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Old 01-17-2013, 10:58 AM   #41
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Re: Let's talk childhood obesity....

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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.
I think this is spot-on.

I will add one more thing - I have noticed in our friend's children a decline in organized sports participation because somehow we have bred a culture where you must be great at something or it's not to be enjoyed. We have seen friends stop encouraging their children to play basketball or soccer or whatever because they aren't stars making all-star teams every year, and have no hope of playing in HS or college, therefore it must be useless. Let's not sully little Sally's self-esteem by letting her see that there are others that are better than she is, so let's not encourage her to keep going. I played basketball and ran track and excelled at both of those sports. I loved them, probably in part because I was really good, and probably because I just loved them. I also played volleyball and was atrocious, but my parents encouraged me to keep going because it was good for me to have that sport fill the void when there was no track or basketball. I am thankful for that push.

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Old 01-17-2013, 11:56 AM   #42
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Re: Let's talk childhood obesity....

I blame the parents/govt.

As parents it is are responsibility to feed are children right, to teach them what is healthy and what is not.

A big problem with that is the govt makes people believe that the foods we give our kids is good. Our country allows HFCS is almost everything, GMOs in everything, people feed there kids cereal that is supposed to be a part of a healthy breakfast (so says the commercials) so HFCS is part of a healthy breakfast? GMO's are part of a healthy breakfast? NO. How about pop tarts panCAKES, BACON, SAUSAGE .... it makes me so angry ... hormon filled milks and yogurts which are foods that we are told are good for you bah.

real food is healthy, organic fruits and vegetables, some meats 9excluding pork and beef)

And dont get me started with the lack of exercise, parents rather put there kids in front of a tv. computer, video game, hand held gaming device etc. instead of making them go play out side. And parents dont even show example of this any more cause there doing the same darn thing sitting on there butts in the house.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:49 PM   #43
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Re: Let's talk childhood obesity....

Also don't forget the effects of soy and BPA, both of which are endocrine disrupting. Too much soy is goitrogenic and can also lead to weight gain, not to mention that most of it is GMO. It is a very complex issue, and one that's not going to go away, because to help fix it the government would have to admit that pretty much most of what they say and support is not true or at the best unhelpful.

And don't get me started on Nestle. "good life" and "building a healthier generation" my butt.
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Old 01-17-2013, 04:44 PM   #44
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Re: Let's talk childhood obesity....

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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.
It keeps the kids occupied and quiet. Also, if the kid had cereal and fruit for breakfast with no protein and fat, then they really ARE dealing with low blood sugar and the unhappiness that comes from it. So they feed their kids crackers (more carbs!) and perpetuate the need to constantly snack.

From what I understand, carbs are used quickly and excess is turned straight to fat storage. Meanwhile, blood sugar drops, signaling hunger, and more carb consumption happens, perpetuation the circle.

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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.
I heard a really interesting piece on NPR about the rates of obesity in southern states. It seems that the theory there was that the southern states have a history of being hard field laborers who ate food made for hard laborers. Much of the food was high in fat (even the green veggies) and sugar to give the laborers the energy they NEEDED to function. BUT they were poor and didn't eat near as much because they didn't have access to as much.

Today, the descendants don't do daily physical labor from sun up to sun down, but they still eat the same food and in much larger quantities, because it is simply available. They are also able to get more of the denser calorie foods than their grandparents could.

Also, at one time, fruit was a treat. It wasn't available year round, so you enjoyed it when it was available. Now it's always around so it's no longer a treat. Treats have to be "more" now. This applies to a lot of things. We really have to go over the top to feel like we've been treated. We also somehow have this idea that we somehow deserve to get treats more often. At the turn of LAST century, getting an orange at Christmas time was a BIG deal. Now, it's "meh."
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Old 01-17-2013, 04:53 PM   #45
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Re: Let's talk childhood obesity....

Honestly, I think when you start talking about soy and HFCS and GMO and all that, we are overcomplicating it. Kids are taking in too many calories, and they aren't burning off enough of the calories they are taking in.

They are taking in too many because thy are eating too many foods with high calorie counts but not much else. They aren't burning off the calories becUse they are allowed to sit on this butts too much.
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:04 PM   #46
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Re: Let's talk childhood obesity....

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Honestly, I think when you start talking about soy and HFCS and GMO and all that, we are overcomplicating it. Kids are taking in too many calories, and they aren't burning off enough of the calories they are taking in.

They are taking in too many because thy are eating too many foods with high calorie counts but not much else. They aren't burning off the calories becUse they are allowed to sit on this butts too much.
I agree with this. My DD is at risk for becoming obese according to children's BMI charts. Even though I offer a variety of healthy foods to her, she still gravitates towards high calorie foods that are carb heavy and eschews most fruits and veggies, unless they tend to be high in carbs or are decorated with something high in carbs and fat. She is my most active and muscular child by far, so I have to assume that it's her eating habits and perhaps genetics that are causing her body shape. I am trying to carefully guide her to better choices without creating an eating disorder or body image problem. It's a fine line to walk!
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:30 PM   #47
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Re: Let's talk childhood obesity....

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I agree with this. My DD is at risk for becoming obese according to children's BMI charts. Even though I offer a variety of healthy foods to her, she still gravitates towards high calorie foods that are carb heavy and eschews most fruits and veggies, unless they tend to be high in carbs or are decorated with something high in carbs and fat. She is my most active and muscular child by far, so I have to assume that it's her eating habits and perhaps genetics that are causing her body shape. I am trying to carefully guide her to better choices without creating an eating disorder or body image problem. It's a fine line to walk!
Having suffered an eating disorder myself and probably inflicted with disordered eating still, I try to be very aware of the discussions I have with my 9 year old daughter about food choices and activities. My daughter is very tall about 95% in height and about 90 % in weight,vey muscular build, but gravitates towards overeating and not always healthy choices. We don't keep alot of junk food around and truly do strive for active lifestyles, I'm a marathon runner, and teach spin classes and am very active so our kids see that lifestyle, but we still have concerns and I do not want to turn it into an issue where my daughter gravitates toward disordered eating...as it is, I've heard my 5 year old at times say that has too many calories in say a particular fool...she's a picky eater anyways and we've really tried to to focus on all food has value, it's just about how much you eat and how active you are...but it really can be a fine line.
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:56 PM   #48
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Re: Let's talk childhood obesity....

I think school also comes into play.............

Our school has a fair amount of kids on free/reduced lunches, so they tend to eat always at school. And if they do eat a healthy breakfast, still the principal is standing at the door, encouraging children to eat breakfast before they go in. THEN we are also to send our kid a snack, so by 10 am, a nine year old may have consumed two breakfasts, one not healthy, and a bag of Cheetos (what a lot of kids bring) Then school lunch, don't get me started, and then perhaps a cupcake if its someone's birthday.. Then they get home, tell mom they are starving, and get a snack before dinner. All school year long.

Recess has bunch of bizarre rules about not being aloud to run on the track, or pick up pinecones or other objects. PE is just once or twice a week.

My sons LOVES to play outside, but in the Pacific NW it is dark by 4:30 in the winter.....and frequently raining. He went to the park/creek with one of his little mates today for the first time in ages.

He is about average weight (48th percentile) and one of the "skinny" kids. One of the few well under 80 pounds, and still in a car seat.

eta: sitting still in class is a highly regarded trait children are constantly rewarded for. My son is frequently reprimanded for squirming in his seat, even though not disruptive, and learning just fine.
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:57 AM   #49
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Re: Let's talk childhood obesity....

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I heard a really interesting piece on NPR about the rates of obesity in southern states. It seems that the theory there was that the southern states have a history of being hard field laborers who ate food made for hard laborers. Much of the food was high in fat (even the green veggies) and sugar to give the laborers the energy they NEEDED to function. BUT they were poor and didn't eat near as much because they didn't have access to as much.

Today, the descendants don't do daily physical labor from sun up to sun down, but they still eat the same food and in much larger quantities, because it is simply available. They are also able to get more of the denser calorie foods than their grandparents could.
I think there is some truth to this, also. My family is southern, and they were mostly farmers. My dad's family were miners, but the rest were all farmers and share croppers. Anyway, the food they eat would make most of us these days They even put bacon grease on collards (which is delicious, BTW). Lard biscuits and milk gravy was a staple of their diet. The only fruits and veggies they ate were ones they grew, and that was when they were not working on their crops for their livelihood, so it wasn't much.

People talk about how bad diets are now, but I wonder what they think diets used to be like. Sure there weren't GMO's, but flour and lard 3 times a day isn't exactly healthy, either.

But they were all thin, very thin. Mostly fromlack of food and doing hard physical labor all day long. Our bodies are made to hang on to every single calorie, and to jealously give them up when we move about. Now that people aren't living a feast and famine lifestyle anymore, is it any wonder we're all so fat?
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Originally Posted by happysmileylady View Post
Honestly, I think when you start talking about soy and HFCS and GMO and all that, we are overcomplicating it. Kids are taking in too many calories, and they aren't burning off enough of the calories they are taking in.

They are taking in too many because thy are eating too many foods with high calorie counts but not much else. They aren't burning off the calories becUse they are allowed to sit on this butts too much.
Yep. Weight is all about calories in and calories out. Nutrition is what we eat, but weight is a pretty simple in and out equation. That's why you never see starving people in developing countries who are obese.

I think nutrition is important, too, which is why I try to feed my family a lot of whole foods and make as much from scratch as I possibly can. But even if they ate the most perfect organic diet in the world, they could still be fat if they eat more calories than they take in.
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:19 AM   #50
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Re: Let's talk childhood obesity....

Now don't get me wrong, I do believe there are all sorts of factors regarding WHY kids are sitting on their butts too much and why they are eating foods with too many calories and not much else. There's schools that are eliminating recess and parents who don't require their kids turn off the video games. Kids drink millions of their calories in drinks that provide nothing but calories, sugar and caffeine. All of those sorts of things are the things that need to change in order to halt this obesity epidemic in the kids of the US.

But that still really boils down to calories in, calories out. I am not saying that bread with HFCS is as healthy as bread without HFCS. Just that if you eat 2 sandwiches made with the non HFCS bread, while your friend only eats one sandwich with the HFCS bread, you have still taken in more calories than your friend and still need to do more exercise to burn that off.
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