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RENA1965 Posts: 17,878
6/14/10 10:40 P

I drive this life style pretty much strictly, people jump on the lastest diet.. However arrange a social event at work, with family or a sports club and the food hits the table.. I really see people's true backbone colours and lack of self control.. Two or three servings is not considered over eating! lol
Most people dump their lifestyle skills in the rubbish bin and say okay this one time won't hurt.. Many people do this journey with very shallow values and give people like me whom do it honestly alot of unfair gas..
How can we get kids to eat healthy when even our seasonal high times dictate crap food choices on the dinner table..
And folks it has been many years since we were peasants in fields doing hard manual work- people are refusing to see their old eating traditions are also killing people because we move less..
There has to be huge changes in civilizations morals and values.. Before childhood obesity is stopped..

BROADBRUSH Posts: 1,806
6/14/10 7:52 P

hi jaggededges - wow - where do you live? nutritious meals HAVE TO BE SERVED. you are very fortunate if indeed this is a fact where ever you are. french fries, mrs. fields cookies, spaghetti, soda, chocolate milk, - nutritious. yikes!!BB

JAG-OH SparkPoints: (8,567)
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6/14/10 7:45 P

I don't think that what schools serve for lunch is a problem. Schools are required to meet strict nutrition guidelines for what they SERVE. Key word there is SERVE. After they put a nutritious meal on the plate, it's up to the students to make the decisions on what they eat. Yes, things like pizza and chicken nuggets are part of meals, but so are peas and green beans and carrots. If the children choose to only eat the pizza, there's nothing the school can do.

Which brings us back to parents. If parents stress the importance of a balanced diet, then students will be more likely to think twice about what they choose to eat. In my opinion, it is the complete education on health, nutrition and exercise that children are missing, and that is something that parents can do at home and schools can supplement in the classroom through health classes.

JUNIPERMUSE Posts: 6
6/14/10 7:36 P

While I certainly feel that as a parent I play an important role in my child's health. The truth remains that obesity is a societal problem. People are essentially the same since the beginning of Man. What is constantly changing is culture. In a lot of cases, parents are fighting a losing battle when it comes to their children's weight and health. In many places their aren't safe parks and playgrounds for children to play outside. School has replaced recess and PE with more time sitting at desks. Low-income families are often given two-free meals a day at school for their children, but they are packed full of sugar and hydrogenated oils. Junk food should not be marketed to children, who don't yet have the skills to determine whether food is healthy or not. And as children get older their own personal responsibility becomes an issue too. If you say "no" to junk food all the time, some children may feel so deprived that they sneak junk and binge on it when their parents aren't looking. You can't always control what a child eats and in the long run it may not always be best to do so. While parents must not be allowed to throw up their hands and say "it's not my fault" we must also admit that we have a very unhealthy relationship to food as a society and until we fix that, even the most concientious parents may not be able to control whether or not their child is overweight

BROADBRUSH Posts: 1,806
6/14/10 12:52 P

hi horsified1 - you have power - all of the families in your area need to organize, make your facts known to the head master and politicians in your school district. tell them of your dissatisfaction with the food, and the inequity respecting sports and activities. after all YOU PAY THEIR SALARIES - without you all they have NO JOB. tell them you will VOTE your views when election time comes around. write your newspapers, blog, email whoever you can to tell them THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE AND YOU ALL WON'T TAKE IT ANYMORE. you are the advocates for your kids. that is what i mean BY COMMUNITY IS RESPONSIBLE. let's do it people!!!! BB

HORSIFIED1 Posts: 659
6/14/10 12:44 P

Definitely the parents. In the end, the parents have a say in what their kids eat or don't eat. I do say that some of it has to do with the price of groceries as well. People who do not have a lot of money can easily by poorer quality food for their family for a lot cheaper than they can healthy fresh fruits and vegetables. I know how much my shopping bill has went up since I started this diet. The stores always have sales on high calorie-low nutritional foods, but how often do you see really cheap sales on nutritional food (maybe one or two items). I also see the schools as a problem. The area that we live in (a rural area) has many low income families. Over half of the kids in our area are on free lunch at school. The food that they feed these kids is awful. Half of the time, they do not even have a vegetable option. Most of the food is fried and high carb. I choose to send my child's lunch most of the time, because the food is so awful, but I know many of the families in the area cannot afford to provide lunches for their kids. If America would quit spending so much money on eating at horrible fast food restaurants, maybe some healthier options would be created. We have cut out fast food almost completely. I think we have been once in the last 5 months. Fast food restaurants are high dollar businesses, because they know Americans will buy the stuff. Most of it has very little nutritional value and the sodium content of most of it is outrageous. There are alot of reasons why childhood obesity is around, but I think the parents play a big role in it.

I also think all of the TV and video game time plays a big role in it. When I was a kid, we played outside from the time we got up until the time we went to bed. I also think with the outrageous cost of kids playing sports anymore that it makes it unaffordable for many families to be able to allow their kids to play sports. Starting this fall, the schools are even going to start charging our kids to play sports.

There are alot of factors involved in it even politics as far as money for nutritional food for schools and enough money that they do not have to charge students to play sports. The choices are mostly up to the parents, but there are many factors that affect whether parents are able to provide nutritious food for their children and allow them to play organized sports. I try to keep my son very involved in some sport so that he does not gain weight. If I cannot afford for him to play the expensive organized sports around here, I at least try to get him involved in a church league (alot less expensive). I know that is not even an option for some families on a tight budget though. There are many things families can do for free though like taking walks or bike rides or hiking that keeps their family active.


SUMSUMS SparkPoints: (12,159)
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6/14/10 12:39 P

Another issue I feel is making it hard is that the kids dont really get outside all day, and winter is the worst. They only get a 20 min outside (and in winter they dont get outside) and then they dont get out till 4 o’clock, and if they ride a bus they don’t get home till 4:30pm and it gets dark at 5. So I think people have trouble finding things to do with their kids to keep them active in the winter.

JENNIEINKY Posts: 604
6/14/10 12:37 P

The only reason I can agree w/ the COMMUNITY/SOCIETY being responsible is has anyone looked at the price of "healthier" or Organic foods? I can barely afford to feed my husband and I these "good for you" items, let alone if we had children. MAKE THE HEALTHY FOODS CHEAPER AND THE JUNK FOOD EXPENSIVE! Until that's done, there will always be the family eating white pasta 3-5 nights a week because thats what they can AFFORD.

Ok, rant off. If you're doing fine financially, it is simply the PARENTS responsibility. I've always struggled with weight. My dad worked really hard and lucked into a good job that he was able to support us, but my family always showed love with junk food, ice cream, little debbie snack cakes, pop tarts, Chef Boyardee, etc. I was a fat kid. And it sucked. I slimmed down in high school because I was older and had more freedom. I walked to school, walked the amusement park/malls/neighborhood with friends. Ice skated. I walked everywhere, so it didn't matter what I ate, I burned it off. However, because of my childhood, I didn't have the taste for healthy foods, so when I became an adult, got a car, etc. I always chose the foods I loved as a child, minus the excersise, and it was a recipie for disaster.

Now that I'm learning how to eat healthy, you couldn't pay me to eat a can of Chef Boyardee (still love pop tarts though lol). I eat 90% whole, clean foods. The problem is my weight has gotten so out of control, its gonna take a lot of work to lose it, and thats discouraging.

Sorry so long, the point is, I think its a joint effort. My parents had the best intentions, but made the wrong choices. And something simply has to be done about the cost of healthy foods.

SLIMMAR SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 2,107
6/14/10 12:19 P

There are a lot of responsible parties including the food industry, but I would have to say the parents.

I purchased a lot of junk food for my children while they were growing up, but they were all also active in sports and went outside to play everyday. They didn't sit inside playing video games or on the computer all day. So whatever they ate, they burned off.
My mother didn't buy junk food, I still purchased it on my own, but I was also active in sports and walked to school everyday. As a teenager I never had to worry about my weight.

SHELLLUVSDOGS Posts: 43
6/14/10 12:04 P

All are factors in childhood obesity- however its a parents choice to bring horrible food in to a house, take their children to McDonalds and have their families live off conveience foods.
I know parents have hard competition there are BILLIONS of dollars spent on advertising to children- a large portion of Childrens programming is funded by advertisers like McDonalds, and Kraft and coca-cola and and Pepsi Co. However its fundementally a parents job to protect their child and teach them of the potential harms in society and over consumption of bad food is a harm. A Life Long harm.
The saddest thing about having an overweight child is your developing an overweight adult who will likely struggle with their weight all of their life.
Little physical activity is also to blame parents allow their children to play hours on computer and video games, watch TV like little zombies for marathon sessions and have little or no engagement with their child during these times.
parents arent playing outside with their children, like they used to and children arent playing outide with eachother.
Both ends need to change but companies arent going to provide more healthy options until more parents demand it.

PINKGIRL175 Posts: 358
6/14/10 11:37 A

I agree with the first poster. My kids are going to go to a private school. I think what they serve at schools is *horrid*

MOVE-DAILY Posts: 479
6/14/10 11:23 A

I know I have to push my family to eat healthy and exercise. It is so much easier to feed the kids junk (that they love) and let them veg in front of the screens. It is certainly easier when I myself eat healthier and exercise. They copy me. So as I make better choices it is easier for them to follow me, but it is still a battle. I feel like starting when my children are younger is going to make it easier when they get older...but only time will tell on that one!

BROADBRUSH Posts: 1,806
6/14/10 11:11 A

hello all - I am in NO WAY SHAPE OR FORM suggesting the parents are not responsible for good healthy eat habits or lifestyle. of course education on food choices, portion control and exercise habits are learned from the first people in child's life- even grandparents.
i believe there should be issues taught as part of the curriculum such as LABEL READING, the meaning of the words on those labels, comparisons on serving sizes and how what is the fat/sodium ratio to a serving. there should be a MORITORIUM, on high fructose (ANY OSE ) corn additives, etc. THAT is what I meant -as a community - WHY do we put up with that. it is like the old 'snake oil salesman' of the old west. Genetically modified foods are a reality - WHY - who needs a tomatoe with a fish gene in it to prolong it hardiness when growing??? one of my kids is allergic to shellfish - but guess what - he could get a tomatoe with one of those genes in it - so now - that is HIS problem - to make sure he does not get one of THOSE tomatoes. there are more kids allergic to peanuts than ever before, yet foods have been modified with peanut product. it was done without our permission - and we still don't know the half of it, BUT as a community - we sit back and LET ALL THIS happen. of course we should not let our children sit in front of the pc or tv for hours on end. That is obvious.
it is not only the TV or paper - with all the ads - it is bill boards, movie theaters, sides of buses , etc etc - parent CANNOT TURN THOSE THINGS off -
wish it was that simple. we are too complacent about all this. as a community we do have a lot more to do with this fat society - young or old- than we care to admit, or do anything about. i have boycotted many items - Anybody remember SNACKWELL cookies and they way they were marketed. what a crock!!!!!! Jamie Oliver's food Revolution - he is an active COMMUNITY member who is trying to correct a lot of this. Parents DO have an uphill battle - the vast majority are trying do the very best they can - but you have to SEE your enemy to fight it. it takes a village!! BB











BAREFOOT-LISA Posts: 1,400
6/14/10 10:48 A

btw, I saw Food Inc. Loved it too, it was very eye opening, but does not change the fact that health of the child is the parents responsibility ultimately.

BAREFOOT-LISA Posts: 1,400
6/14/10 10:45 A

I'm sorry, but I really feel that the community argument is a huge cop-out. I am overweight, no doubt about that and it is NOT the communities fault! I CHOSE the bad foods, because I was never TAUGHT to eat right or what eating poorly meant.
It is entirely, utterly 100% up to the parents to enforce and teach healthy habits. As others have said, one meal a day (school) will NOT make your child fat. It is eating poorly all day long with no activity over time that makes us fat. Sure there are genetics at play, but all it takes is effort.
I got fat because I got lazy once I was on my own. Once your child is out of the house, you can only hope that they stick to the habits you helped ingrain in them. Society makes it easy to eat poorly, everyone is aware of that. It is CHOICE to pick those places and items that we know better than to eat as adults.
The bottom line: parents need to get their kids outside, serve smaller portions of better foods and reinforce these behaviors with their own example.



REDDOGMOM SparkPoints: (19,548)
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6/14/10 10:45 A

I agree that it is the parent's responsibility. We don't encourage our children to eat healthy food and be active.

I believe partly this is because parents are busier now than they were when I was a child. We feel we have to cram more and more into our days. Also most parents probably don't feel it's safe for their child to be outside unattended as was acceptable when I was young, the old "be home when the street lights come on" mentality.

But all in all I believe it falls on the parent's shoulders.

SUMSUMS SparkPoints: (12,159)
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6/14/10 10:43 A

I went to a day with my son, and the breakfast was a peice of pizza with sasuage, a juice, a milk. lunch was 6 chicken nuggets, a juice, a milk, and french fries. While that may not seem like a lot of food, the pizza was dripping in greese! I feed my son grilled meats, veggies and fat free milk at home, he goes outside for 3 hours a day, and we swim and hike on weekends. he has STILL gained weight by eating breakfast an d lunch at school. Parents do not have a day in what they serve in school, and if parents are like we were for a while and didnt even have enough moneyf or the rent, packing a lunch isnt always an option. I do agree parents need to make sure their children are active and eating well, but since children are there 8 hours and 2 meals a day for some of them, i feel like school should also be heald responsible.
Even the military has said school lunches are causing issue and are demanging better lunches:
http://www.nydailynews.com/lifestyle/hea
lth/2010/04/20/2010-04-20_new_national
_security_threat_school_lunches_making
_kids_too_fat_to_meet_military.html

Edited by: SUMSUMS at: 6/14/2010 (10:44)
YICHE12 SparkPoints: (176,072)
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6/14/10 10:39 A

I totally agree with INSIDEOUT2010 below. Children are not as active as they used to be. With their PSP, GameBoys and God knows what else, they are becoming sedentary at a very young age.

When I was a child, if I was not riding on my bicycle or running, I was roller skating or swimming. We really have to get our new generation of children outdoors and walking, or do any sort of activities. Get involved with them!

INSIDEOUT2010 Posts: 572
6/14/10 10:34 A

I don't think the school cafeteria meals are the problem - unless the child is eating more than one portion, they don't receive a large enough portion to cause obesity.

I think the problems are inactivity and portion sizes served by parents and in restaurants. When I was a child, one slice of pizza was a meal. One small hamburger and fries, and most of the time, I shared fries with my brother. A kiddie sized drink until I was just about in my teens. Buffets were unheard of.

Nowadays, children are allowed to sit and eat seconds, thirds, etc. until they can't possibly eat anymore. Which is a recipe for disaster. It used to be an insult to be considered a glutton, now, that is the norm.

And we don't walk as much as we used to as families. Surburban life entails driving everywhere instead of walking to the corner store, the grocery store, downtown shopping, etc. That counts as exercise too and it is missing from the lives of many Americans today.

YICHE12 SparkPoints: (176,072)
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6/14/10 10:30 A

I believe that it is the parent's responsibility to ensure that their children are within the normal weight range. Buying sweets, snacks with high sugar content, soft drinks, etc. around children is unnecessary. There are wonderful snacks out there including fruits, vegetables and home made juices that children can have. Of course, occasionally, this will not harm them but why encourage it on a continuous basis. For example, my youngest grandson does not want his veggies cooked, he wants them raw. When he is visiting a friend's house and that they are served white bread he comes home and says to his mother that his friend's mother must not like him. My daughter has set a standard of eating and this is the result. Neither of her boys eat cake!!! especially so with icing.

If schools provide meals for children, they should ensure that the food is nutritious. Teachers can and do teach about food nutrition worldwide so there is no excuse for the children not to follow suit. They really follow the example of what is around them. You must know the expression "Monkey see, monkey do!"


Edited by: YICHE12 at: 6/14/2010 (10:35)
SUMSUMS SparkPoints: (12,159)
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6/14/10 10:21 A

I know my post was long, but what about the school lunches for parents who cannot afford to pack a lunch ? Like the people who are on food stamps and get free breakfast and lunches? There really are people that poor.

YELLOWDAHLIA SparkPoints: (85,787)
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6/14/10 10:17 A

I would never blame the communtiy for a child's obesity. The parents are the ones responsible for what their child eats.

ERIN4771 Posts: 4,347
6/14/10 10:16 A

i might take some heat on this, but it really is the parents. while it's easier to blame it on society and marketing etc...ultimately the parents are the ones that set the example, and that comes from communicating, which needs to be in person, not via text message.....sorry, off topic a second...lead by example, pretty simple if you ask me...

ERINLINDSAY83 SparkPoints: (91,952)
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6/14/10 10:09 A

Parents. Send them to school with healthy options for breakfast and lunch. Feed them healthy dinner. Teach them to play outside not plop them in front of tv's and computers. It disgusts me really. It is so heart breaking.

SUMSUMS SparkPoints: (12,159)
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6/14/10 9:53 A

I think it is a mix. Parents play a huge role, but so does school. A lot of workign parents send their kids in to morning care and the kids eat breakfast at school, and then lucnch. For people on a very tight budget, many students get free lunch and breakfast,and what the schools feed are terriable. When we were on food stamps this year while having money issues, my son got the free meals. He came hom and told me breakfast was breakfast pizza and lunch was normal pizza! The difference? Breakfast pizza has sasuage and the lunch is just cheese. For real. That’s how many of the meals are too. Fried nuggets or pattys, no fruit, ect. I know some states are better then others, but I know in Baltimore its terrable. If a child is eating that type of food 2 times a day then no matter what a parent does at home, its going to be an issue. And its easy to say " pack their lunch" but if your getting free lunches, there is a reason, and its normaly that there isnt enough money to pay for a lunch. Not everyone has money, even more so now that people are out of work. I know my son is a bit bigger because of the foods from school ( he is still in a healthy weight range though, but he gained weight while eating school lunches), and he goes outside and runs around for atleast 3 hours a day after school. Winter also makes it hard when kids cant go out and play because its dark when they get out of school.
The area you live can also be an issue. I know baltimore city is having a problem because there are no food stores in the area! Most people have to go 15 miles to a food store, and most are too poor for cars, so they go to those little corner stores and buy food, which is never healthy.
So yes, it’s a miz of what the schools do, and what the parents have accsess too. Of course, there are always lazy parents, but that’s another issue all together.


Edited by: SUMSUMS at: 6/14/2010 (09:55)
LETOVERN Posts: 2,603
6/14/10 9:26 A

It's totally the parent's fault, at leat until teen years when kids can go buy their own food. The parents provide the food their children eat. If they don't approve of school lunches, then pack their own. Sure, there will be some trading. but one meal a day does not make a child obese. Teach the kids why they need to eat healthier and get exercise. That's ridiculous to suggest food courts sell only healthy food. They are trying to make money and will sell what people want. If they sell ONLY healthy foods,they'll go out of business. There are polnety of healthy choices at a food court. No one can decide what to eat but the person buying the meal.

LUANN_IN_PA Posts: 16,045
6/14/10 9:02 A

Sorry, but it IS the PARENTS' responsibility.

If, as a parent, you don't like your kids seeing junk food ads "million times an hour" on TV...
Turn off the TV. YOU have that CHOICE!
Kids need to be active and not plopped in front of a monitor.
They do NOT need the TV as a babysitter.

If, as a parent, you don't like the meal choice in a mall food court...
Don't eat there. YOU have that CHOICE!
Kids need healthy, home cooked meals. It IS possible to shop and not buy junk!

There is no "conspiracy"... just bad parental choices.

DISCDOG Posts: 2,668
6/14/10 8:51 A

I would never ever EVER suggest that parents of overweight children don't love them. That's crazy! But it DOES start and end in the home. If your toddler is overweight, it IS your fault. People have to take responsibility. If it's the childcare giver that's over-feeding the child, then fire the childcare giver.

We need to take respnsibility. It's the only way we can change.

JAG-OH SparkPoints: (8,567)
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6/14/10 8:38 A

While I partially agree that society needs to change, I do think parents play a significant role. I think often that parents do not know the right ways to teach children healthy eating habits, and don't take the time at an early age to start introducing healthy living.

And, I think parents need to live by example. When I was younger, it was nothing for my dad to sit down and devour an entire bag of chips while watching TV. My mom would snack on little bits of this and that as she went along her day. But when I wanted to do the same thing, I was told no. I felt like I was deprived, even though I actually wasn't, and so I developed poor eating habits, like sneaking the snacks I wanted and SCARFING them down as fast as I could.

My parents tried so hard to help me lose weight when I was younger - all they wanted was for me to be healthy and happy. I was chubby, and I was a horseback rider. Tall and lean was where it was at and I was short and chubby. My parents tried to tell me what to eat, what not to eat and take away unhealthy snacks. They tried to make me exercise but being a child, it all seemed like punishment. You cannot eat that, you must go run laps ... I didn't learn the background info on nutrition and exercise.

For years, I didn't understand why fit people ran and exercised. I couldn't fathom why thin folks would eat salad and skip McDonald's, or forgo dessert at the end of the meal. You're already thin, man, eat a cheeseburger and sit on the couch. I used to assume that exercise was only to lose weight and that people who were already fit were just flaunting their fit bodies, and thin people eating healthy food were just crazed health-fanatics who needed to be force-fed fast food.

It wasn't until I hit my early/mid-20s that I finally came to understand and appreciate healthy living. Now, years later, I'm trying to incorporate that into my life regularly so that I can first lose the excess weight, and then maintain a healthy life.

So I think it is important for parents to educate their children properly on healthy living, moderation and making more positive choices than negative ones when it comes to diet and exercise. And, I think parents need to live by example.

I also think it is important for schools to reinforce this and continue with PE, health classes that actually cover useful information and sports for all, not just sports for the awesome athletes.

No one person or advertisement campaign or company is responsible. It is our own personal responsibilities to take care of ourselves and our children.

BROADBRUSH Posts: 1,806
6/14/10 8:20 A

good morning - the choices in the poll question above. i chose COMMUNITY. most people chose 'PARENTS'. the reasoning I used, as a parent of over weight adult children, led me to that answer. if the community stood together and demanded better foods be served at the malls, the fast food stores/courts could only sell healthy foods or be out of business - over half the obesity would be gone. if the media/ads/tv had to ban all the crap they show a million times an hour on the television - we could save kids at a very early age - they would be educated as to what is good to eat and what is not. we would HAVE TO MAKE GOOD FOOD available to them. i am an educated person, and in particular hold several certificates in naturopathic healing, nutrition, and know about health from the cellular level. my children had good food in the house, good lunches - which i am sure they 'traded' portions of, even the treats were carefully chosen for caloric/vitamin content. most times i baked cookies and cupcakes myself. the recipes were from scratch and modified to eliminate much of the butter and fat. fresh fruits, whole grains, milk not soda pop, ALL OF THAT was given to them from the toddler stage. there is to a large extent, a conspiracy of sorts - michael moore's films are dead on- he is so absolutely right in exposing this travesty. the corporations that handle the food production do what they want to make money - watch FOOD INC tonight on PBS - it is informative, disgusting and might answer some of those critics of PARENTS. believe me people, parents DO LOVE THEIR KIDS. the last thing they want is, for them to be unhealthy, a burden to themselves - with poor self body image or a blight on the health system. While there are parents/guardians who in this era of latch key kids, it is another unfair perception. BB

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