Who is to blame for childhood obesity?

[deleted account] ( 155 moms have responded )

I had to write an essay on this at the beginning of the semester and I compared and contrasted opinion articles that I found in the newspaper. I am interested to hear about your take on it and your experiences in your own areas.

Childhood obesity is a big deal in the U.S., the percentages of overweight children are increasing rapidly and there seems to be a standstill regarding how to deal with it.

One opinion article stated that childhood obesity is child abuse and children should be removed from their homes, just as if they were being physically or sexually abused.

Most other articles blamed sedentary lifestyles. Video games, television and working parents with no time to coordinate physical after school activities.

Some articles blamed genetics, overweight parents having overweight children and there being little that can be done about it.

Last but not least, public schools were blamed for nutritionally deficient school lunches and soda vending machines in every common area.

So, in your opinion, why is it getting so much worse and what can be done? I'm interested to hear everyone's opinion!

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Kate - posted on 09/25/2012

84

0

19

To all the individuals saying that the parents are to blame:



I am the oldest of three. At this point we are 22, 23, and 25. As kids we played out side. We rode our bikes, played at the playground, climbed trees all the typical kid stuff. We did not have a lot of access to video games and my mother did not let us sit in front of the tv all day. My mom did work, we went to my grandmother's house after school. My father was not involved. Both my brother and sister were involved in sports, usually one per "season." I was involved in music year round. Our dinners were healthy- meats, veggies. My mother NEVER fried anything. We didn't have a lot of cakes or candy. No soda. No juice.



My sister and I were both normal weight, and are still to this day. She and I both are somewhat petite. She's about 5'2 and I'm 5'1. My brother, on the other hand, lived in the same house. Ate the same food. Had the same level of activity- likely more as he was more athletic then she or I. He grew up to be about 6'2 and built like a linebacker, but he was fat as a kid. Once he hit puberty he sort of grew out of it to a degree, but he still has a higher BMI than my sister or myself. He works in a job where he is moving all day. I sit at a desk. He works out regularly. I do my best, but tend to fail.



My question is how is this my mother's fault? What made one child fat had no effect on the other two children. What is a parent supposed to do other than provide healthy meals and activities? A lot of parents are doing the "right" thing and their children are still fat. A lot of parents are doing the wrong thing and their children are fine.



There has to be something else going on.



We pump live stock full of chemicals (mostly estrogen) to make them artificially large. We create crops that can pull poison into the plant and survive, while the chemical kills everything else. We cover our pets in pesticide. We dump all kinds of garbage into the water. We spray our yards with chemicals to make sure they don't have weeds. We fill foods with things that are not food (dies and preservatives).



Autism is epidemic. ADHD is epidemic. Obesity is epidemic. Diabetes is epidemic. But when you talk to older people these things didn't exist like this 50 years ago. Genetics in a population don't change dramatically in a generation. Eating habits have improved (look at cookbooks from the 40's and 50's every cake calls for shortening or cream or an insane amount of butter). Something has to have changed in the environment that we live in.

Kate CP - posted on 12/09/2011

8,942

36

758

Debb: The government decides what kids get fed is school. The government decides what the food pyramid (or plate or whatever it is today) is made up of and looks like.

...The government is also slave to lobbyists from Con Agra and Monsanto foods. Our food pyramid says we need to get a majority of our calories from grains. THAT IS NOT TRUE. We need to get a majority of our calories from whole fruits and vegetables followed by a good serving of meat and fat and a minimal amount of grains. Grains are NOT good for you. If you have to process the food to make it edible you shouldn't be eating it. And neither should your kids.

Fats don't make you fat. SUGAR makes you fat. And grains are full of carbs and sugar.

Kellie - posted on 12/08/2011

1,994

8

175

Jesus sounds like communist China over there. I wouldn't cope well under those conditions, I'd be in jail for failing to comply with stupid rules and telling people to get fucked. I understand rules like no pets, but no flowers? No growing your own food? Fuck that I'd be on the next boat out.

Lindsy - posted on 12/11/2011

83

5

7

All those things are contributing factors to the obesity epidemic , but as a parent I know that the "buck stops here". I'm the person who is responsible my kids' health.

[deleted account]

Yeah, we do eat veggies in the van sometimes.

I know it's not IMPOSSIBLE, but when you're so overwhelmed w/ life that you can barely function.... sometimes the easy way out is the ONLY way. It's much easier to grab a few packs of Lunchables from the store on the way to the gym than to plan and prepare stuff.

And yes, I'm making excuses. I know it. I'm just beat. Keeping up w/ the appetites of 3 kids that never stop eating is crazy. I lack energy, motivation, ability. Grocery shopping for new things causes me anxiety (yes, I'm aware of how pathetic an excuse that seems). If someone else did my shopping and my cooking... I'd be all over eating healthy most of the time. That's not gonna happen though. We DO eat healthy, but I'd guess it's maybe 50/50 w/ 'crap'.... unfortunately.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

155 Comments

View replies by

Jenny - posted on 11/03/2012

842

5

28

I think its a bit ignorant to look at childhood obesity as an entirely separate issue to obesity in general. If the parents are obese then in most cases it is likely that the child will be too. In which case it would be beneficial to first look at what is causing the parents to be obese, or better yet, what causes obesity in general.



If you fix the obesity in adults I think it safe to assume you'll fix childhood obesity as a result, in ordinary cases.

So why not look at what is causing this obesity epidemic as a whole and at the same time maybe people wont feel defensive on this issues for being accused of directly causing their child's obesity.

User - posted on 11/02/2012

616

0

87

wanted to say something else! My niece is in high school and she told me that the lunches have changed now that they have to have a serving of fruit and a serving of veggies everyday! I thouhgt it was great that there is a little encouragement from school to eat healthier.

Eri - posted on 11/02/2012

5

0

0

Watch what you eat? Watch what or how much you are glued to the tv/computer/phone? Watch how much or how little you participate in your child's physical & mental health, whether you are right there on a grass field pitching the ball, or with them from the bleachers? Watch what you say and how you deal with stress? Watch your attitude about world events and the events right in your own backyard?



Watch that line connecting you to your children become suddenly visible?



Only two types of parents in the world IMO:



A. Watch what you do and lead by example?

B. Watch your children fail as you enable them to fail?



YES it is a sh*t load of pressure on us parents to provide, provide, provide- and be a perfect role model for our children at the same time? Yes I understand the whole 'sh*t happens' too. But don't let it get to the point where you are angry and frustrated at your children for something they learned from you- and then console them with 'treats', out of remorse. Don't read too much into what I've said here- we all know not every parent does this, but for those that do, this is very alarming. Parenting by leading by example doesn't get any simpler than "treat others how you want to be treated." Or let hypocrites continue to be the death of children/childhood.



When it feels like it's getting ugly and the kids won't do what you want them to do, I do it myself! We are the parents and no one said it was an easy job. But take courage and always have faith... Because our children will become us as sure as the sun will rise and fall!



Hopefully you choose being who you want your children to become one day.



Please note I personally don't care for who's to blame. I cannot imagine pointing my finger ever at any one of my kids and accusing them "you did this!" or however people put down their own flesh and blood. What exactly is the purpose of that? No don't tell me either, I am glad I don't know. As for the rest of the country/world? Someone already said, it boils down to the choices we make. The government? Is like the parents of a household, they just work out the Supply & Demand worksheets... Fix your own home and you're fixing a piece of the planet. Keep loose screws in your house, and it can't help but fall apart.

User - posted on 11/01/2012

616

0

87

the fda for putting so many things in food that make it soo addicting and for all the people around the child that do not show them how to eat healthy. Taking a child away from parents for being obese is rediculous and way extreme. But parents I think need more education and also in schools education on healthy lifestyles and how to make good choices that can be part of their everyday life. I do also blame the sedetary lifestyle, overall people just arnt as active as they used to be.

Cass - posted on 10/30/2012

89

0

8

Who is to blame? A bit of everyone is to blame. The large cooperation's, first of all, who make a fortune off of poisoning people with addictive (literally very addictive) unhealthy foods, are to blame. "Food" like that shouldn't even be aloud to exist - and in my personal opinion I'd say these guys are who to blame the most; except for... Secondly, society is to blame, in the sense that healthy food should be affordable among every family; and for the lack of education towards how damaging over-consumption of processed foods is. And thirdly, the parents are to blame for setting no boundaries and letting things get out of control. And last but not least, the consumer is to blame. Whether they unconsciously OR consciously indulge in such an unhealthy lifestyle, unfortunately it's their choice (in most cases), and that's why its tricky. Even though people may not understand the full consequences of unhealthy foods, they are still the ones to put what's in their mouth without questioning the quality of food (unless then one is force-fed, then that is different).



The circumstances of the obese victim (victim by choice, or not by choice) are different and may vary.

Amanda - posted on 10/30/2012

188

0

30

I honestly believe, in the US, its food manufacturers and a lack of education on healthy eating. You see large corporations using the FDA to approve food additives that contribute to obesity. For example aspartame, a non-nutritive sweetener has been linked to many afflictions including obesity. It is in most of our sweet food and promoted as though it's healthy. It's in diet and zero-calorie drinks, gum, candies, and many processed foods. The same goes for monosodium glutamate (which scientists use to make their lab rats obese) which has over 40 different names and as long as there is less than a certain percentage of actual MSG in the additive manufacturers are legally allowed to claim it as 'MSG FREE' right on the package. We've gone from a nation where almost everyone had home gardens, to one where a bill was actually introduced to prohibit having a garden (it was not passed, but the fact that it was even introduced is appalling.) We're taught that to determine the nutrition of a product we should read the calorie and fat intake, but the actual ingredients are passed over. We need education on an individual levels and regulations that make sense. I'm not saying it's our government’s job to make sure we eat healthy as individuals, but it is their job to keep poisons from being introduced into our food supply.

Triwan - posted on 10/24/2012

43

2

0

I think a lot of it has to do with the hormones that are given to the animals to make them grow faster and bigger in a shorter amount of time. If it works for them, and then we in turn ingest those animals into our bodies..guess what else we are putting into it? It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that one out.

I have a huge problem with overweight parents that grew up being criticized and know firsthand, the suffering that overweight people endure because of their size but now are raising overweight kids. That's child abuse in my opinion to knowingly allow your child to have to subdue to the same type of cruel treatment.

Candace - posted on 09/22/2012

3

0

0

I see the parents of overweight children to be the center of the blame. Laziness, pure laziness. Some people are heavier than others, most however are not GENETICALLY predisposed to obesity- that is complete crap! ALL food is expensive these days, so the parents can't use the "healthy food is expensive" line. Childhood obesity does encompass parts of child neglect. How are you as a parent so involved in yourself that you don't notice your kid eating a box of cookies and gaining 10 pounds. What if your kid ate a box of rat poison and died? That is what the general idea of neglect is: you as a parent aren't paying attention and something negative happens to an innocent child. Childhood obesity is getting worse, in my opinion, because parents are becoming too involved in themselves and worldly issues and lackadaisically "raising" their child.

Sarah - posted on 01/03/2012

1,258

14

164

I believe there is a complex amount of factors that can lead to obesity in children, and you can't just look at an obese child and point a finger at the parents and say, "It's their fault." Genetics do play a factor for sure. That is the one thing that nothing can be done about. There are also huge amounts of hormones plugged into cows to produce more milk and make bigger cows and chickens to butcher. These hormones pass into the milk,eggs, and meat. Not everyone can afford to buy organic/free range meat, milk, and eggs. They are very expensive. You also can't ignore the fact that there are many more working moms than in past years, causing (not forcing) a lot of people to look for convenience foods. Even when people opt to pack their child's lunch, many will opt for juice boxes (pure sugar), and prepackaged meals. They are likely not knowledgeable that these are not healthy choices. School programs need to get more involved with not allowing soda and candy machines in their school, and having only healthy choices in their cafeterias. The government needs to regulate prices better on foods. In our area, the so-called junk foods are often cheaper. You can buy a sugar cereal for about $3/box, but something healthier like Cheerios might cost $6/box. For many families, these cost barriers are a big issue. For others, there is also a genuine lack of knowledge about healthy eating. Perhaps prenatal classes and public health nurse visits need to include some time dealing with healthy nutrition choices for children as they age. There should also be a health class I think in school right from kindergarten that addresses healthy eating/diet and exercise choices. Schools also need to stop cutting physical education/sports. Yes, breast is best as a first nutrition, but it's not fair to say that bottle fed babies are obese, because certainly there are bottle fed babies that aren't, and breastfed babies that are. In fact, two of my friends (both small-average weight) breastfed their babies and had huge (28+ lbs at a year) babies. I'm overweight (I have a medical condition that causes it) and breastfed and have a small baby (18lbs at 17 months). So there are a lot of factors that contribute to this epidemic, all of which need to be addressed. I don't think it's intentional neglect of the parents, but maybe lack of education. Certainly if we improve our education around nutrition, access to healthy choices, access to sports, hopefully people will learn to make the choices to live a healthier lifestyle.

Nelly - posted on 01/02/2012

290

2

17

I think that the parents r 2 b blamed children can only eat whats at home if junk food is limited then children will have 2 eat healthy if parents cok and prepare healthy meals thats what children eat

Maree - posted on 12/29/2011

720

0

26

Eating an apple does about as much for me as having a mouthful of water...absolutely nothing !!!

Jaime - posted on 12/29/2011

4,427

24

197

I don't really think it's a question of 'who' is to blame. Childhood obesity has a few culprits, with parental influence being the strongest--apart from medical conditions. But parental influence is only a fraction of the bigger picture. Consumerism is as much to blame for childhood obesity as are the habitual sugar binges that some children grow accustomed to by watching the adults in their life indulge a bit too much. There is a market for EVERYTHING. There is a market for weight loss, just as readily as their is a market for sweet treats and savory meals at a fraction of the cost of buying and preparing food fresh for each meal. Everything is connected. That's not to say that parental influence is somehow canceled out because of the overwhelming influence of consumerism--and subsequently mass marketing, but it definitely puts things into perspective. I KNOW that my food choices are not always good. I would even wager to say that 90% of the time I am consciously making bad food choices for myself. Why...I have no fucking clue, but I know that it has a lot to do with years upon years of habitual snacking. Snacking is not a bad thing. Snacks are recommended as part of a healthy diet. It's the TYPE of snack that's the problem. I read a comment where someone said that most times people will reach for the cupcake instead of the apple because it packs a bigger sugar punch...and it's true, but what's interesting is that it's a very short-lived sugar punch, which is what keeps us sugar addicts coming back for seconds, thirds and so on until our entire stash of "treats" is depleted and we are left feeling severely disillusioned if not a bit crazy from all the sugar we've consumed. Snacking on that apple would have been the better choice for many reasons. Most obvious is the health and nutrition benefits that come with eating fruit. But also, the sugars in an apple are good for us and they last longer as far as giving us energy throughout the period of the day when we're not consuming a full meal. Thus why snacking is important. The consumer trap that the majority of households fall into is the 'need' that is created for all of the less expensive, highly habit-forming foods that are boxed and pre-made for our 'convenience'. Don't have time to eat breakfast? Eat a cereal bar..sure it's packed full of delicious tasting ingredients, but it's also got a ton of other shit too...the stuff that we become accustomed to as part of the cycle of consumerism. The need was first created for us, but now that need has been manifest into our homes and our lives and it's a hell of a trap to try and climb out of. I don't think it's as simple as asking who is to blame for childhood obesity because there most definitely ARE many other factors involved. I say again that these other factors don't cancel out parental influence, but they do and they will continue to access the very core of our collective mentality to 'show' us what we need and what we ultimately want versus what we actually need to live and survive. Consumerism, parental influence, mass media, the older generations, and on and on and on. What we need, and will always need is education and information. And we also need to put 'moderation' at the top of our vocabulary list and use it for every facet of our lives if we really want to beat the influences that bombard us daily. But that's just my take on it...

Audrey - posted on 12/29/2011

143

29

11

not going to sit here and read the entire comment thread but parents are 100% to blame for their child being over-weight. if you dont like mcdonalds food, dont take them to eat there. if you think the school lunch isnt healthy, make a sack lunch for them. You get the idea. You cant just blame everyone else for your misfortunes. you have to take responsibility for your own children and for what goes in their mouths.

Kate CP - posted on 12/28/2011

8,942

36

758

It's hard to figure out what to eat because your body is so craving the sugar. Having to go through detox is not fun. :/

Maggie - posted on 12/28/2011

818

24

47

oh and part of my point on the obesity thing - when I said she refused to do anything...I think it's because people think it's HARD to figure out what to eat if you can't eat pasta. Even my husband was wary of trying some of the new foods I've given him over the years. I made spaghetti squash instead of spaghetti about 4 times before he would even taste it but now he LOVES it! It just takes a little planning and yeah, I guess some work. Americans need to stop being lazy!

Maggie - posted on 12/28/2011

818

24

47

hahaha, we all have to deal with the consequences of our choices. I highly recommend large doses of vitamin D for your cold. I take 10,000 units when I'm sick...although since I started taking vitamin D I haven't had a single cold!
Also - I tried the Paleo Diet and I felt the best I ever felt when I was eating that way. I switched back to "normal" because it's hard to cut out all grains, sugar and salt but I have definitely cut down and I lost 20 pounds! (before I got pregnant again, anyway)

[deleted account]

Maggie, I completely agree with you. Much like everything else, the problem has to be recognized before it can be helped. :) And, until it's recognized, or acknowledged, it's passed down through generations. I would never dream of handing my son a chocolate cupcake and a glass of kool-aid for an afternoon snack, though I have friends that see that as a perfect "pick-me-up" kind of snack. Our bodies are truly in a delicate balance and it takes very little to throw them out of balance, once out of balance, we have less energy, get sick more often, even our moods are affected. I'm saying this at this moment, coming down with a cold, completely irritated at myself for all of the crap I fed myself this last weekend. Dammit! :)

Maggie - posted on 12/28/2011

818

24

47

I'm with you, Sherri. Stupid gestational diabetes. I had it with #2 and I'm pretty sure I now have it with #3!

Maggie - posted on 12/28/2011

818

24

47

carbs aren't bad, you need carbs to live. However, TOO MANY carbs (like in the american diet) is bad. Especially when they are from refined products like pasta and white bread. Carbs from fruit and veggies are good for you!!

Maggie - posted on 12/28/2011

818

24

47

I think part of the problem, too is that people don't CARE about "eating healthy". Seriously, I know a woman who is 5 feet tall and almost 300 pounds. She eats nothing but pasta, bread and meat. NO VEGGIES. She gets headaches and feels faint if she doesn't eat often. I've tried to tell her she needs to get tested for diabetes but she refuses because she's "afraid of needles". She just doesn't care. So once we figure out how to make people care then the obesity epidemic will be over.

Kate CP - posted on 12/28/2011

8,942

36

758

You're missing my point. It's not just about teaching your kids early, it's about dealing with the addiction as a teenager and adult. Adults don't even realize they're addicted to sugar. Habits can be formed young but that doesn't mean they won't change and grow with the person. The problem is that people seriously don't know how to eat healthily. When a person thinks that a good meal is a plate of spaghetti with meatballs, red sauce, and a side salad then there is a problem with our nutritional ideals.

Maggie - posted on 12/28/2011

818

24

47

right, that's why I said you have to start teaching your kids early. Also, if the cupcake isn't there and the choice is an apple or nothing then they'll pick the apple or just be hungry.

Kate CP - posted on 12/28/2011

8,942

36

758

I agree that it comes down to choice. But you're talking about addiction, here. It's like offering a heroin addict heroin or a salad. They will almost ALWAYS choose heroin because they are addicted to it. People are addicted to sugar and it's damn near impossible to get away from it. So when people see healthy whole-foods like apples next to a cupcake they will usually choose the cupcake because it packs a bigger sugar punch.

Maggie - posted on 12/28/2011

818

24

47

I think it all starts with the parents. Sure it's easier to just run by the drive-through on your way home and pick up some dinner but it's more educational and nutritious if you make the same meal at home. We have to teach our kids about good food choices from an early age (my kids would rather have apples than cookies!!). The food suppliers give people what they want. For example, if they aren't selling cake then they'll stop making it because they'd lose money. If they are selling more apples they'll grow more apples because they'll make money. It all comes down to OUR choices.

Tina - posted on 12/11/2011

1,314

28

301

There a many things that contribute to child hood obesity. Even if we give our kids healthy food at home and even pack a healthy lunch. If kids are given pocket money chances are they'll spent a canteen on sugary snacks. Doesn't mean the canteen is at fault. The parents and shool should be working together to make sure healthy snacks are accessible at school as well. As for as home we all know young kids can eat and eat. That's just what they do and if they are going to snack make sure you read the labels and ingrediants and lool at the fat, sugar and salt content. I buy with price and convenience in mind but I also look at contents of what ever I buy. My kids eat healthy meals. My little boy in particular still likes to snack. I just try to make better choices for snacking. Even on a budget.

Kate CP - posted on 12/11/2011

8,942

36

758

I've said it before and I'll say it again: sugar is the hardest substance to quit.

Minnie - posted on 12/11/2011

7,076

9

788

Just one reason why we're homeschooling: elementary students in the districts here have gym ONCE a week. And 15 minute recess. Unacceptable to me.

Stifler's - posted on 12/11/2011

15,141

154

604

We haven't had take away for weeks. It's way more expensive here than making food at home, which irritates me no end. I'd be so fat if I lived in the USA.

Denikka - posted on 12/11/2011

2,160

5

749

Fast food/processed food IS addictive.



I make most of my meals from scratch. Or at least, as much from scratch as possible. I use things like tomato sauce to make my own spaghetti sauce. I also make my own marinades (for meat) out of other condiments. So as far as that goes, yea..I kinda cheat. I also like canned cream corn and canned mushroom soup on occasion.

We have hot dogs occasionally. 2-4 times a month. Usually on lazy days, especially days that I go shopping (every other week) and dad's in charge of cooking that night. We also have bacon about the same frequency.

Other than that, everything is homemade.

I admit we don't eat as many veggies as we should. And carbs (especially pasta) make up a bigger part of our diet than they should. But 90% of what I make is mostly from scratch. If I had a freezer and a few various other kitchen implements, MUCH more would be made from scratch.

And once we have more access to money and room (aka better job and our own house) even more will be made from scratch and I won't even have to use canned tomato sauce, mushroom soup, or cream corn. I also intend on raising my own meat, so that will also be healthier.

We're still big people. On a personal level, I blame too many carbs, a sedentary lifestyle and the fact that some of the food just tastes WAY too damn good XD



On a large scale though, I think it's a big mix of a lot of things. And those things can differ depending on where you live.

In the area that I grew up in, laziness played a BIG part in home meals being full of crap. Parents couldn't be bothered to make food for their kids. Through elementary school, it was about 50/50 as to the kids lunches. You had half who had chips, brownies, pop, lunchables etc every day. On the other side, you had the kids with whole wheat sandwiches with lettuce, tomato, and homemade, oven roasted chicken and an apple, or something like that.

Between the two groups, there was a fairly even scattering of parents who both worked, one parent working, higher income, lower income etc. And we all lived in a fairly small community, so everyone had access to the same things. In that situation, it came down to laziness.



When I hit highschool, the school had a LOT more impact on what the kids ate. The kids wanted more independence. Most parents weren't making lunches for school anymore, and the for the few that still did, those brown bag lunches usually got chucked at the door. The options at the school were, plain and simple, VERY unhealthy. Deep fried (oh and I mean DEEP FRIED and dripping!) french fries. Poutine was also a huge seller. Big gobs of cheese, nasty, greasy gravy that was LOADED with salt. Burgers, pizza..the list went on. Yes, there were some so called *healthier* options. But really....who is going to pick the nasty, week old bran muffin that was looking pretty questionable? Or the 3 day old, wilted, gooey salad that looked like it might bite back? But they were there, so technically. . .they were options. I won't even get into *potatoes, ketchup, corn and now PIZZA are vegetables*.



As for exercise, in elementary school, we had gym 3 times a week and in highschool it was every day for half the year, each for about an hour (1hr and 15min). Which would be fine, if we were actually moving for that hour. Instead, the teacher would insist on spending 20+ minutes of that explaining what we were doing that day. We also went and did different *projects* for gym. Things like dance or gymnastic routines. We'd end up with about a week to make up our own routines, practice, etc. Most of that time was spent standing or sitting around arguing about music or moves. Very little moving. And that was a prevalent theme in the years I took gym. Very little actual moving. Even *active* sports like soccer barely got us to move.

Not to mention the schools banning games like tag or red rover at recess and lunch. Too *dangerous*.



I think it's a failure across the board. Junk food is too easy to get and it's too easy to eat. People don't want to put forth more effort than needed, so it's an easy out. Add in so much misinformation and will full ignorance and propaganda from the government and food companies (pizza is not a vegetable!!!!!)

In some areas, certain foods are inaccessible and I think that's just unacceptable.



It's a lot of things rolled into one. Once again, and as with a LOT of things (welfare systems, health care systems etc etc etc) the whole things needs a HUGE overhaul. Junk should ALWAYS be more expensive than fresh foods. It should be easy to get to. And people need to have the drive to learn how to prepare it. The information is out there. With the internet, library, bookstores, and other people, not knowing HOW to cook is a pretty lame excuse. Not everyone has *the touch* to make gourmet meals, but anyone can make edible food. And the more you do it, the better you get.

[deleted account]

Fast food is most defiantly addictive. Its loaded with fats, salts and sugars plus loads of excitotoxins like msg. We physically get a high from eating it. No wonder people crave it.

Stifler's - posted on 12/10/2011

15,141

154

604

I think fast food is addictive. There I said it. i would rather eat kfc than make food at home anyday. i also hate rinsing dishes, stacking te dishwasher, washing my frying pan or steamer. i'd much rather throw out the packaging and spend time with my husband.

Stifler's - posted on 12/10/2011

15,141

154

604

And only 100grams of meat a day. I don't think that is how nature intended us to eat.

Stifler's - posted on 12/10/2011

15,141

154

604

I think it's ridiculous too. At one point I read something that advocated for 11 serves of grains per day? WTF

Kate CP - posted on 12/10/2011

8,942

36

758

I only blame the government for setting the nutrition standards. They're wrong and it's not healthy to eat they way they tell you to,.

Rosie - posted on 12/10/2011

8,657

30

321

in the same way our murder rate is so high here in the states, obesity is a problem within the minority communities. now i'm not saying only minorities are obese, or that only minorities are murderers, but it is a problem for these people. and it all comes down to poverty, and the problems minorities face in this country, and those who are not minority, but are poor.

statistically black people are 8 times more likely to commit murder, but that doesn't mean that black people are just bad simply because they're black. the injustices that black people face everyday, causes all sort of ripple effect. from more violence, more single parent families, more health problems, more obesity. you can't tell me that people who have the cards stacked against them at every corner are solely responsible for everything society has brought on them. you also can't make me believe that the government isn't responsible for many of their problems.

Jodi - posted on 12/10/2011

3,562

36

3907

Yeah, that sucks. I can't imagine not having a grocery store nearby. Or even getting to the grocery store and not being able to get anything fresh. It's not something that many Australians could comprehend, unless they pretty much live in the deepest darkest outback.

Rosie - posted on 12/10/2011

8,657

30

321

this kinda explains a little of what i was saying. http://www.minoritynurse.com/obesity/fig...
like i said before i do think there needs to be more personal responsibility. but when there isn't a grocery store in your area, and you have no car, you are gonna go to the gas station and grab convienance food.

Jodi - posted on 12/10/2011

3,562

36

3907

Oh, I understand :) It happens to the best of us. That's why I don't believe it is necessarily all about laziness. It's about knowing how to go about it too, and that's a learned skill. Perhaps a big part of the solution is having programs to provide education of this type to families who are struggling with time.

Rosie - posted on 12/10/2011

8,657

30

321

i guess me being on the end of the overwhelmed feeling before, i just know what it's like to not have any motivation. i know exactly what it is that teresa is talking about.
when my husband got into his car accident a few years ago when i was pregnant with my last one, i became so overwhelmed and tired, and completely drained that fast food was my easy way out of SOMETHING, since i was doing EVERYTHING for EVERYBODY.
i'm not saying that all obese people are poor, and uneducated but the majority are in my country. many of them are single parents, trying to be everything to everybody-much like teresa. i guess i have been there, done that, and understand how overwhelming everything feels. i was a single mother once, and know what it's like to feel the way i felt.

Jodi - posted on 12/10/2011

3,562

36

3907

I don't see time as an excuse. i have so many meals with meat and fresh veg that I cook up that take less than 1/2 hour of my time. But only because I don't cook with a microwave (I never learned to, and I don't like to anyway). So it takes 20 minutes to cook in the steamer or oven. No big deal. It takes all of 5 minutes of preparation. And If I plan ahead, I do all my shopping at once, so I save time. I also often cook up double batches (it doesn't take twice the time to do double batches) that I can then freeze for another time. So I always have lots of meals in the freezer ready to go.

I am not sure it is necessarily laziness though. I think there is a certain skill involved in being sufficiently organised to be able to feed the family properly at minimal expense and with minimum time. It's probably more an *education* issue, helping parents to learn how to do it. It is perfectly possible no matter your situation and time.

Maree - posted on 12/10/2011

720

0

26

Here in Australia...healthy food is cheaper than junk!!!
So there really is no excuse apart from laziness.
The government gives plenty of money to single parents and also to married or partnered parents to supplement their income...

If both parents have to or want to work then that's fine....if they are overworked then maybe they need to look at what they have that they don't need,get rid of some things then cut down their work hours.

Eg...A large house,expensive cars,pool,brand clothes,dinners out...a house in an expensive area because apparently they are TOO GOOD to live in a cheap area.

So basically if they have to work full time and have no time to cook then they should look at themselves instead of blaming the government.

Get a cheap house in a cheaper area because believe it or not..."YOU ARE NO BETTER THAN ME BECAUSE YOU LIVE IN AN EXPENSIVE AREA"..particularly in a house you are RENTING cause you can't get a loan big enough to cover your mansion!!!
And if you have a mortgage you can't afford then whose fault is that???? Mine ????Julia Gillards???
Yeah i know she's a complete idiot but hey,she got voted in by a bunch of nit wits didn't she,now we have to suffer the consequences !!!!

My kids eat healthily,i can breast feed because i have no need to work. We pretty much own our house because we live in a reasonably priced area and don't buy expensive junk food 3 times a week. I would blame no one other than myself for my problems.

My son goes to private school,we have private health insurance,nice 5 bedroom renovated house,pool,yard etc but if we lived in an expensive suburb we would have nothing more than a dump in an "apparently" better area where the people a stuck up and think they are superior....no thanks!!!..We would need to use public education,would have no health insurance and basically be taking everything the government is willing to throw at us...which by the way is quite a lot.

I have no issue with people going to public school...it's there for everyone but i don't believe that people who can afford junk food and nice cars should be bludging off the government by getting free medical care just because they can!!! ..The hospitals are in a complete mess because selfish people want to take take take so that they are so full that people are getting neglected in there...personally i'd rather pay for my health insurance,have my own doctor and use a private hospital...i wouldn't want my dog in the public hospitals here,let alone my children.

People need to grow up and fend for themselves more...and stop whinging. It's YOUR family,stop making the tax payer responsible for YOUR problems!!!

~♥Little Miss - posted on 12/10/2011

21,273

9

3058

I don't think it is necessarily one person to blame, it is the media, the fast food restaurants on every corner, it is the grocery store putting shitty food at perfect eye level for the kids. Yes, it does boil down to the parents buying it, and making it available....but there are a lot of outside pressures. I think it is a combination, but parents need to take responsibility.

Rosie - posted on 12/10/2011

8,657

30

321

i'm using my crockpot right now as well. :) red beans and rice, dirt cheap and tasty. :)

Rosie - posted on 12/10/2011

8,657

30

321

i agree jenny...but i guess i'm saying people are tired. and theres a difference between being gone working for 6 hours a day, and 12. theres a difference between tired and lazy.

Jenny - posted on 12/10/2011

4,426

16

129

A crock pot is an awesome tool. Throw a pork roast in with bbq sauce and get some buns. You have a ton of pulled pork sandwiches at the end of the day. Serve with coleslaw. Or use ground beef, corn and taco mix to have burritos.

Grill chicken skewers and serve on pitas with cut up cucumbers, green peppers, tomatoes and tzatziki. The veggies come out of my garden, I make the tzatziki.

Make huge salads for quick meals on the go. Pasta salads are great for snacks and lunches. Garden salads are great to put a handful in a sandwich or wrap for lunches. You can eat them in a van too Teresa lol.

Jenny - posted on 12/10/2011

4,426

16

129

Look for solutions Dyan. Both parents work in my home too. On days off I cook. I have a stew simmering right now that will provide a couple of suppers and a couple of lunches during the week. I use a cutup cheap roast instead of stewing beef, toss in some root vegetables, spices and homemade broth I always have in the freezer and you have inexpensive meals. I never throw out bones without making broth from them. I have a regular supply of vegetable, chicken and beef broth. I freeze some in ice cube trays to cool down hot meals for the kids. I use leftovers for other meals. Plan ahead and you can make it work. There are no excuses for a lack of will.

Yes, you can get healthy food. Shop the outside aisles, plant a garden, find a farmer's market. The internet is a valuable resource for education and meal planning. Anyone can eat healthy and for less money.

[deleted account]

Lifestyle can very well have an impact. We eat dinner in the van twice a week... While I'm working, we're out of the house from 7am til just before 7pm on those days... Pretty hard to eat 'good' (though I do the best I can) then.

Of course, the REASON we're out of the house til almost 7 is so that my girls can spend 3.5 hours/week in the gym. ;)

Rosie - posted on 12/10/2011

8,657

30

321

i'm thinking you aren't understanding the type of work i'm talking about. people are working waaaaay more than we used to. BOTH partners, not just men like it used to be, when women had time to make a thousand things at home, and their husband brought home enough money to pay the bills.

look, i think a lot of people are lazy too. but like i said they are uneducated most of the time. and if they aren't well, i truly think we have been conditioned to be this way because we're forced to work our asses off, most likely aren't the happiest, and need help doing things and making stuff easier on ourselves.
i used to be the type that made things...but always used prepackaged convienant food to do it, thinking i was doing something great. until i really learned about what is in our food and what it does to us, i didn't get it.
i honestly think you people have no clue what the united states food supply is all about. i cannot get food without preservatives or chemical additives, or an ungodly amount of sugar without paying a premium price for it. it seems like in other countries it's either illegal, or just unheard of to have as much crap in their food as it is here. our government is totally to blame, for our lifestyle, and then the food that they force us to use because of that lifestyle. i'm all for personal responsibility, but a person can only handle so much.

[deleted account]

I personally blame parents on multiple fronts -- modeling and making poor food choices, not encouraging and modeling physical fitness, etc. I think the schools don't help the matter, but at the end of the day, the buck stops with mom and dad. I also think culturally Americans don't know how to cook anymore (and rely too much on processed foods) and don't understand what is healthy and what isn't.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms