03 December 2009

Feed Your Children Junk Food or Else!

Here is a story that should send chills up the spine of every parent who is concerned about providing a healthy diet to their children. It reminds me of the very first act of mine as a new Nation of Islam Minister in 1981 when I was sent to Washington DC on behalf of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. I encountered on that first day in Washington a situation involving a Sister in the Mosque who was attempting to get her children back after they had been taken away by Social Services. It seems that in the opinion of a social worker who visited the Sister's home that feeding her children a vegetarian diet was 'child neglect'. And with no due process the children were snatched away and the mother had to go to court to get them back. I was asked by her attorney to testify as an expert witness - to prove to the court that vegetarianism was not child abuse and neglect. The awesome power of social worker to over rule parental rights has to be corrected as the following story makes clear.

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Boy, two, is snatched by social workers after mother refused doctor's advice to feed him junk food
Chris Brooke

03rd December 2009
Like many toddlers, Zak Hessey was a fussy eater who refused his mother's healthy home cooking.
Concerned about his falling weight, his parents sought the advice of doctors. That simple act triggered a shocking chain of events that led to the youngster being put into foster care for four months.
Paul and Lisa Hessey believe in the long-term benefits of healthy eating and rejected advice to feed their two-year-old son high-calorie snack food such as chocolate, crisps and cakes.
To their horror, social workers put Zak into foster care 'to assess his needs' and allegedly threatened the couple with the loss of their parental rights if they fought the decision in court.
'I was absolutely devastated, I broke down in tears,' recalled Mrs Hessey, 48. 'I was scared out of my wits. I phoned Paul to tell him and he just broke down on the phone.'
But they went to court and, after four months, Zak returned home with the blessing of social services, who accepted he had good and caring parents.
Zak is now putting on some weight, but his eating problems were not cured by his time in the care of 'experts' and, much to the annoyance of his parents, he has acquired a taste for junk food.
Mrs Hessey, of Bolsover, near Chesterfield, said: 'I thought I was doing the right thing going to the best people for advice when Zak began to lose weight.
Heartbroken: Lisa Hessey was told she would have her parental rights taken away in court if she opposed a decision to place Zak in care
'Instead they basically accused me of neglecting him and implied it was all my fault. I have four other children and they are perfectly healthy, it was just that Zak was refusing food for some reason. They said I should just feed Zak chocolate, cakes and junk food just to get calories into him. But I objected, saying that was only a short-term answer and not a proper solution.
'The Government and doctors are always drumming into parents the importance of healthy eating - yet they were telling us to feed Zak all the wrong things.
'That is obviously what they were doing when he was in foster care so now it is hard to get him to eat anything else.'
Mrs Hessey and her 48-year-old husband, a lorry driver, took Zak to see a paediatrician at Chesterfield Royal Hospital in July. He was 20 months old and weighed 1st 3lb.
Mrs Hessey, whose four other children are under ten, said she was happy for Zak to be admitted for a two-week hospital assessment and was hit by a thunderbolt when she went to collect him on July
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