"This child's problem was so severe that we had to take custody"

At more than 200 pounds, the third-grader is considered severely obese and at risk for developing such diseases as diabetes and hypertension.

But even though the state health department estimates more than 12 percent of third-graders statewide are severely obese — that could mean 1,380 in Cuyahoga County alone — this is the first time anyone in the county or the state can recall a child being taken from a parent for a strictly weight-related issue…

Lawyers for the mother, a substitute elementary school teacher who is also taking vocational school classes, think the county has overreached in this case by arguing that medical conditions the boy is at risk for — but doesn’t yet have — pose an imminent danger to his health.

They question whether the emotional impact of being yanked from his family, school and friends was also considered.