Should obese children be taken away from their parents?

A suggestion from the American Medical Association to take obese children away from their parents is coming under fire.

A physician and a lawyer argue that children who are extremely obese and in dangerously poor health should be placed in temporary foster care. It's been called an epidemic and the article in the Journal of the American Medical Association has a suggestion for treating obese children: It says in the extreme cases placing them temporarily in foster care may be more ethical than obesity surgery because long-term effects of the operation in children are unknown.

Intervention helped in the case of a 12-year-old girl who weighed 400 pounds and whose parents had physical disabilities. After a year in foster care, she lost 130 pounds and her Type 2 diabetes disappeared. In another case, a 555-pound teen placed in the home of his mother's sister lost 200 pounds in two years.

The article was written by David Ludwig, an obesity doctor at Children's Hospital Boston, and by lawyer Lindsey Murtagh, a researcher at Harvard's School of Public Health.