Health

Parents Of Obese 11-Year-Old Boy Arrested For Child Cruelty

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

The parents of an 11-year-old boy in England were arrested on suspicion of child cruelty because their son is obese.

A doctor who treated the boy raised his concerns with Norfolk police because he weighs more than 200 pounds.

The King’s Lynn couple, who has not been named, said they encourage their son to lose weight by playing more active games on his Nintendo Wii console.

His mother also told The Sun that their family is predisposed to being overweight.

"I'm chubby and the whole of my husband's side of the family is big. It's genetics - you can be genetically fat,” she said.

“The idea they could take away my son scares me so much,” she added. “His weight isn't that much of a big deal.”

The boy is 5-foot-one and has a 41.9 body mass index – a BMI of 30 indicates obesity.

“He’s always been big,” his father told the Daily Mail. “He was born with shovels for hands and spades for feet. Everyone on my side of the family is big. There’s nothing we can do about it.”

Police defended the arrest and said they work closely with health and social services to handle "sensitive issues such as obesity and neglect of a child.”

"While it is inappropriate to comment on this case specifically, it is important to stress that intervention at this level is very rare and will only occur where other attempts to protect the child have been unsuccessful,” a police spokesman told Sky News.

Sources: Sky News, Daily Mail