Authorities Threaten Removal of Obese Child

Thursday, March 22, 2007
Remember the story a few weeks ago about Connor McCreaddie, the obese 8 year old boy in the UK who the authorities were threatening to take away from his mother? Well now the good ole’ U.S. of A has their own case to report.

Here's an article I found online.

7 year old Justin Painter from Spartanburg, South Carolina weighs 254 pounds. There is a video report on CNN*** that you can view but nothing in print on their site yet. He began noticeably gaining weight around age three and according to the report, Justin’s mom Joyce has taken him to see doctor after doctor who have all told her the same thing – watch his diet. Ms. Painter makes the claim in the CNN piece that she serves him meat and two vegetables for a meal and that’s it and yet it makes no difference. However, her own notes seem to contradict her. Unfortunately I was unable to take a screen shot of the video but if you have a look at it, her hand written notes regarding her son’s meals on March 17th show up at about the 30 second mark. Here’s what it lists:

4 scrambled eggs
1 slice cheese
1 tsp ketchup
1 ¾ glass diet Sprite

5 vienna sausages
1 cup popped popcorn
1 glass diet tea
Nutribar snack

1 glass diet Pepsi
Hamburger steak
1 tsp ketchup
¾ cup sweet potato
½ tsp butter

At first glance it might not seem too bad but look a bit closer. There are some HUGE problems here…

1. He has some sort of artificial sweetner at every meal, either as Splenda or as an additive in his diet drinks. There have been studies recently that show people tend to eat more when drinking soda regardless of whether or not it is a “diet” drink. What happened to giving your children juice (not fruit “beverage” or fruit “drink”) or, god forbid, plain old water? It makes up most of our bodies anyways, you need to replenish it.

2. FOUR scrambled eggs for breakfast and FIVE sausages for lunch? Who eats four eggs in one sitting? That’s double what an adult would eat, let alone a 7 year old child. I won’t even get into the sausage and popcorn combo (eeeew….)

3. I have serious doubts that her child is satisfied with a mere teaspoon of ketchup on his steak or for his eggs. That’s not going to cut it. I think she is vastly underestimating the amount of condiments he’s having on his food.

4. Where are these so called vegetables Ms. Painter is referring to? She said that her son gets two of them at each meal. Oh wait! Ketchup, that’s made from tomatoes so it’s obviously a vegetable (although it’s actually a fruit…). And popcorn is made from corn, which is also a vegetable. Yes, I’m being sarcastic but if I wasn’t, then the only meal he is actually consuming two vegetables at is dinner (sweet potato/yam and ketchup).

Now, my generation (which includes the majority of my readers) grew up on processed food for the most part. There was Jello, Kraft Dinner (macaroni and cheese for non-Canadians), TV dinners, Koolaid, potatoes from a box, and soup from a can. And yes many of us are heavier than we should be. However, most of us became heavier as we got older, much older than poor Justin from South Carolina. In between the meals-in-a-box, we had fruit for snacks, had veggies with dinner, and had real orange or apple juice. As I stated in my post on the story about Connor McCreaddie, I believe that if you make fresh fruits and veggies available to your children and remove the bad, they’ll eventually find something they like and will come to crave the healthier choices.

In my post on the boy in the UK, Scintor made a comment regarding a genetic syndrome Connor has which is the reason for his obesity. He doesn’t mention what the syndrome is but does state that his own son has the same condition. I’m perfectly willing to accept that this might be the case. However, if this condition is known (albeit possibly quite rare), why have there been no doctors, researchers or other health care professionals come forth to explain it? While Scintor’s child and Connor (and quite possibly Justin) might have this condition, it doesn’t change the fact that there is a serious childhood (and adult) obesity problem in North America that we’re not dealing with adequately.

*** You will have to scroll down to click on the video on CNN's site. It's entitled: Taken Away for Being Fat.


kelly said...

his meals aren't even appetizing sounding

Toccata said...

254 pounds at age 7! Oh, that poor child. Clearly at that weight he's probably not even able to play in the traditional run around the playground sense of the word. 4 eggs? I don't think I have ever had four eggs in one sitting and I'm an adult.

Beth said...

Ok vienna sausages only have about 45 calories apiece but they are really nasty. Nobody should eat them at all, much less eat five of them daily. That mom should be charged with child abuse for that alone. Gross.

Give the child a freaking apple, for crying out loud.

Kitty Kitty said...

This is a hard thing. You have to believe the parent thinks they are taking care of the child, but in this case loving him to death.

On the other hand, how can you call it child abuse. When there are so many clear cut cases where no one seems to care. This one has visual signs so easy to point fingers at the issue.

The parents I am sure love there child. What the parents need and a lot of parents need is some nutritional reeducation. The concept of Mulligan Stew (the old 4-H project when I was a kid).

Why not spend more time teaching about real foods then threatening to remove a child from a loving house hold. Why not spend more time removing children that are being physically hurt.

Both cases just make me so mad.

Stagg said...

I don't know if I eat as much all day as one of his meals. whew.

It sounds as if they are tryig to make sure he has enough food, some parents do this over feed because they are worried about how much food a kid eats. Aw sad...he needsto getrid of the sugar (the potato, ketchup fake sugar) and eat some vegies poor guy. I hope he's going to be okay. Makes me sad.

Tanya said...

That's really sad. And I see nothing green in there and NO FRUIT! (apart from the ketchup)

And you know, it makes me think about what I eat at the age of almost-34.

Gardenia said...

Yep, this is still not a suitable diet. I was at a genetics clinic with a friend - long story - anyway there was a boy in there and we began visiting with his mother - sounds like the same sort of genetic problem - the mother was going crazy trying to make something work in the way of a diet - -

We weren't fat growing up either - but I remember playing out of doors all the time before I became chief cook and housekeeper at the age of 12 - we were all over our small town - now we're terrified to let our children out to exercise for fear we'll never see them again -

scintor said...

Well, Scintor here again. I have been doing quite a bit of research into genetic syndromes since I last wrote you. What I found was a huge gap in genetic syndrome research. Unless a condition causes major disfigurement or mental retardation, it is not studied by the researchers who look into genetic syndromes.
My son is heavier and taller than 99% of his peers, as is Conner. As I looked into childhood obesity research, it was noted that a large percentage of overweight childern were far taller than their peers.
Amount of research into the correlation 0%. It seems that medical researchers do not seem to think that childhood obesity is dangerous enough to actually look into seriuosly, unlike that media frenzy.
Now I understand why the expert on childhood genetic disorders told me that my son obviously had a genetic genetic syndrome, but she had never seen any research that named it. Because my son is neither disfigured nor retarded, the research does not exist.
Now either out media and 'public health officials' are exagerating the dangers here, or the medical research community is criminally negligent in investigating one of the greatest health threats of our time. I will let you decide which.


Frisar55 said...

Fat and tall doesn't necessarily indicate a genetic problem. Excessive calorie intake and the insulin resistance which accompanies obesity means lots of insulin production. Insulin can act as a growth factor which in children whose bone growth plates haven't yet fused means they'll tend to grow more.

Just FYI.

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