London, Oct 5 : Dangerously overweight children who are overfed by their parents should be treated as victims of abuse and should be taken away from their homes and given radical weight-loss surgery, according to a health expert.
In a conference, Tam Fry, a member of the National Obesity Forum's board, will urge that authorities should take obese children away from their families and into care, and that those whose health is at risk should then undergo stomach-stapling operations.
Fry said parents should be permitted to visit their overweight kids in hospital, but they must first be 'frisked' to ensure they are not trying to smuggle them junk food or fizzy drinks.
He acknowledged that his ideas are radical and that he will likely lose a debate on whether child obesity should be treated as a form of abuse, to be held at the forum's annual conference on Oct 7 in London.
However, Fry insists Britain's obesity epidemic poses such a risk to public health, with the overweight likely to suffer from heart disease and diabetes, that drastic action must be taken.
"My point will be that we regard malnourished children as being abused and so with those children who are so overweight, either consciously or by neglect because their parents allow it, there should be a case for them being removed from their parents," Telegraph quoted Fry, as saying.
"They need to be removed to a paediatric ward and put under weight management by doctors and nurses who know what they are doing.
"The parents will be permitted access but they will be frisked for chocolate and fizzy drinks when they ender the ward.
"The social services then sort out the family home, which is the problem at the case, and when everything is equal the child goes back.
"It is quite drastic but it's a long-term therapy. For the sake of the children it does need to be done because we have got children who are horrendously fat. In many cases it will mean thinking the unthinkable," he added.
Fry said that some dangerously obese kids should be given bariatric surgery, in which the stomach is stapled or bypassed, leaving them only able to eat tiny amounts of pureed food.
"I fully expect to be defeated in the debate. I go into it knowing that the prospect of removing children from their parents is something that the medical profession will shy away from, but it needs to be done," he said.