Healthline Connects
Healthline Connects

Obese Boy Almost Taken into Protective Custody

An 8 year-old boy in Britain narrowly missed being taken into protective custody today due to concerns about his weight. Connor McCreaddie has been on a regimen of improved diet and exercise over the past six weeks, after his mother sought the help of government health workers. At the time, the 8 year-old weighed 218 pounds.

The government intervened, recommending lifestyle changes, and monitoring Connor's progress closely. He has lost over 20 pounds in the past six weeks, and in doing so has avoided being taken into state custody for his own wellfare. He has trouble washing and dressing, misses school regularly because the five minute walk leaves him breathless and sometimes vomiting, and is targeted by bullies.

Poor diet and sedentary lifestyle are the primary causes of Connor's condition. His diet consists of burgers, steaks, buttered toast, sausages, and fast food. He has snacks every 20 minutes, eating four bags of potato chips, three packets of biscuits and several chocolate bars each day, which he eats in front of the TV. He refuses to eat fruits or vegetables.

Obvious parenting issues aside, Connor's tragic condition is indicative of worldwide trends that should concern us all.

An article in the Archives of Internal medicine said succinctly:
"Obesity and sedentary lifestyle are escalating national and global epidemics that warrant increased attention by physicians and other health care professionals. These intricately linked conditions are responsible for an enormous burden of chronic disease, impaired physical function and quality of life, at least 300 000 premature deaths, and at least $90 billion in direct health care costs annually in the United States alone."
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 1.6 billion people around the world are overweight or obese, and calls sedentary lifestyle "one of the ten leading causes of death and disability in the world", and what's even more frightening is how many people are affected:
"Data gathered on health surveys from around the world is remarkably consistent. The proportion of adults who are sedentary or nearly so ranges from 60 to 85%."
These statistics scare me, as do heart disease, diabetes, oseoarthritis, and depression, which commonly result from obesity.

The nice thing about these issues is that it's easy for me, you, and everyone we know to make an impact. Choose the turkey sandwich instead of the cheeseburger. Walk to the store instead of driving. You can vote with your feet, and your food.
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The Healthline Editorial team writes about the latest health news, policy, and research.

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