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Should Obese Kids be Taken Away from Parents?

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A commentary in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that taking obese kids away from their parents and putting them in foster care temporarily is, in some cases, an ethical choice.  

The opinion comes from Dr. David Ludwig, an obesity specialist at Children's Hospital Boston and Lindsey Murtagh, a lawyer and a researcher at Harvard's School of Public Health.

The authors say that while parents have the right to decide how to raise their children, the state may serve the best interests of severely obese children by intervening in "over nourishment" cases in the same way it does in cases of "undernourishment."

With nearly two million children in the United States classified as extremely obese, the study acknowledges finding temporary alternate homes for them would be impossible. However, the authors suggest option be reserved for children on the brink of developing health problems, like Type 2 diabetes, due to their weight.

Critics of the opinion say it's unfair to place blame on parents, pointing to other factors that lead to obesity.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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