Dundee Council Removes All Seven Children From Fat Family

Social workers in Dundee have succeeded in removing all seven children from an overweight couple, including a newborn baby.

It seems a bit extreme, and carries echoes of the Cleveland scandal in the late eighties, when social workers took 121 children into care after deciding that the parents had sexually abused them.  The courts subsequently found that 96 children had not been abused and that the accusations by the social workers were false.

How could such a thing happen?  It was partly because the social workers became intoxicated by the word professional, a term normally reserved for people with highly specialised and technical knowledge, but often condescendingly used to describe those employed to deal with poor people.  These “professionals” in Cleveland interviewed children and, using anatomically-correct dolls, decided that the children had been abused.  The social workers were not qualified or trained to conduct the interviews, or to use the dolls, and in 80% of cases, they were wrong, but their stupidity still tore families apart.

Something similar seems to be happening in the Dundee case, as social workers have taken upon themselves the authority to make a medical decision, even though they hold no medical qualifications.  They have decided that the children are too fat, and have taken the extreme step of breaking up the family.  On the face of it, the family are decent.  The children are clean, well-looked after and attend school.  There’s no evidence of criminality or anti-social activity.  The parents are ordinary people.

Social workers in Cleveland exaggerated, enhanced their stories and actively lied when opposed.  It seemed to be the case, as it has always been in this country, that working-class people are expected to know their place and not question the word of their betters.  Something similar seems to be happening in Dundee as the social workers claim that obesity is not the only factor in their decision.  Others disagree, including doctors who have examined the children, teachers and neighbours.  It seems that a social worker decided very quickly, despite having no medical knowledge, that the children were too fat and would be taken from the parents whatever happened.

I’m as bad as anyone else at judging people, and there’s no doubt that these parents seem to have a problem saying No.  They don’t seem to be good at letting their kids know who the adults are, but they’re hardly unique in that.  They’re definitely fat. The 12-year-old is 16 stone, the 11-year-old is 12 stone and the baby is 4 stone. That’s one fat baby.  The mother is 23 stone while that father is a miserable 18 stone.



It could be genetic.  Who’s to say?  Where will it stop?

Will social workers start removing kids for being ugly?  For having red hair?

Is this the start of eugenics, or simply an example of utter stupidity by minor officials in love with their job titles?

On the other hand, maybe they’re right.  What do you think?


Cleveland: Abuse of professional power

43 thoughts on “Dundee Council Removes All Seven Children From Fat Family

  1. I believe the correct terms are either overweight or obese, not fat. Most people in western society falling into either category.

  2. The difference is subtle. Fat just sounds a little rough around the edges I suppose.
    What category would you fall into yourself?
    Would you call yourself fat? Hardly.
    Just seems a bit tabloidy.

  3. I suppose it’s a bit like being gay or a faggot.

    The socialworkers have over stepped the mark. Would the family have been split up if the kids were not overweight? Will children who smoke be taken from their families?

  4. I prefer cuddly.
    The council are clearly wrong if the only problem is the kids’ weight. I wonder if anyone on the council has a slight weight problem?

  5. I’m with the social workers on this one. If there’s any truth to the expression that ‘every picture tells a story’, then the one above speaks volumes. If they’re not on a diet of shite, they’re watching Supernanny and Jeremy Kyle thinking ‘thank fuck we’re not that bad’ – wrong! You’re worse! They’re killing their kids.

    I’m a smoker, and I’m told pretty clearly where I can and can’t smoke. I would never light up in the company of a child. Common sense wins every time, regardless of what’s legal and what isn’t. Same can’t be said for the degenerate parents of this lot of poor little feckers. It’s a strain on their young bodies, and in later life, the health service. Not to mention the crap they’ll have to put up with from other kids poking fun at their size, which in turn leads to comfort eating, and so on. All this can be avoided with some intervention. This episode might knock some sense into their parents and cop them on a bit. Or not. My gut instinct says the latter is more likely.

  6. Faggot may not be descriptive of anything but it is commonly used in a perjorative and aggressive fashion for homosexual men. Gay, as used for homosexuals, is less aggressive. Faggot and gay, fat and obese refer to the same thing but one is deemed offensive/aggressive. Maybe the world is just to PC?

  7. Adlybers, what about kids who exist on a diet of shite but who don’t put on weight? The may suffer similar health problems such as bowel cancer in the future and therefore be a starin on the health service. Should the be taken from their families?

    There is no mention of professional medical intervention in this case, would a programme of dietry education not be a better place to start rather that split up a family?

  8. I read that it was the Parents who contacted the Social workers originally, requesting help with ” Developmental problems ” with their children.
    The Social Services then, it appears went ahead and spent £100,000 on supervisors to ” monitor ” the “eating habits ” of the family, I don’t know how Dundee Social Services define ” Monitoring ” and if that includes any constructive and instructive education about diet, lifestyle, impact and benefits and consequences, But if under their ” Monitoring ” the 13 yr old boy gained 3 stone in app 1 year then those Supervisors were either doing a very bad job or the parents just were’nt listening.

    Removing the kids from their family is a drastic and backward step, The family have to want to change their lifestyle and that can only possibly come about through education and support, not trauma and punishment.

  9. Maybe the only food the poor people can afford has a high content of saturated fat. That could explain it.
    Or maybe the poor people don’t know how to cook healthy but reasonably inexpensive food. Yeah, that’s it. I reckon poor people don’t know how to cook.
    Sucks being poor I suppose. No filet mignons for them what’s poor.

  10. Looks to me like its genetic..two fatsos reproduce and surprise surprise they have fat kids!!.What happens when two skinny people breed and have skinny kids..will they be charged with neglecting and starving their children !!.What a load of crap those pathetic nanny states and their moronic agents are.

  11. It really is a load of bollix that poor ( not my choice of word) people can’t afford healthy food. The parents are not qualified to raise normal healthy kids. If these were kids out tearing up their estate every night we would all be right behind the social services. In this case parents have let young children become fat! Take the kids keep them together, educate them and the parents and reunite them, end of. Anyone that saw Jamie Oliver’s thing about the canteen dinners would be the least surprised by this development. We live in a time where eating shit is acceptable and kids behaviour is linked to what they eat. I’m all for this if it works. You have to draw a line in the sand at some time!

  12. Shakespeare considered fat people, especially men, to be more reliable than thin people. Here’s what Julius Caesar says just before Brutus and Co. do a hatchet job on him in the Senate:

    Let me have men about me that are fat;
    Sleek-headed men and such as sleep o’ nights:
    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look;
    He thinks too much: such men are dangerous.

    I would hesitate to give more powers to social workers. They can be power trippers who think too much. They did great wrong a few decades ago in Cleveland, and not long after that social workers snatched many children from their parents on an island off the shores of Scotland claiming mass sexual abuse.

    All I would do in the case of those fat children is arrange for free medical tests to determine what has made them fat, and free medical treatment to try to palliate their condition.

  13. @Rob, agree, “poor” people can easily afford to eat healthily.
    But have a read of this article

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2033486/Your-children-fat-again.html (not that I put much stock in any dailyXXXX or XXXXmail publication nevertheless the article is well written)

    I hate fatties, there is no “fat gene” and I hate people who pretend that they have a “slow metabolism” or shite like that,just so they can justify eating too much, but these people have been, imho, been treated for 3 years like animals. They should be left off to live their own lives.

  14. Have to say I’m with the social workers here. Our society has become Oprah-fied with all this nonsense regarding obesity.
    Its the me – me culture. Guest on Oprah show telling her harrowing story – ‘I don’t know what’s wrong with me – my Granny used to give out to me for pissing in the Back yard when I was ten. Now every time I think of that bad experience, I have to eat ten McDonalds in a row, followed by ten strawberry milk shakes – Big round of sympathy applause from the audience, with a couple of Aaahh’s thrown for good measure. He/She continues – ‘But I’m BIG and I’m PROUD and I LOVE myself – Huge round of applause and great cheers from the mostly overweight audience.
    Don’t you see folks one of the major killers of children and Adults alike, over then next 2 or 3 generations at least, will be directly related to obesity. Not heroin, not Alcohol, but fatness. The wonderful consumer society, which we now call democracy (without even blushing) has created this problem. We sit around all day consuming television shit. Video game shit and just about edible shit. We have a major problem in western society and its good to see someone making an effort to do something about it.

  15. Steve # 17 you hate fatties and people with slow metabolism, I presume you are Adonis like in physique. Lots of people hate opinionated boors who categorise people to satisfy their own insecurities. Slow metabolism does exist

    “This Review summarizes the laboratory and epidemiologic evidence that suggests how sleep loss, either behavioral or disease-related, and poor quality of sleep might promote the development of obesity and diabetes mellitus, and exacerbate existing endocrine conditions. Treatment of sleep disorders has the potential to improve glucose metabolism and energy balance.” http://www.nature.com/nrendo/journal/v5/n5/full/nrendo.2009.23.html.

    Do some research before you talk out through your arse again.

    LJS, I agree that abesity will have a hugh effect on future generations health but breaking up families is not the solution. Where will this stop? Do take the children of smokers? What about the children of crap drivers? Why not the children of drinkers? Or assholes? There was a guy in Germany in the 1930s who went down this line, look what happened.

  16. Now I’ll feel slightly better knowing that if I ever go to dundee that I’ll be able to eat in McDonalds in safety

  17. This little piece of news brings the common football chant “oi ref who ate all the pies” to mind. Well boys I should think that the answer is fairly obvious for ’em now. :)

  18. Obese is a medical term. It means you have gone beyond overweight and now your health is being affected.

    By the way, that phothgraph appears to have been warped horizontally to make the family look wider.

    Something similar seems to be happening in the Dundee case, as social workers have taken upon themselves the authority to make a medical decision, even though they hold no medical qualifications.

    Well spotted Bock. This goes to the heart of the case.

    If I was going to remove children from their parents on medical grounds, I would want to see that a clear danger to the children had been firmly established beforehand. I would want:

    1. Detailed assessment from a doctor that the children were currently obese, and moreover had been obese for at least 18 months prior. In both instances, I would require a statement from the doctor that the childrens’ health was at considerable risk.

    2. Written confirmation that the parents had been made aware in writing of the medical assessment above, and of the risk to their children’s health.

    3. Written confirmation that the parents had been offered government assistance and advise in controlling the family diet and getting more exercise.

    4. Written confirmation of long term refusal on the part of the parents to co-operate with the council in reducing the children’s weight, and evidence that the parents had not made attempts to improve the children’s health or that efforts they had made were proving ineffective(another doctors report).

    5. Evidence that the parents were informed at least 6 months beforehand–in writing–that their children could be removed from their care if the situation did not improve, and that this warning was made repeatedly over that period.

    You give me all that, and I’ll take the children into care. You give me anything less and try to take the children into care, and I’ll fire you for abusing your position as a social worker.

    Now maybe the council have such a trail of paperwork. But I suspect they do not. Sometimes, it’s worth remembering that one of the functions of red-tape is to control the bureaucrats that administer it.

  19. Don’t attach too much significance to the picture. The new layout is currently not handling photos as well as it should. We’re working on fixing the problem.

  20. @No 8 – I most certainly do not have a figure like Adonis, but I’m not fat either.

    Besides, I never said that slow metabolism doesn’t exist – I said that I hated people who use it as an excuse to be obese. Which I do because it is untrue. Fat people are people who consume more calories than they expend, simple as that.

    So, in the future please read the presented comment clearly and slowly before talking through your arse.

    p.s I may indeed be an opinionated boor, but no more or less than you are.

    pps You are hoist by your own petard in this case because the section of the artcle you linked to had this specifically to say about poor sleep and obesity(emhphasis mine)

    “If this increase in hunger during sleep restriction were to translate into a commensurate increase in food intake, weight gain would be expected to occur over time. A randomized, crossover laboratory study of overweight, middle-aged adults who underwent 2 weeks of sleep extension (+1.5 h per night) and 2 weeks of restriction (–1.5 h per night) has shown an increase in food intake from snacks during the short-sleep condition.20 However, the participants gained weight under both sleep conditions, and no differences were detected in leptin or ghrelin levels between the two study conditions

    Perhaps in future you could take your own advice re. research or at least understand the context, eh?

    Now, if you are done with the personal attacks, do you think Bock would mind if we kept to the subject at hand?

  21. Personal attacks? You have stated your hatred for “fatties” and people who claim to have a slow metabolism. Sleep apneoa can cause the metabolism to crash therefore causing weight gain even among moderate eaters and/or those who take exercise. Glandular problems also lead to weight gain. Weight gain isn’t always the result of over eating. A bit of understanding and respect from the likes of yourself just might lead to a more tolerent society. Do you also hate smokers who get cancer or drinkers who become alcoholics? Do you hate underweight people? Or is it only unacceptable in your world to be fat? People like you think it acceptable to poke fun at and undermine others precisely because they are over weight, that is bullying. I hate bullies.

  22. I suppose the answer is simple enough really, just put down the fork and step away from the fridge or put down that guinness.
    In saying that, I’d prefer a man with a bit of extra meat on him than an Adonis. Like a rugby man, rather than a scrawny soccer wimp.
    I know a lot of girls who are obsessed with their weight and what they eat. It’s sad really. There’s some with bulimia too, not talked about too much, but it’s there.
    I don’t think anyone has the right to judge anyone’s size either.
    A few hundred years back it was more desirable to be bigger as it was seen as a sign of wealth.
    Now you see stick figures on the covers of magazines with their ribs sticking out and their tongue with the hunger on them. It’s rotten.

  23. No.8 yes, personal attacks. Accusing me of talking out of my backside is personal is it not?

    Now: I never said slow metabolism does not exist. Perhaps you are being wilfuly ignorant; that you somehow suppose that lack of sleep can actually cause someone to gain enough weight to be a “fattie” by which I meant of course an obviously obese person. Do I have to draw you a diagram?

    Also you will note that, although I did indeed say that I hate fatties (last I checked I was entitled to feel whatever way I want about anybody or did I not get the memo?),I did NOT say that I hated people who have a slow metabolism – I said I hated fat people who use it as an excuse for being fat because that’s what it is.

    If your metabolism was so slow that you could put on as much weight as the people in the the photo, you would be dead plain and simple.

    “People like you think it acceptable to poke fun at and undermine others precisely because they are over weight” – I take great issue with this statement.
    I most certainly do *NOT* think it is acceptable to make fun of or undermine someone for any reason like that – although you are right on one count, it is bullying, something to which I am vehemently opposed.

    Finally; the main point of my original post was
    to leave them alone. They have been through enough already, what harm are they doing anyone.

    So what the hell is your problem?

  24. Fair enough.

    No 8: Please accept my sincerest apologies if anything I said has caused offence to you or yours.

    Wait, will the internet explode now?

  25. Steve, no need for apologies, surely we can disagree without hysterics.

    What’s that noise in the background?

  26. “put away the handbags.” Something wrong with having a handbag is there? I’ve a brick in mine. Very deceptive those handbags.

    I know. Maybe the council could send in Richard Simmons.
    He was once overweight himself. Look at him now! The hunk.

  27. An important consideration in all this is the quality of alternative care that kids will get from the State. Whatever about the UK, I think I’d rather leave my kids in the care of Anders Brevik whatisname than with the Irish state, no matter how much coke and chips he might give them. I do agree however that allowing your kids to become obese at an early age is tantamount to abuse – these kids chances of an enjoyable life is drastically reduced – however breaking up families is surely not the answer.

  28. Bloody hell, what next?
    To take the Dundee social worker’s logic to its glaring conclusion; to be fat is to be criminal; criminals do jail time.
    All fat people must go to jail.

  29. I meant to say, obesity is not a medical term. It’s a Latinism. Doctors love Latinisms because they lend a spurious air of scientific precision. Just as “defecation” gives us no more exactness than “shitting”, and “perspiring” is precisely the same as “sweating”, so “obesity” is exactly the same thing as “fatness”.

    We love Latinisms, because they somehow sound less crude and more authoritative than words that derive from Saxon. The reasons for this go back hundreds of years.

    I once wrote a little thing about it.

  30. If “fat” or “obese” are considered to be contentious, why not use one of the following alternatives? big, bulky, burly, corpulent, fleshy, heavy, plenitudinous, plump, porcine, portly, rotund, thick-bodied, big-boned, tubby, weighty, hulking, husky, lusty, robust, staunch, strapping, sturdy, substantial, or stout.

    I like stout.

  31. Some people are impervious to the damage they are doing to themselves (and their family ) through diet. I recently met a severely overweight woman that had previously been through a heart operation and had a pace maker fitted. She was telling us all about her ordeal as she tucked into a “large” Sunday roast, 3 full glasses of lemonade and an ice cream sundae. To me this is just plain stupid behavior and no amount of “I’m fat and proud” attitude can justify it.

    And BTW, somebody fearfully commented above that the next step will be to take away the children of smokers. I’m in favour, especially from the smokers that lock their children into the car while they force them to inhale the fumes of a John Player Blue with the ventilation on recirc and the windows closed.

  32. People in general have gotten heavy. Driving everywhere, grabbing food on the go etc etc. Augustus Gloop in the old Willy Wonka movie doesn’t look too fat anymore. In my childhood memory he is massive.
    I have seen a massive child at our local pool. He wears adult swimtogs that reach his ankles because the waistband has to fit his girth. I thought kindly “medical?” first until I saw him with a family-size bag of Doritos. He can’t walk properly because of the thickness of his thighs. Doritos are the last thing he needs.

  33. most children i know are tucking into crisps and sweets everyday and they are skinny kids so you cant always blame it on what they are eating and the majority of parents would have their children removed if this was the case

  34. Can social workers in Scotland take away children like that? Here they would have to go to Court first to obtain an order to place them into care.

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