On my personal radar I would say that is definitely some kind of abuse, but I am not sure if I would classify it only as neglect? From a legal perspective in my state they would have a very hard time getting a neglect charge to stick. It is the hardest charge to make and one that the state really only uses in extreme cases. They have to prove that no food was made available for long periods. If any food was made available, nutritious or not, then they wont try to charge on that.
Molly, Morgan, Mia and Carson
A lot of food issues are about control, so sometimes taking the harsh road doesn't work because it just draws the lines for battle. (That's, to me, the issue with a 14-year-old girl who you are newly in charge of.)
But raising a child who only eats chicken nuggets is definitely neglect, in my mind.
My nephew (my husband's sister's son) is 15 now and still when my in-laws bring him to dinner (he lives with them) they bring some kind of chicken nuggets or cutlet. It makes me very sad. He's a terrific kid but he eats peanut butter sandwiches and breaded chicken pieces (really just nuggets or cutlets) and that's it. A lot of it is crappy frozen food, so barely a step or two above McDonald's.
If he were my child, from an early age I would have worked with him to slowly find more foods he likes. This is what we are doing with Juliet. Not having a battle, but slowly introducing things that are close to what she likes and finding the nuances to expand her options.
I can't imagine giving in to a kid and going to McDonald's to buy them those things. Every once in a while, sure, but there are other options and she clearly needs them!
I would imagine people would feel charges of neglect would be appropriate in your example though if it could be proven that the parents knew about the condition and never bothered to seek help. I would consider that medical neglect.
At 2 years old I think there are things you can do to force your child to eat, but at 17 I do not think there is. If there was a way to force a 17 year old to eat, then I think there would be a lot less of anorexia.
I am not saying that this family should not be investigated, but if a teenager is provided with good food and just refuses to eat it I do not think that is completely within the parents control. I do think this family could have done things better way back when, but it is not possible to go back and change way back when.