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Mom Refuses to Feed Son Junk Food, Social Services Steps In

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The Sun: Social workers took a two-year-old into care after his mother refused to give him junk food.

Zak Hessey

Zak Hessey was 8kg (17lb 6oz) when mum Lisa took him to hospital, telling doctors he was a "fussy eater" and not gaining weight.

Medics said he should weigh 9kg (19lb 8oz) and advised the mum of five to bulk him up on crisps, chocolate and cakes.

When she said no, social workers were called in and her tot put into foster care to assess if his eating improved.


Healthy eater Lisa, 28, and her HGV driver husband Paul, 48, battled through the courts for four months before they got their son back.

Social workers then admitted in court that the couple, from Bolsover, Derbys, were devoted and loving parents.

Angry Lisa claims Zak's time in care left him a "chocoholic" and just 250g (8oz) heavier.

She said: "I thought I was doing the right thing going for help when Zak began refusing to eat and lost weight.

"Instead they basically accused me of neglect. They said I should give him chocolate, cakes and junk food just to get calories into him."

Lisa said she was warned her parental rights could be removed if she took legal action.

She added: "The Government and doctors always drum into parents the importance of healthy eating -- yet they were telling us to feed Zak all the wrong things.

"Now it's hard to get him to eat anything else."

Back home, Zak has gained weight and is "doing well", she said. A Chesterfield Royal Hospital spokesman said: "We believe we acted in Zak's interest."

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5 comments so far | Post a comment now
Lbug December 8, 2009, 3:36 PM

My child is almost 2 years old and does not eat “junk food” on a regular basis, maybe once or twice a month. I don’t agree on medics advise to bulk him up on cakes, crips and chocolate. How about healthy fats like cheese, pasta or peanut butter?? That’s just asking for the child’s teeth to rot and crave sugar. Also, for the social workers to step in and take away her child?? Are you that serious?? Over refusing to feed her child junk food?? There are far worst parents out there neglecting, abusing their own children. They should have offered the mom a better choice in bulking him up in my opinion.

friend December 8, 2009, 4:20 PM

i feel sorry for you, but if i were you and saw i was losing the battle with the doctor, i would’ve just said fine and left to seek a second opinion elsewhere. i must remind everyone that not all doctors are good doctors and not all of them are always right in terms of knowing and doing what’s best for patients. social services often mean trouble, so once they’re brought in, you’re basically in deep trouble no matter whether you’re right or wrong.

Anonymous December 8, 2009, 7:16 PM

When my perfectly healthy, loved, now eighteen year old daughter was four months old, my doctor said she was underweight and suggested that breastmilk was probably not sufficient for her. She is now a 5’2” beauty with an ideal weight for her “petite” frame. She was never underweight, just small like all the other 5’ women in the family. I dumped that doctor like a bad habit and did what I knew was good for her. She has been sick only twice in her life.

Anonymous December 8, 2009, 9:45 PM


mom of 2 December 9, 2009, 1:04 AM

Wow this is ridiculous. I have two children, my daughter is five, she is 3’3” and weighs 30 pounds, she is below 3% if you go by those things. My son is three is 3’ and also weighs 30 pounds. Their doctors have never been concerned about their weight as they have been consistent since birth. But it is very scary to know that some doctor that wants to go by the growth charts think they know what is best.

I do not go by the growth charts for one very simple reason, the charts indicate the average child today. Many of the kids today are considered overweight so my kids would be normal 20 years ago when I was a kid. My doctor takes into account both mine and my husbands size. We are both on the short side and have a small stature. This doctor is completely stupid.

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