In the UK, it is really happening. Fat kids are being taken from their homes by social services and placed in foster care. Obesity is classified as a form of abuse or neglect. THE SUNDAY TIMES reports that the removal is done if the caretaker has ignored a notice from a medical authority to fix the problem.
Will fat pets be next, in the UK and then here in the US?
This concerns me. Vets have commented on one of my four cats' weight. The porker is Carlotta.
"But, Doc," I blurted out, "she was off the streets when I got her, pregnant and her ribs were sticking out."
The vet was having none of it. He replied, "But Carlotta now has a home, has been spayed and has fat, not ribs, protruding."
Is obesity truly a form of abuse or neglect? Some creatures, including Carlotta I suspect, would rather continue to over-indulge than have two or three more years of life.
And, among those creatures are humans who probably wouldn't make it at all through a life without compulsive overeating. As a very fat kid in a very dysfunctional home I needed every Snickers and three-cheese pizza to hold on until adulthood. When things get dicey even now, Snickers and three-cheese pizza make the difference between despair and hanging in there.
A prediction: In the UK, the Fat Police are going to be sued by caretakers whose thinner children commit suicide.