BOSTON (CBS) – Some local anti-obesity advocates are proposing a controversial solution for overweight children. They want to take some “extremely obese” children away from their parents, and place them in foster homes.

Children’s Hospital obesity expert, Dr. David Ludwig, proposed the idea in an editorial along with Lindsey Murtagh, an attorney with Harvard’s School of Public Health.

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“Despite the discomfort posed by state intervention, it may sometimes be necessary to protect a child.”

Their opinion was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager reports.

Ludwig says he got the idea when he met a 3-year-old who was 90 pounds. By the time she was 12, she was 400 pounds. When the state placed her in foster care, she was put on a diet of three square meals and lost 130 pounds.

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Other experts agree the issue is more serious than most people realize.

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“Over a long period of time, high blood pressure can affect your heart, the small blood vessels in your eyes, your brain and your kidneys, and it really can be quite serious,” says Massachusetts medical Society dietitian Denise Rollinson.

At the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston, the proposal had parents talking.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports

“I definitely believe the government has to step in and do something,” says mom Rachel Nicholls.

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“I don’t believe it’s strictly a parental issue,” says father Victor Acosta. “It’s a social one, and as Americans we bear a great responsibility for what we put on TV and on the internet, and what they see and what we direct them toward.”

Christina Hager