glass of fruit juice, without running a very real risk of having their child taken away from them once again. They and Ana live under this remarkably repressive regimen not because there is any medical evidence that it will protect their daughter’s health, but simply because it gives the authorities a false but comforting sense that they are ‘doing something’ about what is, for them, a profoundly disturbing sight – the sight of an unusually large child.
This is where the power of the Internet needs to flex it’s collective indignation muscle. I’m calling upon webmasters and site owners who have any shred of respect for parental rights to issue a denouncement of the State of New Mexico Child, Youth and Families Department for intruding on the Collier family’s life and ability to raise their daughter. The family should get a public apology from the the department and an immediate end to the surveilance and threats of revoking custody.
The lock-up diet [Spiked Health] [via MeFi]
State of New Mexico Child, Youth and Families Department