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  #1   ^
Old Tue, Aug-25-20, 00:44
Demi's Avatar
Demi Demi is offline
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Default Parents are to blame for obese children - not governments

An interesting and (potentially) controversial comment piece in The Telegraph this morning about child obesity and parental responsibility.

Just who is responsible?


Quote:
Parents are to blame for obese children - not governments

As new statistics show one child under five is admitted to hospital for obesity every week, parents must take responsibility

Celia Walden


When a handful of British children went back to school for a nano-second at the end of June, a teacher friend described the moment she watched her pupils filing into the classroom as “jaw-dropping.” Many of her Year 2s “had gained up to a stone and could no longer fit into their uniforms,” she lamented. “One had put on so much weight over lockdown that even his gait had been affected.”

Yes, but we’ve all piled it on since March. Yes, but with playgrounds and swimming pools closed and sports clubs suspended, it’s been so much harder to get kids out of the house. Yes, but the boredom factor can’t be underplayed here: all that extra time while parents were working from home had to be filled with something, namely snacking and sucking on the iTeat.

Here’s a final ‘yes, but’ – and it’s the only one that matters: yes, but one child under five is being admitted to hospital every week because of obesity. One child. Every week.

If you think the new NHS figures – released on Sunday – are shocking; if you’re struggling to take in the extra 534 boys and 420 girls under five admitted to hospital with obesity as their “secondary cause of admission” between 2019 and 2020, consider this: these figures won’t take into account the lockdown damage: the tiny shuffling figures teachers will watch filing into their classrooms next week. They won’t acknowledge the boy whose very ability to walk had been affected… by what? By a basic lack of parental accountability.

We’re not allowed to talk in generalisations anymore. They’re offensive, exclusionary and above all true, which to use one of the most irritating PC-isms of the day is “problematic”. It’s also why they’ve been vetoed. But here’s a whopper for you: Brits aren’t great at personal accountability. Somewhere in our country’s flamboyant rejection of puritanism and restraint, we have decided that personal accountability is an outmoded concept.

If we want to drink ourselves silly, why shouldn’t we? If we wanted to gorge on junk food – during lockdown and for years prior to that – ditch the wearing of ties to formal engagements and rock up to business meetings in shorts and flip-flops, we should be entitled to do that. We are now Let It All Hang Out Britain, with our own Prime Minister the poster boy, despite his U-turn on obesity. Just look at the state of him in the Highland holiday snaps he chose to release to the nation: artfully dishevelled, in stained trousers. All very touching in a ‘new dad’, only this man represents the country.

Europe will be as appalled by those images as it is by the figures that, yet again, put Britain at the top of childhood obesity tables. Only they won’t be asking themselves how the government has allowed this epidemic to thrive to such shameful levels or indeed why schools haven’t done more to instill healthy eating habits in their pupils, but why British parents would be so slovenly as to put their own offspring at risk of a lifetime of health complications – complications that have risen by 80 per cent in terms of hospital admissions, according to the NHS, over the past year alone.

You’d think that when a child’s diabetes, asthma, depression, fatty liver disease and joint pain sets in, parents would have to be confronted by their own failings, but because of our lack of accountability all we then do is blame others. It’s the fault of supermarkets for selling so much junk, advertisers for cynically promoting that junk, and food manufacturers for conning us with sugar-packed “healthy” snacks featuring our little ones’ favourite cartoon-characters on the packaging. It’s “genetic predisposition.”

And all of those things do play a part, but every health professional discussing obesity with any degree of honesty will tell you that part is minimal when compared with parental influence and accountability.

Reacting to the NHS figures on Sunday, Caroline Cerny, of the Obesity Health Alliance, implored the government to do more “especially in the early years” of a child’s life, and especially with “the most deprived communities”, where as many as 33 per cent of children are expected to be obese by 2030, if the wealth gap continues to widen.

Thanks to Covid, it will. And both the government and schools need to do their bit in educating the parents in those deprived communities from pregnancy onwards. But what about the middle-class mums who buy their children a cupcake-a-day to make themselves feel better? What about the cross-class culture of TV dinners Britain has embraced for years?

Short of putting the Coco Pops behind bars alongside fags and alcohol in shops, rationing sugary drinks and issuing health warnings with every McDonalds, the government’s obesity strategy can only ever be a starting point. Beyond that it comes down to the “self-discipline” and “resolve” the Queen mentioned in her “We Will Meet Again” address in April – an address that was unforgettable because those attributes have largely been forgotten.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/l...ot-governments/

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  #2   ^
Old Tue, Aug-25-20, 05:27
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WereBear WereBear is offline
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My own position is that it's nutritionists, in their usual form, who are the real source of misinformation. It's like they are part of the scam diet industry, which offers those packaged foods for high prices, then gets to do it again because there's no maintenance.

I remember when cigarette advertising was banned. Isn't sugar also dangerous?

Like cigarettes, one cupcake won't kill you. But it's never ONE cupcake.
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  #3   ^
Old Tue, Aug-25-20, 07:03
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Calianna Calianna is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WereBear
My own position is that it's nutritionists, in their usual form, who are the real source of misinformation. It's like they are part of the scam diet industry, which offers those packaged foods for high prices, then gets to do it again because there's no maintenance.

I remember when cigarette advertising was banned. Isn't sugar also dangerous?

Like cigarettes, one cupcake won't kill you. But it's never ONE cupcake.



I was about to say the same thing.



A lot of parents really are trying to do right by their kids when it comes to nutrition though. One of the main problems is that the gov't keeps telling us to cut calorie intake, primarily by cutting fat intake. There's not a clear-cut minimal amount of protein recommended. But carbs - sure, you and your kids need to eats gobs of carbs every single day of your life, just cut back on the added sugar, and make sure half of the grains are whole grains.



Easy enough to figure out foods that will meet those requirements - It's all right there on the nutrition stats on every single package you buy. You don't even need to look at the number of grams per serving on the label, just look down the last column, which shows what percentage of the recommended daily amount a serving provides. If you look at that, whole wheat bread, whole grain cereals (such as shredded wheat), and dried fruit easily meet those requirements, and therefore must be extremely good for you, since they're almost all carbs and fiber, with little to no fats (and no cholesterol!), and little or no added sugar.



Unfortunately that doesn't work to keep from gaining excess weight, because the recommended daily allowances are so skewed in the wrong direction.


Even if you're looking at the nutrition stats for a cupcake - most Hostess cupcake nutrition stats show the total carbs and fats equal in percentage of daily recommendations. Going by the back of package nutrition information, if you have room in your daily allowances for the calories and sugar, how bad can it be?
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  #4   ^
Old Tue, Aug-25-20, 07:18
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Ms Arielle Ms Arielle is offline
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Yes, the buck stops with the parents, 'cause the fed gov will do nothing.


I didnot let my kids eat school lunches: Just garbage food.

Thank God I met DANDR in the early years of having kids. Just wish keto for pregnant women and kids was ok then .....that is a new concept. My kids did eat better after toddler years. No fruit juices, less bread. Do wish it had been more LC.

Hard to change teens and what they want to eat.
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  #5   ^
Old Tue, Aug-25-20, 07:23
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WereBear WereBear is offline
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People want to do the right thing. Which is why confusing them about what that is becomes so wrong.
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Old Tue, Aug-25-20, 08:38
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teaser teaser is offline
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There aren't these two options, where there's either a parent's responsibility to do what's right for their kids, versus a wider social responsibility. The article talks about just blaming others--so blame the parents. Sharing responsibility works, sharing blame--eh. Might shame people into action.

Cigarettes--obviously, adults who smoke are responsible for their actions. So are the cigarette companies that actively spread disinformation to make it harder for those adults to make intelligent decisions. Coca-Cola paying to help make sure calorie in/calorie out and exercise's contribution to energy balance dominate the discussion--there's a responsibility there to at least not fog people's minds about what the best course of action is. Same with government. Schools? Public school is mandatory for most kids. Schools have custody for long stretches of time--obviously they have a responsibility, a good portion of what children eat is eaten at school.

Teachers shocked at how much fatter some kids got after some time in lockdown--they might have gained just as much weight going to class in that time--but then it would be gradual. It's always more shocking when you see somebody who's gained weight after half a year, than it would be seeing it slowly accumulate over that period of time, day to day.

The more endemic this thing is, the less I tend to blame the parents. If they are making wrong decisions--obviously they're presented with something in the environment that makes those wrong decisions highly likely.

I needed discipline to get to my current weight. But the discipline became more useful the more I experimented and learned what works for me. Also--discipline is limited, most useful I think in designing an environment where I'm not driven to fail.
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  #7   ^
Old Tue, Aug-25-20, 09:30
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Ms Arielle Ms Arielle is offline
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Teaser you said "Also--discipline is limited, most useful I think in designing an environment where I'm not driven to fail." And this is true, too true.

As a society, we changed the avalability of alcohol and cigarettes. Seat belts, safety glass, crumple fronts are the norm in automobiles. As well as separate front and back breaks. Electrical wiring in a building has been changed several times and is mandated by law. My Hvac son tells me how the fine is HUGE to allow certain refrigerants to be emitted into the air. Here liability car insurance is required and not an option to drive a car in MA. Other states vary on this. Helmets for motorcycles reauired. Fire detectors in new house contruction reauired. Children must have all listed vaccinations to attend public school.

There are hundreds of laws and rules governing food, but we seem to have missed the bigger pucture. The quality of the food itself.

That we are surrounded by garbage..."foods" that I will not feed to my dogs and chickens. "Foods" that dont get dumped in compost. Goes in trash.

Of course, my teens will grab it and gobble it down. It comes into my house via food pantry boxes. Food selected for me. Pre covidI could avoid crap food. Now I pick up boxes packed for the general public, filled with sweets, cookies, cold cereal, sugar filled granola bars, etc.

We are forced at every turn to avoid garbage food. How people surtound themselves by crap is very different than the meals my mother made 50 years ago. Non-gmo . More organic. More local.

More time spent on aquiring quality food.

Last edited by Ms Arielle : Tue, Aug-25-20 at 09:39.
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  #8   ^
Old Tue, Aug-25-20, 09:39
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GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teaser

The more endemic this thing is, the less I tend to blame the parents. If they are making wrong decisions--obviously they're presented with something in the environment that makes those wrong decisions highly likely.


Good point. There is a massive amount of misinformation developed by and shared among many that makes it impossible to place blame on anyone. So why try? Focus should be on identifying healthy behaviors and exposing those widely recommended practices that harm people. Easier said than done, but I know many who now have this awareness and are making changes accordingly. Much different than 10 years ago, so maybe that's some indication of progress.
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  #9   ^
Old Wed, Aug-26-20, 09:01
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Calianna Calianna is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ms Arielle
Yes, the buck stops with the parents, 'cause the fed gov will do nothing.


I didnot let my kids eat school lunches: Just garbage food.


Thank God I met DANDR in the early years of having kids. Just wish keto for pregnant women and kids was ok then .....that is a new concept. My kids did eat better after toddler years. No fruit juices, less bread. Do wish it had been more LC.

Hard to change teens and what they want to eat.


Unfortunately the feed-lot/weight gain based food pyramid the fed gov came up with is the very reason kids are being fed such a garbage diet at school.

For the most part, my kids didn't eat school lunches either, even though the lunches weren't nearly as dismal then as they are now - At least once they started going to a suburban school, they had access to more variety. In middle school and high school, that even included a salad bar. A reasonable amount of protein was still part of school lunches back then, although they definitely kept things pretty low fat, which still put too much emphasis on starches.

The thing about this is, when I think about the school lunches we had back in the 60's, it was based mostly on the 4 food groups. We'd have some kind of protein, mostly beef, because chicken wasn't used as widely back then. Fridays, there would be fish - most likely as a breaded/fried fish sandwich. There would be some kind of grain of course - most often a roll or slice of bread, with real butter, sometimes pasta, no whole grains. There was at least one vegetable (peas, green beans, corn, carrots, or a mix of those), usually some kind of fruit (canned, in heavy syrup)... and most of the time, there was a dessert, usually a thin square of cake with a thin coating of frosting on it, sometimes a fruit cobbler (which would cover both fruit and dessert categories), or a little cup of icecream - which was full fat ice cream, not ice milk. Milk was provided with every meal, always whole milk.

Despite the fact that we were obviously being fed far more fat and calories than the kids are allowed in school lunches now, very few kids were even slightly chubby, and it was very rare to have even one child in your class who was severely overweight. They try to explain that away by saying kids were outside playing more, running off all those excess calories back then, and that may be true to a certain extent. But from what I recall, the kids might play tag for a couple of minutes, or climb a tree... then simply sit in that tree talking, or sit in one spot on the ground making mud pies for the next half hour. Even most of the playground games back then - duck-duck-goose, hop-scotch, jump rope - most of your time playing those games you were idle, waiting your turn. Dodge ball (at least the version we played in those days) started out with half the kids in the center running around trying to avoid being hit by the ball (there was only one ball in play), but as they were eliminated one by one, the number of idle kids around the outside increased, and unless an individual happened to be the one to catch the ball to throw it at the kids remaining in the middle, they were just standing there - not running off any excess calories.

If it was simply a matter of calories in/calories out, we should have been the fattest kids ever back then. It was about the diet, and they really do have a terrible diet being pushed on them now. To make matters worse, it's not just the school lunches, many schools provide breakfast now too - so they're eating even more starches and sugars, even if what they're being fed has been given the aura of good health by virtue of being from whole grains, or fruit based. Your body doesn't know the difference - it's still starch and sugar.


I know I'm just preaching to the choir though - those of us who have been on this forum or a while already know these things.

Last edited by Calianna : Wed, Aug-26-20 at 09:06.
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  #10   ^
Old Wed, Aug-26-20, 10:22
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Ms Arielle Ms Arielle is offline
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Well written for anyone new to LC, so worth the tine to write out.

In HS, one son has access to microwave and fridge in his shop class, so can eat real food he brings to school.

Yes, the company/ vendor that provides the food in k-12 in our town district follows fed gov guidelunes to get fed $$$ to fund the lunch program. Kids pay $2.50 for lunch......buys lots of carby foods. Yes, packing a lunch cost more than $2.50 but far mire nutritious.....and my kids did well in school cause they fed their brain well.

I do wonder what a 2.50 could buy if at home for lumch. A buger with cheese and a pile of vegies.
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Old Thu, Aug-27-20, 00:19
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I don't blame my parents for making me fat at all. They were only doing what was recommended to them by the government, taking in all that advice for lots of carbs, and low fat everything.

We've seen the data that indicates how the US population responded with its eating habits following the release of the 1980 DGAs. I have similar data for New Zealand as well. The people did as they were told. They were just told wrong.
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Old Thu, Aug-27-20, 03:05
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calianna
The thing about this is, when I think about the school lunches we had back in the 60's, it was based mostly on the 4 food groups.


Likewise, and it was a lot better than the situation now. You look at "people in the street" photos then and now; it's like a pandemic glandular disorder hit in the time between.

DH and I are only 2 years apart in age, and we agreed you rarely saw a fat child while we were growing up. Not only that, they were "on the chubby side" but not outright overweight.

Likewise the adults.

Turns out, half the plate being forms of protein, and only 1/4 of it grains, was better for more people. Not saying we should go back to it, because I don't think nutritional science had anything to do with that plan, either. But the contrast outlines how the pyramid had to be emphasizing all the wrong things.
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Old Thu, Aug-27-20, 11:25
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deirdra deirdra is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WereBear
DH and I are only 2 years apart in age, and we agreed you rarely saw a fat child while we were growing up. Not only that, they were "on the chubby side" but not outright overweight.
When I was a kid, "Ethel Mertz" was one of the fattest women on TV and half the jokes were about how fat she was. Now if you watch those I Love Lucy episodes, you see that Vivian Vance was slimmer and trimmer than ~70% of today's population.
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Old Thu, Aug-27-20, 22:34
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s93uv3h s93uv3h is online now
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Instead of fixing blame, fix the problem.

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