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Old 01-16-2013, 08:03 PM   #31
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Re: Let's talk childhood obesity....

I think people are indeed forgetting about portion sizes. We do road trips through the US in search of sun quite often and portion sizes just blow us away. Seriously unbelievable. Even the same restaurants as we have will serve portions that are much larger when we are in the US.

When I was a kid (80's)we simply ate less food. I know this because mum still has the same plates and the plates are smaller than the ones you buy now.

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Old 01-16-2013, 08:19 PM   #32
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Re: Let's talk childhood obesity....

I think it's the little things that add up. I don't think we can fool ourselves into thinking that all obese kids are the result of parents with no grasp on nutrition or who don't care.

Let's look at the newer food pyramid, which I do tend to agree with...

Grains make up a good sized portion, though still a relatively small part of the diet. Carbs are good for you if you get good carbs! Whole grain, unprocessed breads. Rolled oats. Brown rice.

Fruits and vegetables make up the biggest chunk. Obviously, the best way to get them is unprocessed. That generally means raw, lightly cooked or in a smoothie made at home.

Milk products come next. Cottage cheese, yogurt, milk and cheese should ideally be organic, but at the very least should be hormone free.

Next is meat and beans. Meat should be good quality and lean, with small portions and not too often. When consumed, it should be grilled, pan-cooked or baked. Beans, lentils and quinoa are fabulous, heart-healthy and low-calorie protein options.

Finally, sweets, which should be sparing. Candy should be HFCS and dye-free. Things like ice cream should be good quality.

See the problem? When done right, the food pyramid is spot on. There are a lot of well-meaning parents who give their children packaged foods, fried meats, white bread and pasta, canned fruits and vegetables and WAY too much (poor quality) meat. It's not always even a choice, sometimes it's what they can afford. My point though, is that it is absolutely possible to think you're doing well but not be. My nanny family thought they were doing well by getting "whole grain white" wonder bread, and they weren't remotely stupid people.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:21 PM   #33
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Re: Let's talk childhood obesity....

So, do you think we can hold the parents responsible? If the kids aren't being taught proper nutrition, healthy eating, and exercise then what is going to happen when they are parents?

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Originally Posted by Hope4More View Post
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.
I don't know. They should slim down by age 2, if not def. by age 3. When I see a "chunky" 5 year old I don't think it is baby weight.

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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.
I agree.

And, not only limiting carbs, but whole grain carbs. Our kids have never had white bread (HARD transition for me, but I knew I needed to do it for the kids) and now won't even touch the stuff. Totally opposite. When my kids first started eating rarely got carbs b/c it was a filler I didn't want to prevent them from eating the protein, dairy, fruits, and veggies. It wasn't like I didn't let them ever have it, but I wanted to make sure they had their serving of the other 4 first. When they turned 2 for lunch I made them turkey sandwiches with whole grain bread.

And, absolutely about portion sizes. We need to cut the size of our dinner plates in half and I wish the restaurants would shrink their portions as well. Dh and I are always asking to downsize our meals and offer to pay extra for it. Crazy.

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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)
Yep, agree also. I know our cafeteria does a pretty good job of offering healthy choices, but they still have some junk they could get rid of. The kids barely have enough time to eat the healthy things that junk shouldn't even be an option. It is on the parents to teach their kids to choose the right sides with their lunch. I know my 2 girls always get the vegetable and fruit side. The veggie is usually salad or carrots and the fruit can be grapes, fresh strawberries, apples, etc.

And for sure on the last paragraph. But, what about sports? Laziness on the parents for not wanting to have to take them? I suppose.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:24 PM   #34
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Re: Let's talk childhood obesity....

Quote:
Originally Posted by isabelsmummy View Post
I think people are indeed forgetting about portion sizes. We do road trips through the US in search of sun quite often and portion sizes just blow us away. Seriously unbelievable. Even the same restaurants as we have will serve portions that are much larger when we are in the US.

When I was a kid (80's)we simply ate less food. I know this because mum still has the same plates and the plates are smaller than the ones you buy now.
Yep, this was mentioned somewhere, I'm not sure if it was BL or Dr. Oz.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:26 PM   #35
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Re: Let's talk childhood obesity....

Quote:
Originally Posted by MyLovely View Post
I think it's the little things that add up. I don't think we can fool ourselves into thinking that all obese kids are the result of parents with no grasp on nutrition or who don't care.

Let's look at the newer food pyramid, which I do tend to agree with...

Grains make up a good sized portion, though still a relatively small part of the diet. Carbs are good for you if you get good carbs! Whole grain, unprocessed breads. Rolled oats. Brown rice.

Fruits and vegetables make up the biggest chunk. Obviously, the best way to get them is unprocessed. That generally means raw, lightly cooked or in a smoothie made at home.

Milk products come next. Cottage cheese, yogurt, milk and cheese should ideally be organic, but at the very least should be hormone free.

Next is meat and beans. Meat should be good quality and lean, with small portions and not too often. When consumed, it should be grilled, pan-cooked or baked. Beans, lentils and quinoa are fabulous, heart-healthy and low-calorie protein options.

Finally, sweets, which should be sparing. Candy should be HFCS and dye-free. Things like ice cream should be good quality.

See the problem? When done right, the food pyramid is spot on. There are a lot of well-meaning parents who give their children packaged foods, fried meats, white bread and pasta, canned fruits and vegetables and WAY too much (poor quality) meat. It's not always even a choice, sometimes it's what they can afford. My point though, is that it is absolutely possible to think you're doing well but not be. My nanny family thought they were doing well by getting "whole grain white" wonder bread, and they weren't remotely stupid people.
First, that last sentence totally made me laugh even though I shouldn't.

But, I don't even think what you listed in the last paragraph can lead to obesity in children. It has to be coming from no exercise and a ton of junk.......right?
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:51 PM   #36
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Re: Let's talk childhood obesity....

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And for sure on the last paragraph. But, what about sports? Laziness on the parents for not wanting to have to take them? I suppose.
The one or two hours a week practice and 2 hr game on Saturdays that most kids sports do isn't enough. But in most cases that's all it is for the kids.

Another point towards portion sizes is the amount of "snacking" available. Snacks and food are available everywhere and for everything.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:59 PM   #37
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Re: Let's talk childhood obesity....

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Originally Posted by happysmileylady View Post
The one or two hours a week practice and 2 hr game on Saturdays that most kids sports do isn't enough. But in most cases that's all it is for the kids.

Another point towards portion sizes is the amount of "snacking" available. Snacks and food are available everywhere and for everything.
Yes, that is true. I def. agree with the less kids are able to go outside and play. My girls are swimmers so we don't have that with sports. In fact, I'm trying desperately to get enough nutritious high fat and calorie foods in DD1.

And SO true about snacking. I still don't get how many parents bring snacks to church for the 9:30 mass. They just had breakfast and they can't wait an hour until it is over? Which....leads me to the also so important point that many parents provide kids with food to occupy them, so it becomes a learned thing. Oh, I'm bored, I should eat.
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:25 PM   #38
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Re: Let's talk childhood obesity....

The more research I do, the more I just feel that it is SUCH a complex issue. I don't buy into the idea that all kids are lazy in comparison to their counterparts 20 years ago. I think a lot of it is the parents. Nanny kid's mom wouldn't let him outside unsupervised, and I think anyone who has cared for a child knows that there's nothing less fun than sitting in the grass while they run around with friends, thinking about all the things you could be doing. All through elementary and middle school, I was outside all the time. Recess, PE, after school and then we'd all play hide and seek at night. Even in middle school, we would be out until 10 pm curfew on weekends and all summer long. I think that the hover parent culture is more prevalent today, and even though kids play outside, they play outside less.

Then, think of all the preservatives. Sodium and MSG are terrible, and found even in otherwise healthy food. A little extra sodium isn't a huge deal if you drink more water. However, drinking calories is a huge problem with kids. Juices and milk add calories really, really fast. If that juice has HFCS, it's even worse.

I also don't live under the illusion that our parents and grandparents ate all that much healthier...they just ate less. So it's not like all of a sudden we live in this time of juice and fatty meat and processed box dinners and canned fruits and vegetables. We have for a long time. Our kids are just eating more and moving less. And let's face it, eating is fun. Eating good food is fun. That's honestly the reason I'm so happy to be a vegetarian...I get to eat SO much more and it tastes so good!
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:16 AM   #39
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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.
I agree. Also, it's the ingredients that matter, not the "nutrition" labels that are based on an average of an imaginary person's needs. If it needs a nutrition label, it probably isn't as healthy as something simpler. The less ingredients, the less processed, the better. Most people have no idea what real food is anymore. It's not really their fault; the government and business have convinced them that everything they see on TV is real food, when it almost certainly is processed and not healthy. Yes, almost everything.

My mom cooked almost all of our food at home, but it was mostly canned vegetables, low-fat milk, vegetable oil, white flour, etc. At least it wasn't pre-packaged.

My twin sister and I were always "overweight" for our height. I could tell that it was frustrating to my mom, although she'd never say it. Now when my parents come, they always make a comment about how "skinny" I am. I'm not really...actually in the higher end of the "normal" BMI. But now I eat fresh foods, real food, lots of whole raw milk, butter, cream, eggs, etc. My skin looks great (I had terrible acne as a teenager) and I have lots of energy.

But guess what? My child would probably be considered overweight. She's just turning 3 and weighs about 40 pounds, and she's average height. She eats very little sugar, loves fish eggs and oatmeal with egg yolk, raw milk, and all kinds of healthy foods. So I laugh at the BMI scale, because weight is only ONE indication of health. Notice that a recent study shows that overweight and stage one obese people have a statistically longer life expectancy!
http://gaia-health.com/gaia-blog/2013-01-02/xxx/

Oh and I read somewhere that a doctor said that there is an epidemic of obese 6 MONTH olds! How the heck can a 6 month old be considered obese? I'm sure that I had two of them, EBF.
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:38 AM   #40
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Re: Let's talk childhood obesity....

I agree that it is a very complex issue, and not just uneducated or lazy people. That perpetuates the idea that fat people are just stupid and lazy, and I don't think that is true in the majority of the cases. People generally underestimate how many calories are in food, and over estimate how much is lost during exercise. Speaking from a strict weight loss perspective, a calorie is a calorie is a calorie, and it doesn't matter where it comes from. I'm not talking about nutrition or vitamins (which are clearly important for overall health), but strict energy in food. If you are talking about weight, then it doesn't matter so much what you are eating, but how much in relation to how much you are burning. that's why people can be vegan and be obese, they are eating to many calories. Perhaps they are all coming from raw carrots and oragnic strawberries, but it's still too much, KWIM?

I also think that the current academic culture these days has a role. Kids need at least 60 minutes a day of aerobic exercise, but between long school days where they just sit in classrooms, hours of home work, and sitting in cars between activities, when are they going to run for an hour a day? If both parents work, and everyone gets home at dinner time, by the time everyone eats and does homework, where is the time for tag or riding bikes? And schools are pushing for more academic time and longer school years because of standardized test scores. They forget the education that kids get from unstructured play.

I've also noticed that the hotter and more humid the climate, the heavier people tend to be. I think people in the south don't like to be outside in the hot, humid, long summers, so they tend to stay inside to take advantage of the climate control. Areas with lower rates of obesity also have better climates, like the western US.
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