Okay... I didn't read the replies, however I will after I write this.
Obesity is a serious medical problem and puts the person (in this case a child) at risk. Morbid obesity is just that and this child could end up having heart disease, diabetes, higher risk of certain cancers, etc. I feel a parent that allows their child to become so obese is neglectful and it does border on abuse. That said... I have a totally different perspective than many of you who were not obese as children.
While not quite as big as this child I was seriously obese as a child. It wasn't until I got into backpacking (at a whopping 370+ pounds) that I learned how to balance food (fuel) and exercise and go under the 200 pound mark for the first time since the age of 12. My parents were partially to blame, after all, they were my source of meals... however, in their defense, there were extenuating circumstances. Mom turned to making all kinds of sweet and fatty things, like donuts on Saturday morning, after my brother died when I was 8. In hindsight, I think it was her way of keeping busy and feeding the rest of us... seeing us enjoy it made her happy. Mom and Dad were good parents, loving and kind, and being placed in foster care wouldn't have been the answer but some supervision could certainly have helped. They were horrible role models on what proper eating was. Sauces, gravies, deep-fried, full of sugar, was the criteria for food in our house. Roast beef, mashed taters, gravy, Yorkshire pudding, dessert was the norm for a meal. There is a part of me that feels that some intervention from authorities is necessary to ensure that families of morbidly obese children receive nutritional counselling and medical intervention as well as supervision.
Obesity is epidemic in both our countries. Because of this Type 2 diabetes rates have risen significantly. It is a serious disease. Heart disease rates are on the rise as well as many other issues related to being morbidly obese. The cost of obesity related illness is also crippling health-care systems.
In many ways, I feel that the authorities have done the right thing here. This child was 8 and 200 pounds if I remember correctly? My son is 10 and is only 80-some pounds and he's pretty average among most of his peers. We watch what he eats and keep a balance. Sure, he gets the odd bit of junk, but he's active and busy. I also model proper eating habits and the importance of exercise. I'm not a perfect parent - no one is but I do my best to ensure that he won't have some of the same battles I had. Maybe it is controlling but it sure is a heck of a lot better than the thought of my son having to inject himself with insulin 4 times a day as I had to... or being like my nephew who had a heart bypass when he was 39.
Obesity is a serious issue.