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Old 01-16-2013, 02:54 PM   #1
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Let's talk childhood obesity....

On this season's Biggest Loser they are getting involved in childhood obesity and the stats are absolutely mind blowing. Here a few.

* Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years.

*In 2008, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.1,2

* Approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 219 years are obese.

I think what struck me the most was the high percentage (I don't remember the number) of parents who didn't think their child was obese, that they looked of normal weight range.

How can we (generally speaking) let this happen? Who is responsible and who should be held accountable?

I just can't fathom how a parent can let their child get to a place where they are noticeably overweight. I'm not trying to judge, but I just don't understand. How does this happen? And, I'm mostly referring to younger children, ages 12 and under.

I'm interested to hear what others have to say about this.

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Old 01-16-2013, 03:05 PM   #2
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Re: Let's talk childhood obesity....

I think it's a general lack of understanding nutrition. Because of a couple medical issues with my children I read a lot of labels and I've learned a lot over the last few years. My biggest concern is sugar. Our bodies take the carbohydrates we consume, turn them to glucose for energy and then store what's leftover as fat. And sugar consumption has gone through the roof in recent decades. Plus, eating lots of sugar and refined carbs makes us crave them even more. I think a lot of the obesity epidemic has to do with sugar and refined carbs (as opposed to healthy fats like butter and whole milk). We need to get back to eating whole grains and fruits and vegetables.

A lot of people consider yogurt, fruit snacks, granola bars, etc to be healthy, when they are mostly (or loaded with) sugar. So much of what's in the snack aisle has little to no nutritional value.

Also, people don't cook as much anymore. And everything that's processed (or mostly processed) is often loaded with sugar, preservatives and lacks the nutritional value that fresh foods have. We've traded convenience for health.

I don't know what the answer is, except that I think we need to be pro-active and learn about nutrition for all our health's sake. We can't buy into the marketing "low fat" and other crazes, when really the food isn't healthy anyway.

I'm not perfect and won't deny there's plenty of junk in my pantry. But I am proud of the fact that my kids love fruits and vegetables and they will snack on them when offered. I try to limit the processed stuff so that they will choose healthier stuff by default.

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Old 01-16-2013, 03:06 PM   #3
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Re: Let's talk childhood obesity....

75% of parents don't think their obese children are obese

and I LOVE bl!
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Old 01-16-2013, 03:17 PM   #4
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Re: Let's talk childhood obesity....

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Originally Posted by stevensmom View Post
75% of parents don't think their obese children are obese

and I LOVE bl!
Because obese children tend to be taller, so their parents think they are proportionate. I've heard a lot of parents say that their kid can't be obese because they are over 100% for height.

http://www.nature.com/ijo/journal/v3...o2010258a.html
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Old 01-16-2013, 03:19 PM   #5
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Re: Let's talk childhood obesity....

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Because obese children tend to be taller, so their parents think they are proportionate. I've heard a lot of parents say that their kid can't be obese because they are over 100% for height.

http://www.nature.com/ijo/journal/v3...o2010258a.html
yeah...according to wii fit...they say dh is obese he's 6'4" and 240lbs and doesn't look fat at all
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Old 01-16-2013, 03:19 PM   #6
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Re: Let's talk childhood obesity....

Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertRat View Post
I think it's a general lack of understanding nutrition. Because of a couple medical issues with my children I read a lot of labels and I've learned a lot over the last few years. My biggest concern is sugar. Our bodies take the carbohydrates we consume, turn them to glucose for energy and then store what's leftover as fat. And sugar consumption has gone through the roof in recent decades. Plus, eating lots of sugar and refined carbs makes us crave them even more. I think a lot of the obesity epidemic has to do with sugar and refined carbs (as opposed to healthy fats like butter and whole milk). We need to get back to eating whole grains and fruits and vegetables.

A lot of people consider yogurt, fruit snacks, granola bars, etc to be healthy, when they are mostly (or loaded with) sugar. So much of what's in the snack aisle has little to no nutritional value.

Also, people don't cook as much anymore. And everything that's processed (or mostly processed) is often loaded with sugar, preservatives and lacks the nutritional value that fresh foods have. We've traded convenience for health.

I don't know what the answer is, except that I think we need to be pro-active and learn about nutrition for all our health's sake. We can't buy into the marketing "low fat" and other crazes, when really the food isn't healthy anyway.

I'm not perfect and won't deny there's plenty of junk in my pantry. But I am proud of the fact that my kids love fruits and vegetables and they will snack on them when offered. I try to limit the processed stuff so that they will choose healthier stuff by default.
I agree with this.

I think it comes from the evolution of food and how our culture views it.

It used to be that green beans were healthy. They were fresh and green and good for you.

Now we have green beans in a can w/sodium and interesting chemicals. How come they aren't healthy?

It used to be that meat was MEAT. Meat was healthy for you, it came from a healthy animal, on a small farm, where it was fed grass.

Now we have meat that is mass-produced, animals that live in their own feces and are diseased.

It's hard for people to think about things like this, to understand HOW the food industry has changed in the past 60-70 yrs.. My mom is like this. She is completely clueless.

I was raised on pop tarts, cereals, canned foods.

Now that I am adult, and I turn my nose up to the food options my mom has at her house,

I OFTEN hear things like, "What? It's a pop tart! It's just bread and jam, like a PBJ sandwich!" No, no, it is very much UNLIKE a PBJ sandwich. .... or, "What? It's just Vienna Sausage! It's meat, it's protein, it's GOOD for you!" .... again... No. Just, no. It's not GOOD for you. My mom is totally baffled by the idea of eating half a plate of veggies and a quarter plate of meat. When I grew up, each person got a HUGE chicken breast all to themselves to eat, or two chicken thighs, or three drumsticks, ONE spoonful of a canned veggie, and ONE spoonful of some quick and easy rice from a box ---- and my mom really TRULY thinks this is a HEALTHY way to eat.

If I'd never learned more about overall health, and HOW to eat healthy, I would be feeding my kids the exact same way.

I think the overall society we live does not place a high enough priority on vegetables and fruits being a HUGE portion of our diets. Fruit snacks are not fruit. Fruit juice is not fruit. Canned fruit is a sorry excuse for fruit. A fresh, raw pc of fruit is FRUIT. Same for veggies.
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Old 01-16-2013, 03:23 PM   #7
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Re: Let's talk childhood obesity....

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Originally Posted by stevensmom View Post
yeah...according to wii fit...they say dh is obese he's 6'4" and 240lbs and doesn't look fat at all
Kids and adults are completely different. Researchers are, from what I understand, guessing that these kids will actually end up shorter as adults, because they hit puberty earlier, therefore stunting their growth overall. But no one is really sure.
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Old 01-16-2013, 03:25 PM   #8
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I'm in the Philly area and I just saw on the news a couple of weeks ago that one of the city hospital's has a fitness room set up for kids and attached to it is a kitchen. In the kitchen they teach the parents and kids how to read labels and understand them. Then they prepare a healthy meal or snack. I thought that was such a great idea! A lot of people don't know what to look for on a label. I also think many people fall into the category of "everyone else is or does". Meaning all the other kids eat it and comparing my child to other kids their age he looks normal. The sad thing is they are comparing their child to obese kids and thinking its normal. It is sad how high the obesity rates are right now
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Old 01-16-2013, 03:27 PM   #9
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Re: Let's talk childhood obesity....

One thing I want to add before I run off to make dinner, I think everyone should watch this series. I thought it was very educational and eye opening: http://theweightofthenation.hbo.com/
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Old 01-16-2013, 03:35 PM   #10
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My in laws are college educated. Mil in early childhood development. Fil has a masters degree. All of their children but one are varying degrees of overweight. Dh is 6'2" and 250. He has a very muscular frame, but will admit that he's heavier than he should be. The second son is average height and weight. His metabolism and body type are just different than the rest. Son #3 is 5'11" and has been close to 400 pounds at times. Right now he's probably 280-300. These are the adult children.

Bil #4 is 15 and is overweight. 5'7" and around 190. Bil #5 is 12, 5'2" and weighs 175. Neither of them get exercise. They eat all processed crap because mil doesn't like to cook. They don't eat veggies. They mostly live on milk, yogurt, and processed foods. They get heavier every year. The youngest has breasts and is developing dark rings on the back of his neck that are a sign of prediabetes. Neither my mil nor my fil are concerned. They're just big growing boys. In reality no 12 year old should have a triple chin.

Both mil and fil are overweight. Mil had bypass surgery a little over two years ago. Once she figured out she could eat everything she ate before she gained all the weight back.

The weight problem in our society isn't just about being poorly educated or not understanding how foods work in our bodies. It's laziness and a growing number of people who think that being overweight is "normal" now.
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