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Old 01-16-2013, 04:29 PM   #21
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Re: Let's talk childhood obesity....

We also have to be a little bit careful about the categories of 'overweight' and 'obese' in relation to the BMI scale. The BMI doesn't take into account muscle as a separate weight, so people who are insanely healthy but work out and have a lot of muscles can be considered obese by the BMI scale. Also, not everyone who is overweight is unhealthy :]

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Old 01-16-2013, 04:36 PM   #22
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Re: Let's talk childhood obesity....

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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. And don't forget the idea that juice is healthy. Even WIC gives it out to kids. My son gets 128 oz of juice a month. We are supposed to give it to him alone. No way am I letting my 19 month old drink that much juice.

Schools I think contribute to the problem. My daughters school had the school nurse talk to the parents about childhood obesity and the rising rate of type 2 diabetes in younger and younger people. At the same time they were serving danishes, donuts, coco puffs, sweetened chocolate, strawberry, or vanilla milk to the children for breakfast and cuttng P.E. class down to twice a week and cut the recess time in half. When recess was inside due to the weather instead of playing in the gym the children were told to watch a movie.
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Old 01-16-2013, 04:41 PM   #23
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Re: Let's talk childhood obesity....

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I agree with what has been said. It's a lot of things. Many parents are uneducated about proper nutrition, how to read a lable, etc. I also think that the mainstream food industry has taken our food away from being real/normal/etc. Then you also have many families having either a 2 working family household or a single parent home. School lunches in many areas are seriously lacking as well, and then the cost of food. Many can not spend much on weekly/monthly groceries, so they have to settle for less than healthy foods because that is what they can afford. I find it all sad
The highlighted I have heard many times but when you add it up a lb of sweet potato is cheaper than a lb of chips. Water is cheaper than pop. carrots are cheaper than a box of cookies. Beans are cheaper and more filling than high fat meat or even chicken. Playing outside costs much less than sitting in front of a television or a video game.
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Old 01-16-2013, 04:50 PM   #24
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Re: Let's talk childhood obesity....

So many good points have been explored here.

Another problem I hear about frequently are parents who don't regularly take their children to a pediatrician, or stop after their ped even hints that a child's weight is (or is on the way to possibly becoming) a problem.
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Old 01-16-2013, 04:50 PM   #25
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Could it be they don't see it because they had a chunky baby? I know my doctor has said hell slim down as he gets older, but he's still 85th percentile on both height and weight. They're used to puffy cheeks, so less puffy cheeks look thin, kwim?

Soryr fro typos. Setn by iPhone.
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:07 PM   #26
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Re: Let's talk childhood obesity....

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The highlighted I have heard many times but when you add it up a lb of sweet potato is cheaper than a lb of chips. Water is cheaper than pop. carrots are cheaper than a box of cookies. Beans are cheaper and more filling than high fat meat or even chicken. Playing outside costs much less than sitting in front of a television or a video game.
Again, I think it's regional. A lb of sweet potato, especially now in the winter, is really expensive. But you can get a big bag of potato chips for a dollar. And it would also depend on the size of the family. Many times when I buy yams 1 yam is close to a lb, a lb is not that heavy at all. So for a family of almost 5 I normally buy 4-6 yams and usually pay well over $5. Carrots and bananas are 2 food items that are always cheap here, but if you were to want another fruit or veggie during the off season you're going to have to pay much more. Which is probably why many of my clients would eat canned fruits and veggies since their price stays the same and you can get it for a dollar store brand. Beans, yes I agree, but many parents don't know you can replace meat with beans. Water is cheap, yes I agree, we don't drink nor buy pop, but for some reason many parents feel that pop and juice are important drinks for a family.

When I "worked" for WIC I use to counsel moms on how to get more food for your money and it be healthy. But I truly think it went in one ear and out the other many times (since I'd see them at the grocery store, small town). I also had many people think that if they offered the fruits and veggies then it MUST be in season, but in reality it wasn't that is why many things would be $5 a lb instead of the $1.50 a few months previous.

ETA: And I heard a few Pediatricians say they no longer tell a parent their child is obese because many times they won't listen or already know by looking at them, they say their child is pre-diabetic.
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:34 PM   #27
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Re: Let's talk childhood obesity....

I agree with much of what DesertRat and Kiliki have said. I also would like to add two more ideas:

1) We have been looking at that stinking food pyramid with the huge chunk of grains on the bottom and have gotten the idea that we really need that many carbs going into our bodies. The new myplate is better, but still not quite there yet. With the amount of exercise most people, kids included, get these days, we don't need that many carbs.

2) We as a nation have forgotten what healthy looks like, because so much of what we see is overweight, obese, or morbidly obese. We can ALWAYS find someone larger than we are so we must not really be overweight. And it is more common to see someone overweight than at a healthy weight or underweight. If we went to a foreign country, they would all look skinny to us.


ok one more thought
3) Portion sizes. We are clueless as to portion sizes. Even in restaraunts, we get large portions of meat and grain/carbs and smaller portions of veggies when a real serving is just the opposite volume wise.
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:06 PM   #28
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Re: Let's talk childhood obesity....

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Originally Posted by mcpforever View Post
I agree with much of what DesertRat and Kiliki have said. I also would like to add two more ideas:

1) We have been looking at that stinking food pyramid with the huge chunk of grains on the bottom and have gotten the idea that we really need that many carbs going into our bodies. The new myplate is better, but still not quite there yet. With the amount of exercise most people, kids included, get these days, we don't need that many carbs.

2) We as a nation have forgotten what healthy looks like, because so much of what we see is overweight, obese, or morbidly obese. We can ALWAYS find someone larger than we are so we must not really be overweight. And it is more common to see someone overweight than at a healthy weight or underweight. If we went to a foreign country, they would all look skinny to us.


ok one more thought
3) Portion sizes. We are clueless as to portion sizes. Even in restaraunts, we get large portions of meat and grain/carbs and smaller portions of veggies when a real serving is just the opposite volume wise.
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:36 PM   #29
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Re: Let's talk childhood obesity....

To make matters worse I was just reading a research study that showed that BMI is way more inaccurate then previously thought. So in reality there are way more obese/overweight then we realized. Right now the majority of the country is obese/overweight.

I think another big problem is that it's a taboo topic your not allowed to discuss it for fear of hurting someones feelings.
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:55 PM   #30
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Re: Let's talk childhood obesity....

I believe that the vast majority of it can be traced to laziness. Parents who send a bag of Doritos, a fruit by the foot, and a candy bar for lunch don't actually believe that is a healthy lunch. They most often KNOW those things are not healthy...they just don't care. They don't want to argue with the kid, they don't want to bother with making the kid's lunch for him, don't want to bother checking the lunch, etc etc.

The knowlege of what foods are healthy IS out there. It IS easily accessible. And, in most schools, it's even taught to the students. I remember learning about it in second grade. I remember learning how to teach it when I was in college. And I know I have seen the stuff on sesame street. So no, I don't think a lack of education is the problem. I think a lack willingness to put that education to USE is.


I also have to say that I think that in many cases parents extreme concerns for safety and their unrealistic fears play a part. When I was a kid, we ran all around "in packs" so to speak, riding our bikes, walking the neighborhood, etc etc etc. Parents today are so afraid to let their kids out to do that anymore. it results in kids sitting inside playing video games for 9 hours a day, because the parents don't want the kids outside without them...and they don't wanna go outside to watch them (that's the laziness again)
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