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FATTYBOY230 SparkPoints: (22,726)
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8/7/13 5:30 P

Years ago scientists predicted that over millions of years that humans bodies will shrink and the head would become bigger to accommodate the more bigger intelligent brain. I think were going through trends kind of like the weather patterns

DEANNA0725 SparkPoints: (22,011)
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8/7/13 4:37 P

My son is overweight and it is my fault. After my husband passed away unexpectedly I feel into a depression and ended up just stopping and getting fast food for dinner all the time. things are changing now, but it is going to be a long haul.

TINAB481 SparkPoints: (7,814)
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8/7/13 12:04 P

My children are active and we only allow them junk food on occasion. When I was growing up, my parents ate high fat, high calorie foods and my mom fried just about everything. I was fat and hated it. I was determined that my children would not have to go through the same stuff as I have. I still struggle with my weight at times and this is something I will have to be careful of the rest of my life.
They eat veggies that we grow ourselves and have limits. We are active together which I think also helps. I can't demand something from them that I won't do myself.

MANDIETERRIER1 Posts: 13,700
8/7/13 11:52 A

When I was growing up my mom tried to raise us to be healthy. So junk food was an absolute no no unless my dad brought it in the house. So that just made it the forbidden food.

If I had kids I would try to teach them to have a healthy relationship with all types of food. Including junk food and McDonalds. When you make it forbidden that just heightens its mystique. And being a person that was raised with the no no food is so good, so bad and so naughty. It just makes you want it more. At least that is how it was for me.

PATTYGRAN Posts: 397
8/7/13 7:13 A

We did have a local store that was a couple miles away, we did walk to it because we were sent up with a list from our moms. But our rewards were small amounts of candy. There were a few fast food resturants but those were like once or twice a year treats. Dessert was also reserved for birthdays and holidays, not daily. We had plenty to eat but we had chores to do and if the weather was decent, we were outside.

EMPRESSAMQ Posts: 5,077
7/31/13 2:31 P

Absolutely, parents have the ultimate responsibility to help their kids be as healthy as possible, including (IMO) taking a proactive stance for good food choices and activity.



PATTIJOHNSON Posts: 2,075
7/31/13 10:14 A

I agree that one of the biggest changes from when I was a kid is that we were much more active. All the same temptations were around -- a close convenience store that we spent our money at for candy (the money came from the bottles we collected and turned in), fast food restaurants, but maybe not quite so many of them, and all the foods our parents cooked for us plus homemade cakes, cookies and ice-cream. The huge difference? We played outside all day during weekends and summers, and after we did our homework when school was in. We weren't texting or playing video games. We weren't sitting in front of the TV eating Cheetos. We were outside throwing balls, playing games, building forts, running to friends houses, etc. We were never still enough for the calories to congeal.

I realize that it's not too safe for kids to play outside all day without supervision, so it's important that parents put the extra effort across to make sure kids get plenty of physical activities in their lives, support and push their schools to keep and maintain PE classes, and step up to the plate and take their kids' phones away for a few hours a day, shut the TV off, unplug the video games and limit kids time from being sedentary blobs! It's always easier to put the blame elsewhere or to let the kids be babysat by electronic gadgets.

All it takes is being proactive. As parents, we are the ones in charge. And parents shouldn't be bamboozled by this "entitlement" thing kids try to defend themselves with. NO, they don't have to have gadgets -- that is a privilege. NO, they don't have to eat out all the time -- that is a privilege (BTW, growing up, I probably only went out to a restaurant with my parents maybe 3 or 4 times -- my whole childhood -- not 3 or 4 times a week).

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY!! and lots of it!

MKMMARTY Posts: 1,262
7/31/13 9:51 A

fast food for two days in a row - bad bad Marty.


SUZIEQUE77 SparkPoints: (8,659)
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7/31/13 9:48 A

I never went to any fast food places when I was a kid. And we were forced to do a lot of physical work (on a farm), with very little time to sit around watching TV, etc. Yet our whole family was overweight, in an era when not so many were overweright. So this influences my viewpoint on the topic.

Fast food is not the ONLY way people get too many calories. Rich cooking and large portions are also contributors and I would say that is the main reason we were mostly all overweight in my family, growing up.

I learned about calories in 6th or 7th grade, I think, in science class. I learned that for every extra 3500 calories you take in, you will gain a pound. And to lose a pound, you must burn in 3500 calories more than you take in. To me it is fairly simply math/science. I learned it in the mid 70's. We read all sorts of confusing things that try to complicate this simple formula, or claim one type of food calorie is vastly differen than another. I don't believe that (but will concede you need a healthy balance of nutritious foods in order to stay healthy). Calories are calories, no matter where they come from.

I really think parents today need to pay attention to what they keep in the house, how they prepare the food, size of portions, how often snacks are allowed/encouraged. In addition to that, obviously, constantly going to fast food establishments, or any restaurant, really, is a bad idea, but occasionally should not be a problem, especially if you make reasonable selections at these establishments.

AMANDANCES Posts: 1,983
7/31/13 9:07 A

I have a very "active" (lol) almost-2-year-old, and one of his favorite activities is "helping" me and Daddy in the kitchen. Daddy does most of the actual cooking, but I do a lot of the prep work, and I'm finding creative ways to get my son involved in that (shucking corn, moving beans from one container to another, letting him "measure" out quantities of water into a bowl, etc.) This actually entertains him for quite a while, and I am consistently astonished by what he understands. Yesterday he took the yellow peppers I gave him to "de-stem" and he told me, "Peppers. No seeds." (Apparently he did listen to me when I told him we don't eat the seeds of the peppers.)

He's the least picky eater of all my friends' kids, and I really think it's because he spends so much time in the kitchen seeing us prepare food and then eat it.

Like any mother, it bothers me when I have to do housework or cook instead of playing with my child, but with a little planning, you can do chores together, still get done what needs to get done, and still spend time together -- and hopefully set good examples. When I vacuum, I enlist my son to round up the socks and the dog toys. When we work in the yard, he collects fallen leaves and puts them in the compost for me (or drags them in and out of the compost, but it only takes me a couple of minutes to put everything back when we're finished.

Too often I think people don't consider letting their children "help" in the kitchen, or "help" with yard work. It would be easy for me to park him in the Pack-and-Play and turn on Elmo's World, (which when we're frying stuff, that IS what we do) but it's more fun for everybody when he's part of the action. (Even if it means a tiny bit of extra cleanup at the end of the day.)

I don't BLAME parents for not realizing their kids are capable of more than just sitting on the couch playing video games, and we're lucky in that we have a fenced-in backyard to play in. I think we just need more education for busy parents on how to get kids active and eating healthy.

NICOLEROBERTS1 Posts: 63
7/31/13 7:19 A

How can healthy food ad campaigns compare with the hundreds of millions of dollars that fast/junk food companies spend on advertising? Answer, It can't! Why is junk food so cheap, but healthy foods are so much higher in price? We must start kids off from birth with healthy foods, and take extra time out of our days to prepare healthy meals at home. We shall overcome!

SHERYLDS Posts: 12,049
7/31/13 7:16 A

we teach by example

food choices, portion sizes, activities, snacking choices...
these are all relationships we learn from early stages that live on in our minds.
It's tougher to retrain.

It's also a problem with parents who don't have the energy to spend quality time with their kids. Hugs and activities are better than cookies and video games.

PATTYGRAN Posts: 397
7/31/13 7:08 A

A lot of good info and points here. My turn to weigh in. While I don't blame fast food entirely I do feel it plays a part in this epidemic, as well as processed foods. Our children also live a more sedetary life than we did. When I was young we had one TV and my parents controled what we watched, we also didn't have the computer and TV games that are out there now. My children limit the amount of time that their kids spend on these but I don't think all parents do. Also, some of my grandkids have TV's in their bedrooms, which I feel is not the best idea, but these kids swim all summer, play sports and live in a neighborhood where they can walk the streets and ride their bikes. Educating children on food labels and choices and making sure they limit their TV and game times goes hand and hand. It's very important, especially since a lot of schools have had to cut gym classes. That's my two cents.

FITGLAMGIRL Posts: 2,036
7/19/13 3:45 P

Exotec interesting you bring up food labels. The other day I was reading labels with my kids and the sugar was high like 39 grams for a serving, now the kids thought this item was healthy until we actually read the food label. I don't remember what it was we were reading.....I think yogurt, So you are right we can think something is good for us and then maybe we don't really know, especially if we don't know HOW to read a label or what's high or not. Like how many grams of sugar is ok per day for an adult or child? These are things we need to know or the label is useless too.

I do send my kids to school with mostly healthy items in their lunch, but they are smart and have learned how to trade for the chips, drink boxes etc. Well, at least some child got a homemade cookie or veggies with ranch or a sandwich made on homemade bread. Ha Ha!

EXOTEC Posts: 3,220
7/19/13 3:14 P

I can't see that it's *going* to stop. Not for our kids, not for us. Not so long as the big agricultural interests are still driving our "nutritional" guidelines. Not so long as we're still relying on flawed research. Not so long as politicians/businesspeople are underwriting the recommendations.

Things are labeled as "healthy" which are ANYthing *but*. We're still laboring under the mistaken notion that whole grains are good and fats are killers and "healthy" (?) processed foods can be okay. And portion sizes... most restaurant or fast food "servings" are enough for 2-3 people, not one meal for one person!

We've gotten lazy in being able to throw together something to eat that doesn't disrupt our "multitasking" lifestyle. We don't cook real food anymore. We can't teach our kids what real food is, or where it comes from, or why it's better for us than the 15-foot-high burgers they see on the billboards. Snack chips on the side of a semi that are bigger than we are! Or the dozens of mouthwatering food ads we're bombarded with every time we link in to any media: TV, radio, computer... even here on SP! McD's egg white sandwiches. Yeah, right. And then there's the peer pressure of what's in somebody ELSE'S lunch. That goes for kids at school as well as what we're exposed to from coworkers.

It's a terrible situation. Some of us are doing our due diligence, reading the good research, modifying our outlook for health in light of the new thinking. Rejecting the old and refuted information that's led us down this path of "un-health" and even disease... but you don't dare mention it in mainstream dietary circles. The dogma is too deeply entrenched, and the proponents simply aren't able or willing to apply unbiased thinking to suggestions which aren't in their comfort zone.

How *can* it possibly change on a scale of greater than one-for-one?

ONTHEPATH2 SparkPoints: (50,943)
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7/19/13 1:46 P

I used to think being over weight was heredity - but then again, maybe some of it is learned bad behaviour. If parents eat poorly, pass along those habits to their kids. Sometimes I think our need to be busy, to have our kids in sports, dance, all the things they do - while most parents both work - it becomes easier to grab that burger in a bag on the way to the soccer game or just pick up a pizza on the way home. Again, teaching our kids bad habits.

It is time to stop - for our kids sake!!!

ANNE_BRANTLEY Posts: 37
7/19/13 1:20 P

We got a message from the school last year that our kindergartner needed to go to the doctor because his BMI was too low. I felt a little surprised to get this, especially since we had just been to a well child checkup and they weren't concerned at all. That said, we really try hard to teach them about "sometimes foods" and what is healthy. It is hard though; junk food is everywhere! Even seemingly healthy things, like kids yogurt, is loaded with extra sugar these days. I know how much sugar makes me crave sugar and it makes me nervous that we are programming our children to eat overly salty/sugary foods.

A friend of mine recently adopted a child from another country. Here's this toddler drinking eel broth and dipping dried seaweed in it. It was a light bulb moment for me about my own children! Kids eat and like what they're surrounded by.

I'm kinda rambling now, but I also agree about the school lunches. Even though there are healthy choices often up there, the kids don't take them. It's disheartening to watch them make such poor choices on their own.

CAMEOSUN SparkPoints: (77,065)
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7/19/13 11:24 A

Yes, it is the parent's responsibility to 'train' their children in making wise choices. We, as parents, can save them some heartache/health issues down the road.

AMANDANCES Posts: 1,983
7/19/13 9:38 A

Cheetos in the lunchbag???? In Elementary school?

Now I know kids can easily throw out or trade the healthy lunch you pack for them, so maybe it's not the parents' fault -- but I can't help but think "WHY are you packing that for your kid?"

My Mom used to pack AWESOME lunches. She didn't believe in canned spaghettios, so she made her own, and she always made sure I had a lot of variety. She made her own trail mix and fruit salad (which she still does) and used to paint messages on the slices of bread with food coloring. (I love you, eat me, you're special -- that kind of thing.) I did sometimes get a twinkie or potato chips, but that was a treat, and usually because of a good report card.

LAURIEANDBLUE2K SparkPoints: (17,318)
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7/18/13 11:08 A

I agree! I am an elementary school teacher and I see obese kids every single day. They bring hot Cheetos to school for lunch and tell me they play video games after school for hours instead of playing outside.

This has to stop. Kids used to love PE class and now I often hear, "Do we have to run today?" So sad.....

SILLYANN Posts: 28
7/18/13 9:55 A

I am a couch potato. Fortunately, my DH is not, and chance fate got us into soccer. It is a hobby we all enjoy. The kids play, my husband is a coach for my son's team, and holds various positions in the local AYSO. My daughter is now on the HS varsity team, and my son is a good little goalie. I drive and cheer, and have made good friends. While the kids are at practice, we walk the track. That being said, my daughter pudged out when she turned 10, and then later slimmed down. Hauling her butt around the field was a major internal motivator for her to lose weight when she realized it was making her slow. My son is now pudging out too. I think at around 10, they begin a relationship with food where they really, really like it, and start trying to eat adult portions. He also loves pop, although it is a treat, and will find any sweet thing in the house. (Like his mother) I am hoping that they keep up their athleticism, and that my son will also appreciate being slimmer when he comes to that maturity. It's up to parents to set the limits. (Although as a HS teacher, I was thrilled when the pop machines went bye-bye at school. Society can help too.)

GUDDIGO Posts: 1,081
7/18/13 9:32 A

I agree. I take responsibility as my child is border case obese. She eats what I put on the table and how much....

FITGLAMGIRL Posts: 2,036
7/18/13 12:57 A

It's great to read that others are doing what they can to reverse the trend of unhealthy kids. Way to go. Hopefully others will follow. We did get an outdoor basketball hoop off craigslist this week and everyday now we are outside with the kids playing basketball. I hope other neighborhood kids and adults join in.

Fenwaygirl wow you are so right on technology! I can find myself in that trap too. Good reminder to put the gadgets down and spend more time with my kids and my hubby. I too agree it's sad at times how we live now, but at anytime we can say NO to the ever revolving technology and go back to a simpler way of life. That simpler life though comes with a price too. Our kids are growing up in an era of technology and they won't be able to escape that and will fall far behind their peers if they don't keep up IMO.

LOUNMOUN Posts: 1,290
7/17/13 4:38 P

Interesting article.
I think the solution is pretty much the same for kids as it is for adults with these health problems.
I think we could all prioritize taking the time to buy and prepare healthy foods instead of grabbing meals on the go even if it means making dramatically different lifestyle choices.
I know people who believe that healthy food is something kids won't eat, too bland, costly or takes too much time to prepare but it doesn't have to be that way.
I think we could cut back on scheduling activities that require our kids to be in a car or sitting for large portions of the day.

My dd has always been below average for weight but very healthy. I was underweight as a child too and I ate much worse than she does and was sick often. Lower weight doesn't automatically mean a healthy lifestyle.
In our home we have made an effort to move away from processed foods and limit restaurant meals. Dd doesn't get soda pop very often. We encourage not regular meals at a table, getting enough sleep and regular exercise.

CORTNEY-LEE SparkPoints: (53,000)
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7/17/13 4:11 P

Yes, Fenwaygirl, I blame Xbox, Playstation, and the internet more than I blame McDonalds. Kids don't go out to play anymore. I never see neighborhood children playing baseball, kick ball, basket ball or any other sport that we did when we were children.



FENWAYGIRL18 Posts: 5,855
7/17/13 4:03 P

Kids aren't burning calories like when we were kids, I think not only do you have to make healthy food choices but you can't have TV or Video games babysit your kids. It seems parents are so busy with their social media outlets that they are neglecting what is right in front of their faces and that is the reality of being fully present with their families especially their children.
When did a phone become more important then your child or husband? It's a sad society that we live in now and if you don't have the newest in technology your not "in the loop".
Guys that work with my husband don't even talk in the break room anymore everyone is to busy with their phones and they laugh at my hubby when he reads an actual paperback book.
People need to put down their gadgets and do fun family things to exercise their children without them even realizing they are exercising... like ride a bike, go fly a kite and walking the beach....

KENDILYNN SparkPoints: (10,563)
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7/17/13 3:55 P

During a school lunch visit with my 1st grader last year, I was shocked to see how few children brought a boxed lunch from home. Maybe 10 kids in the entire cafeteria? I get that the majority of kids in our school district are on reduced-cost (if not free) lunch program, but one look at the menu and I knew they weren't serving the kinds of foods I would like my kids to eat. I mean, I sometimes send PB sandwiches and the occasional GoGurt, but the entire month's school menu was chicken nuggets, cheeseburgers, chili fries (as the entrée!), mac & cheese, nearly all fruit/veg is from a can, etc. I feel like the school is condoning this as normal/healthy food, because the kids see the teachers and administrators as the authority within those four walls, but this is not my definition of "healthy".

I also have friends who go on a diet and continue to cook their family the same old less-than-healthy foods (or takeout), and subject themselves to bland, boring "diet food" that they don't even like as they drool over what they aren't allowed to eat at the other end of the table. I don't see how this benefits anyone! If it's not healthy for you, it's not healthy for your family, and you're setting your kids up for the same issues you have by teaching them this is "normal". My kids eat what we eat for dinner, and breakfast and lunch food we aim for healthier options. Whole wheat bread, lower-sugar cereals, appropriate portions. I hope to strike a balance between being the "food police" and letting my kids be kids, with occasional kid food and treats.

FITGLAMGIRL Posts: 2,036
7/17/13 2:51 P

Oregon you bring up some good points about education. I think that is a good start. Although I will admit I went to college for nutrition have my degree in it and you would think I would have stayed the course, but NO life got in the way and hey I liked eating French fries, chicken nuggets, cheeseburgers and lots of soda and I thought it was great that I didn't need to cook. I had NO idea how bad that food was for me and my kids and I found myself craving it. Now if I eat it my body gets sick and I really can't stand the smell anymore.

My older child was not raised to not eat that way, but our younger kids are now learning nope we don't eat there but they are ok with it. Just recently they stayed at the grandparents for a short stay and had some McDonalds. When they came home they said they were tired of eating out and wanted home cooked food. Yeah!

Yes Walkthrough I agree on the foods we provide our kids will become the norm. I remember when switching to homemade mac and cheese my kids said yuck what is this stuff and I continued to serve it and now they love it. Just for kicks about a year ago I made them a box of mac and cheese I got it free and the kids were like yuck and it went right into the trash. 4 years ago though they absolutely loved it and we made it a lot.

I also think WE need to be ready for change too and are at the point of I can't stand how I feel look etc. Otherwise I think it's easy to go back to bad habits aka fast food, processed food, sodas, chips, candy etc. I wanted results so bad and hated how I looked in the mirror.

It's good to hear all the different perspectives.

WALKTHROUGH Posts: 289
7/17/13 2:31 P

I agree. Fast food must be considered a treat once in a while. It's not our regular food to have it every day. If we, parents, ignore fast food consistently, that will become the normal way of living for our children.

OREGON_MAMA Posts: 2,994
7/17/13 12:10 P

Its about knowledge and its not enough to say, McDonalds is bad for you. There has to be an education on this subject for people to really get it, for that light to click on. My oldest children are about 10 years older than my last kid and the way I raise them is totally different when it comes to food. I'm smarter about things now but when my older kids were little, I really thought I was being mean if I didn't give them soda. I grew up in a "food is everything" (love, companionship, friendship) kind of family and nobody ever taught me how to eat. If I was skinny, it was because I starved myself, if I was fat it was because I ate as much as I wanted. I think that is part of the problem. I honestly believe people seriously have no idea what they're doing. In my twenties I actually learned what a calorie was and how it worked in addition to learning how to prepare healthy food (and why) that translated into me making better choices for my youngest son. But without knowledge and access to knowledge I would have continued with the same choices. (Not to say my family eats perfect or that I even strive for perfection 100% of the time)

MANDIETERRIER1 Posts: 13,700
7/17/13 11:53 A

I totally agree when I was growing up we were a family of six so going out to eat and fast food was a rare treat. If we had a day trip or we traveled to visit family. Not even once a month.

I know people with obese children and the children and adults have so many enablers. It is sad. One that I know of is not spanked or disciplined in any manner but given every little thing his heart desires.

LUV2SURFCHIC Posts: 705
7/17/13 11:42 A

I saw an article on TV yesterday that children who were spanked were more likely to be obese?
What next?

LAURAAT Posts: 1,506
7/17/13 9:05 A

Janine, I see your point, and agree there are exceptions to every rule. But, I don't think every family is doing what your family did - meals as a family, wholesome foods, exercise, etc. If they were, it wouldn't be such a widespread problem.

JANIEWWJD SparkPoints: (228,031)
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7/16/13 11:17 P

When parents wake up and make meal time and workout time a family affair.

JIACOLO SparkPoints: (284,602)
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7/16/13 8:16 P

I can't say that because we ate together meals as a family, I was not overweight. We did eat together and my mom practiced portion control, to a point. My mom served fruit and veggies, not a ton of heavy sauces, and rarely dessert. We played outside and got exercise. Yet, we were overweight. If the answer was simple, don't you think all parents would do it?

On your related note, maybe the teacher meant wool.

OBIESMOM2 SparkPoints: (61,493)
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7/16/13 4:31 P

good point, FGG. Many people who DO think about what they eat don't realize that there are lots of adults who have no idea what is healthy and what isn't. Lots of people have no idea how many calories they eat per day.

I'm always amazed at how many adults don't know where food comes from.

on a related note - on FB not too long ago, I read about a GA teacher who had asked her class "what animal does cotton come from?" WTH??? You still see cotton growing in rural GA - all. the. time.


FITGLAMGIRL Posts: 2,036
7/16/13 4:22 P

I agree that things are different today. When I was a kid we ate breakfast at home, packed our school lunch and ate dinner at home. Fast food places were not really around and the grocery store didn't have all the choices they have today. I don't ever remember eating out at a restaurant when I was growing up. Everything was home cooked.

Now one would think that I would continue that trend. NOPE! Me and my husband had busy jobs and lives so we grabbed fast food, ate out a lot, ate unhealthy stuff, let the kids eat at school etc.

Then when we got our wake up call when were looked in the mirror and said what happened to us. Well that was 4 years ago and along the way we made healthier choices and turned to fitness. I am so glad we made that decision. Not only for us, but for our kids.

I think part is lack of education. Meaning in what to eat, how to eat, how to cook etc. I know I have talked to some that don't even know how to cook or how to read a food label. I just wish we could find a solution to this crisis. I don't know what the answer is, but something needs to happen.

MANDIETERRIER1 Posts: 13,700
7/16/13 3:50 P

I agree

Being a kid is so different these days. I remember when I was growing up. Out after breakfast played until lunch. Begrudgingly came home for lunch and dinner and played outside all day.

During the school year I played outside until dinner.

Kids can't do that anymore.

OBIESMOM2 SparkPoints: (61,493)
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7/16/13 3:37 P

I remember when my brothers were in high school (they are younger, from dad's second marriage) - sis & I noticed how many of their friends were overweight.
When we were in high school, there were very few overweight kids.

I think more families do eat out or grab something from the drive thru on the way home these days. For us, that was very rare. Mom worked full time, but she always cooked super. She always cooked our breakfast. And we packed our lunches (I couldn't even stand the smell of the school cafeteria!)



LAURAAT Posts: 1,506
7/16/13 3:16 P

That is awesome, FitGlamGirl! So glad to see some people still deciding to make better choices for their kids. You are teaching them great habits! emoticon

FITGLAMGIRL Posts: 2,036
7/16/13 2:53 P

Some really good points here. I can raise my hand and say I was guilty of feeding my kids fast food, processed food, soda's, candy, junk to my kids on a regular basis. They were not fat, but me and my husband were.

I did notice though that one of my sons started to get pudgy around his waist from eating breakfast and lunch at school. We stopped that and we have cut out all processed food, junk food, sodas, and fast food out of our lives and his weight is fine now. As a family we are leading a healthier life. In fact, the Dr said my daughter needs to gain weight. I think she is fine. She eats very healthy and is active. I just think Dr's are seeing more kids overweight that when they see a child smaller they think underweight.

We have also incorporated daily fitness into our kids lives, with the hope they will make this a lifestyle choice as they get older. We also make our own foods and rarely eat out.

I just wish that we could do more to help people see the damage they are doing to their kids health. I know when I take my daughter to cheer most of the girls are overweight and we are not talking just a few pounds. It saddens me to see this. They are way to young to have these health issues.

LAURAAT Posts: 1,506
7/16/13 9:31 A

I agree, this is a major issue. And sad, as well! And while personally, I think things like school lunches, school education, and parents hold a lot of responsibility, a lot of people don't agree with that. (Disclaimer: I do not have kids, myself.)
People are in wide disagreement on how this issue needs to be handles. Some say it's the parent's responsibility, solely, to decide how they raise their kids, what they are taught, and how they eat. The schools, and others, need to stay out of it completely. Others believe the schools need to step up and help guide our children to better choices, and feed them more wholesome foods. Some, like me, believe it's a matter of both. I think that's a large cause of the problem...no one knows how to handle it, and no one wants to step on parents' toes.

I think most of us could agree food companies advertising a lot to do with it, as well. While I agree fast food chances aren't exactly evil, but companies like McD's, Coke, Snickers, as examples, do kind of play up their foods, and make healthiER choices seem just plain healthy, and that their foods are ok to eat, on a regular basis. Not as items that should be handled as treats, instead.
Plus, how often do you see commercials for wholesome foods, like fresh berries? How about organic snap peas? Ever see any restaurant commercials advertising their fresh, healthy salads? Or how about a normal sized portion of steak?

Ok, off my rant now. emoticon

OBIESMOM2 SparkPoints: (61,493)
Fitness Minutes: (40,069)
Posts: 4,472
7/16/13 9:23 A

"Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you want to or not. It is the first lesson that ought to be learned, and however early one's training begins, it is probably the last lesson to be learned thoroughly." Thomas Henry Huxley

AMANDANCES Posts: 1,983
7/16/13 8:40 A

I don't blame the fast food industry either, and it bugs me when people make "Big Food" out to be some sort of shadowy conspiracy because they deliberately try to make their food taste better. :/ Personally I think some fast food is delicious -- but I also know it's high in a lot of things that I try to keep low (calories, salt, fat, etc.) so it's a once-in-a-while treat rather than an every day thing.

My mom seems to think my 20-month old son needs this stuff. I am not down on McDonald's but there is NO reason to give my kid french fries. He likes sweet potato and steamed green beans. He goes bonkers over sweet cherries and blueberries. He likes water and milk. He doesn't need french fries or chicken nuggets or candy or soft drinks or kool-aid or ice cream or little debbie cookies. When we want to give him a treat, we give him cherries. He's totally okay with that! Why introduce other food to him that could end up being problematic in the long run?

He's going to be exposed to fast food and junk food soon enough. I do not feel that avoiding potato chips and twinkies at his age is somehow harming him. This is a major issue with my mother (who has struggled with her own weight and body-image issues for all of her life.) Every time I think she is on board with our "healthy eating" plan, she manages to sneak junk food into the picnic basket, or I find her stuffing a cookie in his mouth. Drives me crazy!

Personally I look at overweight and obese kids and my heart breaks for them because it's not something that they themselves have the ability to control. Parenting isn't about being a friend to your child -- it's about making the best decisions for your child and trying to raise them to learn how to make good decisions. One of the first ways we can do this is by making good mealtime decisions.



SUZIEQUE77 SparkPoints: (8,659)
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Posts: 979
7/16/13 8:03 A

I have not read the article but it baffles me how some parents today just don't see any problem even when their children are seriously overweight. And then in some cases, medical professionals inform them their child is overweight and they are stunned because they never noticed. How do you not notice that it is hard to find clothes big enough for your child that are not way too long, and made for an older person? How do you not notice rolls of fat and a huge stomach? I'm glad medical professionals are starting to address this with parents, but I have talked to a few parents who actually expressed surprise the doctor said their child was overweight when it was quite obvious to most of the rest of the world, just from looking at the child.

When I grew up, most of my siblings and I were overweight and so was my mother. I have always known the main cause of this is overeating, and taking in more calories than you burn off. I do not attribute it to heridity or anything else. We lived on a farm and worked hard and told ourselves we deserved all that food. But it is easy to eat more calories than you burn for people who love to eat rich large portions of food, and indulge in desserts. I have spent many years of my life learning not to use food as my main comfort and stress reliever in life and the last thing I would ever want would be for my children to suffer this battle.

I do not blame the fast food industry for the modern obesity trends in children. I blame the parents. Fast food should be once in awhile and not every day. Parents should be providing healthy food and absolutely keeping rich snacks, junk food, and goodies out of the house completely for a child who is obviously drawn to eating too much of that type of food.



BLUENOSE63 SparkPoints: (101,558)
Fitness Minutes: (76,885)
Posts: 2,953
7/16/13 8:01 A

I honestly believe that part of what influences parents is the way they were brought up with food.....after all you are a product of your environment. I grew up in a very active sports family but we didn't have any money, so we played outside all the time. The love of sports is something my DH and I have passed on to our DS. Yet you know my Mom was a really bad cook and would boil the crap out of canned vegetables and we always had potatoes....as a result I only really started eating vegetables when I got married as my husband is a great cook.

PATTYGRAN Posts: 397
7/16/13 6:49 A

I agree a hundred percent. We and our children have gotten caught up in the fast food era and we do need to end it. We can continue to pass around articles like this, we can educate ourselves, and we need to pass the word around. I'd like to do more as well.

FITGLAMGIRL Posts: 2,036
7/16/13 12:41 A

So this article is all about how unhealthy our children have become. Overweight, Obese, Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure Etc.

I get that if we want to be fat we can do that to ourselves, but I do think we as parents need to take some responsibility to raise our kids to make better food choices or our children will end up overweight and have all the same issues we are struggling with.

As a parent, how can we not recognize that by feeding our kids all this junk food, fast food, processed food that its not helping our kids live a healthy lifestyle?

Is this trend going to reverse itself? When are we going to wake up? How can we help here?

I don't know, this stuff really concerns me when it happens to our children! Here is the article. Any comments? Any suggestions on how we change this?

www.nbcnews.com/health/high-blood-pressure
-rising-kids-teens-6C10639746


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