Not very insightful, I know, but not sure how I feel about it. The story doesn't say much about what the mother/child/doctors were doing (or not) to improve the situation. Were they sneaking snacks at school, from friends? I know they said the child was put on a special program - I assume maybe being given special lunches? Or just eating school lunches (since, as Khara mentioned, a "well-balanced" meal from the school isn't always so). I agree in cases of abuse or extreme neglect the State should step in, at least to an extent. Without actually being there, who knows what the mother and/or child were doing to help or hurt the situation. Not that I want to advocate constant surveillance of families - don't want to open that can of worms. Opens it up to a whole slippery slope of what's "good for the children" - too much TV? Too violent games? Too much/not enough religion? Though physical health I suppose is a slightly more easily distinguishable problem.
Where's the line between abuse/neglect and maybe not that great of parent/doing the best they can and still struggling?