Overweight child removed from home

A mother in northwest England is fighting to get her 8-year-old daughter back after the town council removed the girl because she was extremely overweight.

The Cumbria County Council reportedly had a number of concerns about the girl's upbringing but said it was her obesity that triggered the decision to put her into care, The Times of London reported Friday.

"Parental behavior that leads to childhood obesity can be a form of neglect," says Anne Ridgeway, chairman of the Cumbria Local Safeguarding Children Board.

The girl's mother contends her daughter's size is related to a medical problem or genetics and has nothing to do with diet.

"Our daughter doesn't overeat and she's active," the mother told The Times. "The only bad thing we have given her is fizzy drinks."

The 5-foot-tall girl reportedly wears a size 16, which is six sizes larger than the average for her age.

According to Britain's National Obesity Forum, the girl is the latest of a small number of children taken into care because of obesity.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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