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Weekly Diet News Digest

 
by John McGran, Columnist

 
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It's a sad case that has drawn national attention: Because of his tremendous size, a 555-pound South Carolina teen has been placed in foster care and his mother has been charged with criminal neglect.

That's the troubled teen, Alexander Draper, 14, pictured at right.

While it surely is a crime that our nation's obesity rate has skyrocketed in recent years, the question begs: Can -- and should -- parents be held responsible for their overweight children?

Jerri Gray's attorney says Alexander's mom was doing all she could to help her son lose weight. They can't explain the boy's tremendous weight gain. They only say "something had gone terribly wrong" for the youth from Traveler's Rest.

Authorities aren't swallowing the lame excuse. In June, they arrested Jerri and charged the 49-year-old with criminal neglect.

The case has attracted tons of national attention.

The defense attorney warns that this case could open the door to more criminal action against parents whose children have become dangerously overweight.

"If she's found guilty on those criminal charges, you have set a precedent that opens Pandora's box," Grant Varner told USA Today. "Where do you go next?"

So where do we go next? Should parents be held responsible for their overweight kids? We want to know what you think. Please comment below.

For the complete USA Today story, click here.





@ 7:24pm ET on July 24, 2009
FREEOFFER78


@ 3:02pm ET on August 14, 2009
Yes. Parents need to be held responsible!

Parents are held responsible for neglecting their children in other ways, plenty of them. The child need some form of help with a major weight problem. Parents should do everything in their means to help their children receive the best care. This is including ALL the aspects of a child's safety!

I'd have to count the powers that be 100% correct in blaming the parents for this poor misguided child's condition.


@ 9:38am ET on January 8, 2011
I think that the mom is somehow responsible but not at all, because my parents where good parents, by only I know what I did with the luch money they gave me... let's just say that the candy store next door was very happy to see me everyday.
But to get to 555 lbs? dear lord... I mean didn't the mom noticed!? Why didn't she kept track of his eating? Go to a nutricionist? etc...
So,in my opinion, she's guilty too.

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