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October 26, 2011

Life-Threatening Childhood Obesity and Legal Intervention

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Bethesda, Maryland (Drs S. Yanovski and Horlick) (sy29F@nih.gov); and Section on Growth and Obesity, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda (Dr J. Yanovski).

JAMA. 2011;306(16):1762-1764. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1522

To the Editor: Ms Murtagh and Dr Ludwig1 suggested severe childhood obesity places children at risk of “immediate and potentially irreversible consequences, most notably type 2 diabetes,” that may warrant “placement of the severely obese child under protective custody.” The authors wrote that physicians may be obligated to contact child protective services in “cases of children for whom chronic parental neglect has resulted in severe weight-related health complications.”

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