60,000-79,999 SparkPoints
WATERMELLEN's Recent Blog Entries

Obesity School

Saturday, May 26, 2012


Would you pay $50,000 a year to help your obese teen drop weight? This video link to a school for overweight kids really brought tears to my eyes. Can't agree with everything taught there (for example 0 fat grams) but it's hard to argue with success.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SOUTHPONDCAMP 5/29/2012 10:06AM

    They have televised some of these kids joureys...not sure if they are doing any more seasons but it was on TLC or MTV..."reality TV" called "too fat for 15". It was interesting because, while heavily edited, you saw the kids struggle and learn over a period of months. Some did great...some....not so much. Just like the rest of us.

Comment edited on: 5/29/2012 10:07:25 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment
TEENY_BIKINI 5/28/2012 6:58PM

    Hm.... I see it as no different than parents choosing to pay for a private school - and I think it's kind of neat to instill life skills of any kind in any child. I am sure there are plenty of skinny kids with poor eating habits - and great metabolism - who could also benefit from these skills as well [and they might need them when they get older :)] My friend, Chloe's son, was overeating - she says he gets it from his dad's side of the family - his family just keep eating til "all of the food is gone." She said if it wasn't for the fact that he plays soccer all day long he would be overweight too. So she starting making him more aware of "eating consciously" and portion sizes and it seems to be working. In essence, she is re-training him and how he thinks about food, but she is a VERY involved parent, whatever that means. He is 8 so I'd say he's got a good head start :)

So I guess I am saying - all learning is good learning - and sometimes people need help attaining/learning/teaching good habits. As long as the help is attained, I don't think it matters much "where" it comes from.

Anyway, thanks for the post. Very provocative. You post the coolest stuff. I almost cried when I saw that sweet little girl running. How friggin' cool is that?!!

PS - Zero fat cals - ain't right for me. It is so bad for my hair and skin. I guess that it is one of things you learn along the way .... Cheers.

Comment edited on: 5/28/2012 7:02:14 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
LISALGB 5/26/2012 10:40PM

    I saw that on the news the other morning. I agree with all that has already been posted on this subject. I just think it is terribly sad that so many children are obese and unhealthy.

Report Inappropriate Comment
DDOORN 5/26/2012 8:48PM

    How tragic it is that enough isn't already done and provided for through existing means...family, schools, etc. But even more: that we cannot harness the power of our media for GOOD rather than EVIL! Our kids could grow up salivating over the thought of munching on a broccoli floret rather than a bag of chips or fries!


Report Inappropriate Comment
_LINDA 5/26/2012 7:15PM

    Great for well-to-do parents I suppose, but the average majority could never afford this. Its nice to know there is some intervention for some of these obese teens. But they are really missing the point. Its how they got there in the first place. If they go back to the same environment they got fat in in the first place, of course they will put it all back on. Change has to happen where you live. This is not much different then that Biggest Loser show everyone is so interested in.
Here is to families waking up and realizing they have to all live a healthy lifestyle together.

Report Inappropriate Comment
NOLAZYBUTT110 5/26/2012 2:09PM

    I cant believe a child would lose all the weight they gained over night or even in a summer camp. I remember when I was a kid when my brother and I were both sent to a summercamp/health camp. Neither of us put the weight on and in fact they even served what today would not be considered healthy food...like what you get at McDonalds! The first day we went to McDonalds. Kids dont lose as fast as they think or gain as fast as one thinks, it takes years to get like that and years to undo the damage. Its a struggle for a person with any weight issues and its an all your life worry and work in their lives. It never stops! I cant see spending money for someone else to help you lose weight! Money cant buy you love nor weight loss without the desire to lose. And Kids dont know how to desire weight loss without a mother and father supporting them, and I dont believe any child should be sent away to do that! I cant see separating kids form their parents for helping a child lose weight ... when they go back home the parents are still the same; cooking and eating the same as they did before. Kids need parents to take control chaneg their eating habits and ways of living and have to care and learn how to change those bad habits before kids will change their weight goals. Better for the parents to spend time learning how to eat and cope with frustrations so they can help their children. That would be a better investment!

Report Inappropriate Comment
NANCY- 5/26/2012 11:46AM

    50K for school to help learn healthy habits vs. surgery and possible death, I'd opt for the school. It's a lot of money. I think we all need a better education when it comes to our health.
Personally I'm still trying to teach myself.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CRYSTALJEM 5/26/2012 10:31AM

    The key for me would have to be intervention before my child got to this point. I'm not trying to be mean, but we all know we don't become obese over night. When I see people, especially children, this obese, it seems to me that they ignored the "obvious" for a long time before taking action. I'm not judging, I realize just how hard it is to take that action. Having said that, if you find yourself in that situation, I can see how it could be a life saver, and if I had no other way you bet I would do whatever I could to help my child. After all, tuition for any private school is usually steep and that's what this basically is.

Thanks for sharing, it's been a real eye opener.

Report Inappropriate Comment
NELLJONES 5/26/2012 10:14AM

    No. Any weight loss, or any other task that requires 100% willingness to change everything they think they love, 100% commitment 100% of the time, can't be bought. It's a good deal for those selling the camp for $50,000.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ONEKIDSMOM 5/26/2012 9:20AM

    Actually, I did lay out quite a bit of cash to help my desperately hurting teen (19 back then) get in shape. When his dad left, he practically dragged me and the checkbook to the gym to make this investment. It was the beginning of "no turning back" for him. Gym membership, personal trainer... with the trainer's nutritional advice as well as the workout plan, he dropped weight, got fit, earned back his confidence... went on to acquire GED, driver's license and start college. Which eventually led to his current service and his marriage.

No way the majority of us can afford that $50,000 a year, but I'm pretty sure most of us here on Spark *want* that healthy life for our kids, and will do what we can, to whatever extent we can.

Thanks for sharing the link!

Report Inappropriate Comment

" . . . . that skinny man!"

Sunday, May 20, 2012

That would be my own description of my DH, who started SP March 4, 2012. TUFFMUFFIN weighed in today at 171 -- down from 183!! He's comfortably wearing his 34" waist paints, he's carrying his golf clubs . . . and he certainly looks (even more) terrific!

And I was at 141 yesterday, which may be my lowest sustainable weight, although I haven't given up hope of middle number 3 entirely.

Maintenance. That's the challenge! But, it's really helpful having two people thinking about the calorie count (and nutritional benefits) of everything we eat.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CRYSTALJEM 5/30/2012 11:06PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
JOPAPGH 5/30/2012 9:25PM

    Good for him and I agree wight loss is easier as a team sport

Report Inappropriate Comment

    What a great love story! emoticon Pat

Report Inappropriate Comment
SLENDERELLA61 5/24/2012 9:21PM

    Congrats to your hubby! You should be so proud of your effective influence on him. That is fantastic!!

And oh, I'm so jealous. My hubby has zero interest in nutrition and eating healthy and even less interest in activity and exercise. Despite his diabetes and heart attack history, he still thinks of himself as skinny like he was in high school, when in reality he should lose at least 30 pounds -- probably 40 or more. Oh, well. I try.

Report Inappropriate Comment
TEENY_BIKINI 5/24/2012 4:18PM

    You. Are. Awesome.


Great work!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
NOLAZYBUTT110 5/24/2012 9:10AM

    Its alway a nice sight when a twosome become the skinny couple.... lol Hope you can get to the numbers you desire. Isnt it more fun when you can do such things together? Keep up the good work! susana

Report Inappropriate Comment
DONNACFIT 5/24/2012 12:29AM

    Woohoo..skinny couple!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DOKEYOKEY 5/22/2012 8:06PM

    Go, team! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ID_VANDAL 5/21/2012 8:03PM

    What a great team you two make!! You should enter the great race!

Glad you're both having so much success in getting to the goal and then maintaining!!

Something I need make happen for me!! Thanks for the inspiration.



Report Inappropriate Comment
DDOORN 5/21/2012 1:38PM

    What wonderful inspiration you are for each other and everyone else! :-)



Report Inappropriate Comment
NANCY- 5/21/2012 11:47AM

Here's to that skinny couple.
You are doing an amazing job of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.


Report Inappropriate Comment
KALIGIRL 5/21/2012 11:16AM

    Here's to the two of you!

Report Inappropriate Comment
TRYINGHARD1948 5/21/2012 8:30AM

    emoticon for both of you.

Report Inappropriate Comment
_LINDA 5/21/2012 2:37AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon to your husband -well done!
It does pay to have you both on the same page -double motivation to stay on track!
Keep up the great work!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MEADSBAY 5/20/2012 10:51PM

emoticon+ emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
TRAVELGRRL 5/20/2012 9:19PM

    I think it brings people closer together when they have a common goal! I know you are both spurring each other on in a very positive way. Keep up the good work.

Report Inappropriate Comment
PHEBESS 5/20/2012 8:26PM

    You must be the skinny couple!!!!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment

    Well done - what a great team!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ONEKIDSMOM 5/20/2012 4:09PM

    Supporting each other's efforts has GOT to be a huge plus! emoticon to "That skinny woman and that skinny man!"

Report Inappropriate Comment
LINDAJ0621 5/20/2012 3:13PM

    Congrats to both of you!!! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
M77355 5/20/2012 2:32PM

    emoticon for BOTH of you!

Report Inappropriate Comment

. . . . that skinny woman!"

Saturday, May 19, 2012

No kidding, she was referring to ME!

I was at the hospital last week (routine test, no problems) and dressed in a hospital gown plus robe, not exactly flattering.

And next to me, another lady similarly clad. Both of us undergoing general anaesthesia, both of us requiring to be weighed so the anaesthetist could determine the appropriate amount of juice on a per pound basis!!

And . . . "It's not fair that I have to get weighed right beside that skinny woman," the lady said indignantly to the nurse.

I looked around to see who she was talking about. Nobody else there. Me??

OK, so I hadn't eaten for about 15 hours in accordance with the protocol required. Nothing to drink, either, so pretty thoroughly dehydrated. Clocked in at 63.5 kg which is just under 140. Don't know what she weighed: I averted my eyes sympathetically to give her at least the illusion of privacy.

And tried not to rejoice. Me? Skinny?

And yeah, I'm back to 142 now that I've resumed my normal maintenance range of calories, my normal quota of coffee!! Darn. Short lived, I guess! But for a couple moments, I was "that skinny woman!"

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FRACTALMYTH 5/26/2012 3:08PM

    Wooohoooooo :D It's the little things :P I posted my latest pregnancy pic on facebook and a friend made a comment about "beanpole legs" lol... I'm sure it's just the huge tummy making an optical illusion, but it still made me grin all day!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DONNACFIT 5/24/2012 12:26AM

    Yeah!! Skinny woman!! You rock!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SCOOTERGIRLOZ 5/21/2012 9:12PM

    Congrats. I'd say you still are that Skinny Woman. I have been told to see oneself as skinny in order for the body to do what it needs to be skinny. Keep enjoying your skinniness.

Report Inappropriate Comment
LISALGB 5/20/2012 10:24PM

    Way to go, Miss Skinny!! Love it!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
NANCY- 5/20/2012 9:26AM

    I can only imagine how wonderful that must have felt.
You still are that skinny woman!
Isn't it amazing what perspective and adjectives can do,
Sometimes we hang on to old perceptions, is it time for you to take a new look?

Report Inappropriate Comment
CARRAND 5/19/2012 8:27PM

    You would look skinny next to me, too. I'm at 157, and I'd be happy with 150, let alone 140.

Report Inappropriate Comment
PHEBESS 5/19/2012 7:11PM

    YAY for hitting skinny!!!!!!!!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
IMAGINE_IT 5/19/2012 3:46PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon YES...rejoice..rejoice....because if it is true..it is true!!
This blog makes me smile...thanks for sharing.... skinny woman!! emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SALSIFY 5/19/2012 3:39PM

    I can't ever imagine anyone calling me skinny! Although people already are saying that I've lost too much. I just say that, according to the government, I'm still overweight - which is true.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SLENDERELLA61 5/19/2012 12:51PM

    You are, you are that skinny woman!! Yes, you are. Embrace it. And beside being lean, you are an active, smart and strong woman. Sure hope your routine test turned out well. You are wise to get all that recommended testing. Take care, my lean SparkFriend! -Marsha

Report Inappropriate Comment
MEADSBAY 5/19/2012 11:23AM

    I would give my first born child for that!

Report Inappropriate Comment
TRAVELGRRL 5/19/2012 11:22AM

    Don't use the past tense -- you ARE that skinny woman! I would be so happy to be at 142; I weighed that for many years and it was a sustainable weight for me. But I'm only 5'2"!

Yes, you ARE that skinny, strong woman! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
_LINDA 5/19/2012 9:48AM

    Sometimes all one needs is an external comment to let it finally sink in -you really are that skinny woman! You have succeeded in your weight loss goals. An unbiased stranger has just told you so! You have arrived!
I have to admit I couldn't get used to people in the hospital calling me so skinny, tiny, petite, and 'frail' which wasn't so good, but basically illustrated they thought I was a normal weight and a very small woman.
I hope you test is okay.
Enjoy your skinny day and weekend!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
NOLAZYBUTT110 5/19/2012 9:22AM

    Yes, skinny compared to a 300 pound person (man or woman) ! Lol. You got me going! (I am so jealous, would love to be that skinny woman again! ) It looks better when you write KG's! Like to be 63.5 Kgs... YYes, but I am NOT! Yes your even skinny compaed to me at 177! But many people think I am skinny! lol I guess weight is in the eyes of the beholder! lmao! Go skinny girl! (Hope its nothing serious, that is... the surgery!) Hope all is well beside your pride being pinched! lol Call me skinny any day! susana

Report Inappropriate Comment
ONEKIDSMOM 5/19/2012 9:08AM

    I do a double-take less these days than I did a couple of years ago when someone refers to me as having a "tiny little body". Stay the course, and you'll feel more at home as "that skinny woman"... and rejoice in it!


Report Inappropriate Comment

Obesity and Safety

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Just following up on my blog looking at obesity, bullying and individual "blaming" versus environmental changes, a number of people commented on the environmental issue of safety. When people of all ages aren't safe moving outside, it's not surprising that they will spend more time sitting on a couch watching TV or surfing the internet.

It's so true that we almost never see young children out playing freely by themselves, either individually or with a friend or two, anymore. It's actually unusual to see children under the age of 12 or 13 on their bikes, at the park, even walking to school, by themselves. Before and after school care costs money . . . and it's cheaper to tell kids of 11 or 12 that they can go home alone provided that they stay inside with the door locked.

Like most people of my vintage, I played outside alone from about age 4 onwards. Rode my bike to the community swimming pool with other neighbourhood children from age 4 onwards. Went to the park with baby brother and slightly older sister from age 6 onwards (she was in charge, at age 9!). Was gone from morning to night, often with a picnic lunch, all summer long by the time I was 7: the only restriction was to be home as soon as the streetlights came on. We played pick-up baseball (which meant we had to learn how to get along without adult intervention). We had a croquet set and badminton and tennis rackets. We climbed trees and dug forts. We roller skated in the summer and ice skated in the winter and played pick-up hockey (girls too). We tobogganed and went skiing. It was non-stop motion with plenty of skinned knees and elbows. No helmets!

Mums had a lot more freedom then, not having to hover over children constantly or drive them to scheduled activities or arrange for daycare. (Of course mums were at home doing laundry with wringer washers, pegging out clothes on the line, and peeling carrots and making jam and mending clothes: not exactly a life of leisure for them either! And it all burned calories for them as well . . .)

Were those really the good old days? Kids ran free, but sexual molestation of children occurred, maybe even at the same rate of incidence as currently. It's just that when it occurred, it was generally "hushed up" and ignored. Not a good thing, of course, for those who experienced either the molestation or the subsequent hushing. A relatively small minority . . . and the majority did grow up with so much less restriction.

Does this mean that the current regime of constant supervision of children is unnecessary?

Here in Ontario we've just been reading with horror the news coverage of a small girl murdered by a sexual predator, with the luring assistance of his girlfriend. Rare, of course. Statistically, "stranger danger" is much less of a risk than molestation by a person well-known to the family. But parents seldom want to take the chance. Remember that New York mother who permitted her 9 year old to take the subway unaccompanied: she was vilified. I taught my daughter how to use the public bus system to get across town to the Y alone after school when she was about 11 . . . again, this met with considerable criticism, although my daughter did not have any negative experiences at all doing so and loved the independence.

However, even as a grown woman, when I was running 10 km a day, I was on more than one occasion harassed when out running in the early morning or evening . . . sometimes even when I was running with another woman. For working people, generally early or late in the day is the time available for running. Police warned us that what we were doing wasn't safe. Although I've reluctantly given up running (because of persistent knee/hip issues), I do hesitate to go out for walks in the woods alone, or even in local natural park areas, because I've experienced harassment on those occasions too.

It's "safest" to exercise at a gym, I suppose: and gym memberships do cost money (although Ys subsidize membership fees on a sliding scale for people who need it).

I sometimes think that part of what fuels excess shopping (is it sexist to acknowledge this may be primarily a woman thing? ) is that one of the only places women feel safe is at the shopping mall! Ditto the spa . . .

And all those expensive theme park and water park and organized events for kids: it seems to me they've become necessary because kids are so severely restricted in making fun for themselves.

No question in my mind: creating a safe environment for women and children to exercise vigorously outside is absolutely essential to combatting obesity. And probably to combatting excessive consumerism too. And probably to connecting with nature, experiencing birds and flowers and all of the changes of the season.

Obesity has many multifaceted causes . . . and no easy solution.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDOORN 5/18/2012 11:56PM

    Yes, re: "regime of constant supervision of children"...I pine for those days of yore similar to yours where us kids were able to roam about on foot or bike. While I enjoy relative freedom around our downtown urban area, I realize I'm a 6' 2'' fella with some heft and feel badly for the caution women and children need to exercise.

Certainly some "wrong turns" have been taken by our culture!


Report Inappropriate Comment
CARRAND 5/18/2012 9:12PM

    I remember playing outside for hours when I was a kid. We all did. There were kids in every house on the block - usually 3 or 4 or 5 kids. Maybe there was safety in numbers. You just don't see that many kids today, and they don't play outside like we used to do, and it's a shame.

Report Inappropriate Comment
IMAGINE_IT 5/18/2012 3:31PM

    The way you described your childhood reminded me of my own...we used to have to go outside..no 'if's..or 'but's' about it.."A child needs fresh air' used to be my parents comment....lol...which is true....but we did have fun all day long...came up with all kind of activities to keep ourselves entertained....summer time??? ......we spent it in our local public swimming pool....from the time they opened...until they closed...
i often feel sorry for today's children...they seem to miss out on a lot....but unfortunately times have changed..and it is more dangerous to let children go outside and play alone...or even with friends.
And of course Technology (endless video games) makes sure that most children do not have to set one foot outside...except for going to school...from the door..to the car.....or bus..and into the school....where PE (exercise) is no longer on most of the schedules..due to budget cuts!! The future does look emoticon (obese) if we don't try and start turning it around emoticon..somehow...

Report Inappropriate Comment
NANCY- 5/18/2012 10:11AM

    It all started because we want a safe environment. DBCLARINET made an excellent point about "safety is an excuse." for inactivity. Folks around here thought I was nuts for taking the train into NYC all by myself. To prepare for that I had made several trips into the City with friends.

There are many things we can do to stay active and increase our safety. Time of day. location, exercise buddy, planned events,
No environment is 100% safe. I stubbed my toe on the bathroom door this morning. Duh!

Report Inappropriate Comment
TRYINGHARD1948 5/18/2012 6:51AM

    Life has changed irrevocably. Here, in Australia, sport is the number one entertainment for adults, but manychildren do participate dependant on their parent's attitude.

Report Inappropriate Comment
_LINDA 5/18/2012 2:49AM

    I used to walk all over my city at all hours of the day and night. I even walked the dirt trails near where I lived as a kid, was never harassed and indeed if I happened upon a 'bush party' was invited in. Never did though, not my thing. But only eight years ago, when I lived in the 'trouble area' of the city, I was harassed just going out on my scooter! It was youth doing the harassing. One even fired a cap off by my ear to see if I would jump! The other brat ran chasing after me with all kinds of epitaphs and saying he wanted my scooter..As I showed no reaction what so ever, they soon tired of their games and left me alone. I still get the odd cuss thrown at me, from punks driving by. I have no idea what people have against someone in a scooter!
There is hope though -in my Mom's neighborhood they have quite the group of active young children who play hide and seek all over the area, ride their bikes, play ball, all kinds of things. You see them out constantly when the weather is nice and even when its not so nice..

Report Inappropriate Comment
ONEKIDSMOM 5/17/2012 9:04PM

    I don't believe that safety is as much a concern as my original response might have indicated, because after all, I have walked myself home from work across some neighborhoods my son doesn't think I should, and no one has troubled me. HOWEVER, I don't go with headphones on, and I pay attention to my surroundings.

As Helen Keller said, "Security is mostly superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold."

This actually helped me overcome some of the media anxiety / avoidance of DOING that has been discussed. BUT... it is not easy to overcome anxiety and fear, and if we are surrounded by messages that constantly tell us we are not safe, is this not ALSO an environmental element?

Spark helps. Doing it helps. We are worth it... LIVE the message! emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
DBCLARINET 5/17/2012 8:12PM

    I hear this a lot, and I always have to ask, is it REALLY that unsafe? I have no experience in the world you grew up in; we were limited to where we could go because we lived in a fairly rural area, so when we went bike riding, we were limited to whatever side streets we could ride on. The main roads had too much fast traffic. We also lived too far away from the school to walk, so we drove.

We could still tool around the three little side streets with two friends from down the street for hours. We never had enough people to play any sport, so we played kickball with "ghostmen."

The things we hear about are horrible, but as you pointed out, most of it is very rare. I know the areas of my community to stay away from, so I do, but if I want to go for a run at 5:30am, I can because I'm not going to be the only person out there.

I didn't read all the comments about safety, but my first thought is that safety is an excuse. People have a lot more activities they can do indoors that are interesting: there's a lot more TV to choose from now, there are things like Netflix so you can watch what you want when you want, and video games are a very recent staple in people's homes. When I was a kid growing up in the 1980s, we had one system, but once we had it, our parents did need to coax us to go outside -- it was just so COOL! Now families have two or more systems. Of course kids aren't going to want to go outside!

No, I think the issue is in over-abundance of everything. Over-abundance of food, over-abundance of easy entertainment, over-abundance of comfort. Heaven forbid any of us step outside our comfort zone.

Anyway, that's my Generation Y take on the situation (you know, because nobody was creative enough to give my generation a REAL name, as if it mattered...)

Report Inappropriate Comment
MEADSBAY 5/17/2012 7:40PM

    It's so true!
My mom used to push us out the door after breakfast and hand a sandwich out the door to us at lunch and just let us in in time to wash up for supper.
We were all skinny healthy kids.

Report Inappropriate Comment
PHEBESS 5/17/2012 7:24PM

    I used to walk after school at an outdoor mall (by a marina) - then a few men started harrassing tourists and panhandling, and even though I'm not a tourist, I look like one (as in I don't look like I was born here) - so I don't go there as often as I did previously.

Sad, isn't it? I made a report to the mall cops, but it still is frustrating.

Report Inappropriate Comment

Obesity and bullying

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Here's a link to a short video clip about the relationship between obesity and bullying . . . it's an interview with Dr. Yoni Freedhoff of an Ottawa research group which surveyed 1700 teens, but Dr. Freedhoff suggests the correlation applies to adults too. We blame the individual who is obese: we assume that the individual lacks willpower, is slothful and undisciplined. But Dr. Freedhoff says we have to fix our broken environment. Our biology has not changed, but our environments have: the reduced opportunities to move, the increased availability of unhealthy cheap food both contribute to the rapid increase of obesity on a mass scale. Obese teens are picked on (because it's believed that they "deserve" to be picked on). Obese teens, who consider themselves blamed for something out of their control, are (not surprisingly) also significant perpetrators of bullying.

On the site is a link to another short article about one potential method of "changing the environment"; namely adding a tax to unhealthy foods. Right now it's cheaper to buy junk than fruits and veggies and lean protein. Research indicates it would take a 20 % tax on fast food probably combined with a 20% subsidy on healthy food to effect a change in people's food choices.

I certainly know that I am spending a ridiculous amount of money on groceries . . . Beans and lentils and oatmeal are cheap, but much of what I eat is not. It would cost me less AND take less time to visit a drive-thru every day rather than make a salad and chopped fruit . . .

Can teens be held responsible for obesity when most of them do not control what's available in the fridge at home or in the cafeteria at school? Would a combo of 20% tax and 20% subsidy make a difference?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DONNACFIT 5/18/2012 12:38AM

    On the news today was a story about healthy food being cheaper than unhealthy food, comparing portion sizes etc..very timely..to your blog...I find that I don't have to spend more to eat healthy, although we grow lots of our own food so that's not the same for everyone.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CARRAND 5/17/2012 6:03PM

    I spend a lot on food, too, but it's totally worth it.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KALIGIRL 5/17/2012 11:12AM

    Not sure what the answer is, but look forward to the day that 'fast' food is 'good' food!

Report Inappropriate Comment
NANCY- 5/17/2012 9:15AM

    If only folks could stop judging and start hugging and helping their fellow human beings.
Unhealthy food is cheap, more accessible and has a longer shelf life. The world has changed, our bodies needs have not.
We need to learn to adapt to today's world and make and share smarter choices.

Report Inappropriate Comment
TRYINGHARD1948 5/17/2012 5:58AM

    Our activities, both in the workplace and at leisure have changed dramatically over the past hundred years, and there are many more prepackaged foods than when my Mum shopped. It is a real problem for first world countries as the health implications are enormous. Education doesn't seem to be working, as my overweight doctor confessed, he knew it all bt was still overweight. It IS much harder to stay slim and it is often when we are faced with illness that we start to pay attention and be prepared to make that effort. Actually maintaining the effort is another aspect of the dilemma.

Report Inappropriate Comment
_LINDA 5/17/2012 2:08AM

    I am not so sure it costs more to eat healthy. The key is buying fruits and veggies that are in season and abundant. It is also better to buy bulk then prepackaged. It may cost you more time in preparation, but in the end its worth it. A loaf of healthy bread may be expensive, but it does go a long way, as opposed to a one time frozen meal or a bag of munchies. I would tend to avoid cereals as a lot of them, even the 'healthy' ones have a lot of sugar or extra additives you really don't need. A big bag of steel cut oats goes a long way then the processed box cereals.
I am a water drinker too. I start drinking it as soon as I wake up. I don't feel the need for anything else. I do drink 'raw' green tea though as I have read its good for you. Healthy things like nuts may be expensive, but as you can only eat small amounts because of the high calorie and fat content, they too will go a long way.
The best way, in summer to live much cheaper on healthy food is to grow your own, in your yard if you are lucky enough to have one, or in a community garden, or even in containers..
Where there is a will there is a way. More taxes probably isn't the answer. The change needs to begin with the parents and them setting the example for their kids. I grew up on mac n cheese, hot dogs, pizza, white bread and sugar cereals. They were quick, easy and convenient for a working Mom to fix (and as soon as I was old enough, for me to prepare).
I have come a long way since then..

Report Inappropriate Comment
LISALGB 5/16/2012 10:58PM

    It is a sad situation when it costs less to buy bad foods than it does to buygood, healthy foods. I struggle with grocery bills just like everyone else.
As for bullying - there is never an excuse for it - against anyone for any reason.
Walk a mile . . .
Great post!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DDOORN 5/16/2012 10:29PM

    I'm all for destigmatizing anyone regarding any attribute:

R>What is it about humans that warps us to stigmatize others...? Ugh!

It can be tricky, but I truly believe that one can eat healthy foods without bearing extremely high costs. #1 method for doing this? Eliminate all beverages other than water. That's all we need. I do drink some black coffee in the morning and green tea afternoon, but only because my employer provides it for free. If it wasn't available I would be drinking nothing but water. Skip the whole beverage aisle. See what that frees up so that one can afford fresh veggies and fruits!

So many boxed and junky foods really are very pricey! Especially when they can be so addictive and folks polish off huge quantities of them!

Just my 2 cents...


Report Inappropriate Comment
4A-HEALTHY-BMI 5/16/2012 10:10PM

    ...and if they want to get healthier, they apparently don't know how:

Unless things change, what will happen when we get to the point that more than half of the population is obese? Do we then begin picking on the morbidly obese because they're the fattest ones?



Report Inappropriate Comment
DBCLARINET 5/16/2012 9:16PM

    This speaks directly to the plight of the college student! My husband was so proud of himself because, for a while there, he was living off of $20 a week in food -- all frozen pizzas, frozen corn dogs, cheap cereals, cheap white bread, peanut butter and jelly, etc.

When you're trying to put yourself through college and can't get a scholarship or a grant, and you've piled up $60,000 in loans trying to keep yourself alive, yeah, you're gonna eat as cheaply as you can. This is a serious epidemic amongst college students, and perhaps something which provides a double-whammy, making processed food more expensive and good food more inexpensive, would encourage college students to buy better food. I bet it would -- in the end, the college students just want whatever is cheap.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SABEAN1 5/16/2012 8:36PM

  I vote for a subsidy on food and a tax on candy! But dont they already tax candy? and sweet drinks? And anything that has sugar in it! Bullying can be stopped but it takes a whole village to exact it and put it into play!Starting by how we treat people who are obese! and those who pick on them should be shamed when they do bully them! susana

Comment edited on: 5/16/2012 8:43:00 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
PHEBESS 5/16/2012 8:24PM

    I would LOVE for healthy foods to be less expensive! I'd also like to see healthier food options in vending machines and airports and such - why can't baby carrots be in packs in a vending machine????

Report Inappropriate Comment
ONEKIDSMOM 5/16/2012 8:24PM

    This has long been a stereotype... fat, evil, villians, weak fat people... but I think there are some things missing from such articles. They talk about food, but how often do you see them talk about fear/anxiety related to security as a reason we *don't* have children outdoors playing actively, but instead passively in front of screens, TV, video game, smart phone...

Food is part of it, but it's not all of the problem. What a complex issue!

I agree about the pricing, though... fast food calories are CHEAP calories, as well as unhealthy ones.

Thanks for being a sane voice, passing the word along!

Report Inappropriate Comment

First Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 Last Page