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Tubby Teen’s Mom Arrested

Written by PETA | June 30, 2009

The number with the worst rap may be 666, but 555 turned out to be the real “Number of the Beast” for one mother who was arrested last week on charges of neglect when authorities found out that 555 pounds was how much her obese 14-year-old son weighed.

Jerri Gray of Travelers Rest, South Carolina (near Greenville), says that juggling jobs meant she often relied on fast food to feed her tubby teen. She learned the hard way that a diet of bacon cheeseburgers and chicken nuggets is a recipe for a health disaster—one that has put her son’s health in serious danger.

To ensure that Greenville residents get that message loud and clear, we plan to erect our billboard reading, “Feeding Kids Meat Is Child Abuse.” Also, Ms. Gray will be receiving a copy of Meatless Meals for Working People, a cookbook of quick and simple vegan fare, courtesy of PETA.




Written by Karin Bennett

Commenting is closed.
  • Laurel says:

    I struggled with obesity throughout my teen years. My parents are not to blame for this. It turns out I have a diagnosed metabolic disorder. At the time however this was an next to unknown disorder. My body does not process carbohydrates correctly and stores upwards of 90 of them rather than burning them. Is it possible that this is a metabolic disorder? Is it possible that even if that is not the case that this is a pschyological disorder as Anorexia is? Another factor is the lack of affordable health care and with the exclusionary clauses of coverage that disallow many treatments. In this day and age testing and treatments are sometimes out of reach for the lower income families. I know that even though I recieve healthcare coverage at a discounted rate through my spouses work it does not cover everything and is not very cost effective on what it does cover. A Doctors visit with copay and medicines runs over $100 and that to a lower income family is a huge amount. I know that even as a middle class family $100 is a chunk of change for me to have to shell out. On top of that $100 every time I go to the clinic I have additional costs of $175month for a treatment that I take to help this disorder that is NOT covered by insurance because it is expiremental! And that doesnt even count the $150month I have to pay for insurance. Maybe we need to stop procecuting people and change the system to provide the care and help needed. Thank you

  • SeeingI says:

    Don’t you realize that carbs are way more fattening than protein from whatever source? It’s breads and sugars that really get you fat.

  • karla says:

    I just want to say that while I think that the mother should have definitely looked out for her son’s well being a lot more vigilantly I do not think a sign saying “Feeding Kids Meat Is Child Abuse” is at all appropriate. I am not a vegetarian but am starting to look into it and healthier eating habits for myself and my family. I have begun by now purchasing only organic items and if they are meat then grass fed organic beef etc. For cultural reasons meat was also a big part of my diet growing up and I rarely ate veggies. I was not obese but due to a more social conscious of what happens to animals it is only now at age 30 that I have become open to the idea of possibly going without meat. Anyway I have a son who I feed and yes up to now we eat meat. He is not obese. Does that mean I abuse my child because we are not vegetarian? No. It just means that I have more to learn about the vegetarian lifestyle. This boy and yes Tubby is cruel to call him and his mom are an unfortunate product of a fast food society. We must work on educating each other not making fun or tearing each other down. Perhaps a billboard or pamphlets outlining healthy food options or educational forums for the parents in the area would prove more useful.

  • Mel says:

    Grace The only thing I can say is I guess it’s soy milk ice cream only because “true vegans do not eat meat or animal byproducts” as quoted by a few people here on boards correcting me. Then again maybe it’s now allowed to include ice cream so who knows? BTW I do agree with you on the whole comment in general

  • Grace says:

    Calling the kid “tubby” is actually being kind. At 400 pounds this is a nice way of saying bese”. And I wanted to comment on losing weight after going vegetarian it all depends on what you consume how much you exercise. A vegetarian can eat potato chips ice cream so it’s all about eating healthy it’s using common sense. We all know this. It seems that this child only ate at fast food restaurants so of course he’s going to gain weight!

  • Mel says:

    “Meat makes you ugly” so I guess we’re all ugly then because we are made of what would be considered meat. I will maintain that no one thing is going to make you healthier than the other but a combination of things. Stats are good i.e. that vegetarians tend to live longer but really? they don’t amount to a hill of beans because other factors are involved such as family history smokingalcohol usage etc. And yes it’s plausible that you can also be vegan and be fat mostly because of the dressings and toppings even if non meat on salads breads used to make pitas and other items. I do agree though you can teach children to cook and make simple foods for themselves. I can make a mean tomato and onion wrap that is very good I’m not a true vegan by any means but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy what is considered a vegan dish a lot of the time.

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    The best thing a working mother can do for a child who is old enough to use a stove without burning the house down is to teach them to cook and then provide the ingredients for simple healthy vegetarian meals. My mother did not do that she hated anyone else in her kitchen. I am an exMormon and I learned what skills I have in Relief Society classes. Whatever else anyone says about the Mormons they are unsurpassed at teaching cooking skills.

  • Allamorph says:

    The problem there isn’t so much the kid eating meat as it is the kid eating ONLY meat only extremely greasy meat products probably not a lot of vegetables which are delicious I cannot fathom why people avoid them and probably never getting outside to run around or you know engage in the physical activities that help burn off all the stuff one eats. 6’1″ 135 lb. omnivore

  • Aimee says:

    ive been veggie for 23 years now and i love i evan like the taste more that real meet meanin Quorn and ive lost such alot of weight in 5ft3 and i weighed round about 9 stone now i weigh 7 and a half and thats not worrying about dieting i eat everything i can eat exept meat and im loving ….. just sit there and think to your self YOU COULD EAT EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO EXCEPT MEAT AND LOOSE LOADS!!!!!

  • Jose says:

    Yes I have seen this too mothers are always mourning after their kids’ weight still feeding fried plates of meaty stuff. Wish all such mothers get arrested

  • Gina says:


  • Tabitha says:

    Unreal!! How could someone allow this for her child? I agree with you Lynn on being unkind. Tubby is a bit insensitive. However I am appalled at the mother. I’m sure she is living with guilt of her own though. ….. Also the losing BIG weight thing… I have been vegetarian for a long time and haven’t really lost weight. It depends on the amount of dairy you take in too and on exercise. I have recently gone vegan though thanks peta!!! and have noticed that my pants aren’t fitting as snug lately

  • Brien Comerford says:

    As animal loving vegetarians we can’t assume that all meatless people are thin. I was a thin vegetarian for 18 years. A combination of age medication and slower metabolism have made me a bit hefty. I’m vegetarian for the health of the animals.

  • christine says:

    I’m glad they finally did something about overweight kids. I have 2 little boys who are 1 and 3 both vege. Both are very skinny because their dad and I are small people and at a WIC appointment the very overweight dietician had the nerve to tell me I was neglecting my kids since the didn’t eat meat and that they were unhealthy. It makes me sad to see children so overweight.

  • Lura says:

    to the comment tht said “if you over weight go vegan or at least veg” Tht not exactly true. I been vegetarian for 8 yrs and still overweight and being veg you still have to work out and eat healthy cause there are many veganvegetarian foods tht are high in calories and if a person not careful then you can still put on weight if you dont eat right and still get exercise of some sort.

  • abbyful says:

    Even if these people didn’t eat meat they would still be fat. You can be vegetarianvegan and be fat if you eat crap like these people were! and don’t exercise.

  • Laura Kelly says:

    I think it’s wrong to put blame on this mother. Sure she didn’t quite think things through or help to stop the problem but don’t look at her in shame. At least she fed her child. Also going vegetarianvegan does NOT mean you will lose weight. Not at all really. There is a good chance that you may but it isn’t a definite. I didn’t lose a pound when I became vegetarian. In fact I always seem to gain about five pounds a year. Sure if I continued eating meat I would gain a lot more weight but not eating meat doesn’t mean you will lose weight. Just thought I’d voice my opinion on that little subject. Also I don’t like the slogan “Feeding kids meat is child abuse.” I feel it is way too much against the natural ways of life. Many animals help their babies learn to hunt it’s how they survive. Humans have just distorted survival. Eating meat is fine provided you get it yourself. In my opinion if you kill it you can eat it. Then again many can’t stand knowing they’ve taken anothers life.

  • kelly says:

    A pediatrician’s group said that they could not recommend even a maximum for deli meats hotdogs that kind of thing. They said these foods were UNSAFE FOR KIDS TO EAT AT ALL. But you still see parents srtuffing their kids with this junk.

  • michelle says:

    wat kind of mother is that let her child eat all day fastfood that is ewww that is a biggest abuse eathing meat is not cute hot or sexy try 2 eat healthy food or thry 2 bcome a vegan or vegeterian should be a good idea cuz eathing meat is bad 4 da health

  • Lynn says:

    I am overweight I find the word fat offensive. I am also a vegetarian. I haven’t lost “big” weight. I think what this mother did was terrible but calling the kid ‘tubby teen’ isn’t very kind. I love PETA I love animals and I also love people. Insulting them people is not the way to reach them and help them understand the ill effects of eating meat. Let us show as much love to humans as we do to our animal friends.

  • Shahidah Ali says:

    Not only should it be considered abuse but over feeding them on garbage should be child abuse too because they know better they just don’t care. I think the mom gets what she deserves but i really feel bad for her kid.

  • brianna skellington says:

    if everyone was vegan this would never ever happen. at least be vegetarian IF YOUR FAT GO VEG YOU WILL LOOSE BIG WEIGHT BE HEALTHY AND MEAT ISNT SEXY.