Does the mother of the eight-year-old who weighs 14 stone believe parading her son in front of the media will provide him with the specialist help he needs?

Does the local authority staging a child protection conference to discuss whether the child should be taken into care because of child abuse believe this is the right course of action?

Does Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt feel justified in condemning the child’s mother so publicly by backing the North Tyneside authority’s decision?

I have one other question about this story.

Why is everyone linked to the case more intent on pointing the finger than taking responsibility?

We see it every day. The blame culture is rife in modern society and while I’m sure the devil is in the detail about this particular case – there are important parts of the story that will not get reported – I can’t help wondering why everyone connected to it seems happy to shirk responsibility.

It is clear from certain details that the child in question has a serious problem – for example, the fact that it is reported that he continually feels hungry – which suggests specialist intervention is long overdue.

My concern is that the way this story is currently being reported is not helping anyone. We have a tabloid and trash TV approach that experience suggests could well lead to an unofficial competition to find the UK’s most obese child – the contestants to be put in the spotlight in a grotesque freakshow for 5 minutes of dubious “fame”.

Yet once the “competition” is over and the winner is announced, the problem of childhood obesity will still be with us. Nothing will be done to provide even a short-term solution, let alone a long-term programme to tackle what is undoubtedly an increasingly worrying trend.

This case makes me sick, but so does our response to it.

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