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Overweight children - is it parental neglect? - Page 6

post #101 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

if you noticed I had quoted another poster - regardless I read what she posted and I still don't get it- how you tell the Dr not to say anything??

 

But if the only problem the doc sees is that the child is overweight, then in my opinion any communication regarding that needs to go from the doc to the parent and then to the child if the parent sees it as an actual problem. A child not fitting into a category concerning their BMI may not be a real problem.

 

Simmer down... I just wanted dalia to know that I noticed her child is relatively young. It really wasn't anything against you. 

post #102 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamiro View Post
 

 

By stating the above I am NOT ADVOCATING TAKING AWAY FOOD STAMPS. I am unsure why people are so quick to assume this as it is a completely unrelated conclusion being drawn from the above observation.

 

 

Sorry, that was me jumping on your comment about foodstamps, i should have read your comment more carefully....

 

 

I agree with the others about the role of the food industry, complete with its use of pesticides, gmo crops,  maltreatment of animals (the idea of injecting a healthy animal with antibiotics daily as a preventative measure disgusts me, as much for the poor animal, as for the meat filled with antibiotics  that is put  on the supermarket shelves), the mass  overuse of grains that are so nutiritonally bereft that they must be supplemented with nutrients, that arent well assimilated by the body, the mercury in our fish, the use of  unhealthy oils and sugars in almost every product you find, the over use of  vegetable oils for cooking which turns them into transfats, and so on and so on.

 

Going shopping in a  traditional supermarket is a hard working job of elimination after elimination, because most of the products are not healthy. Half the time i buy things thinking to myself-whats the harm in a little bpa? whats the harm in a small amount of gmo corn in those cheerios? Whats the harm in the small dose of antibiotics on that steak or chicken-my kids are hungry!

 

 We pay a price for the junk  we consume, and i dont mean junk food like articifically colored candy, i am talking about what is considered healthy food.

 

Of course there will be a consequence. Diabetes and obesity are just the tip of the iceberg. (adhd and autism are not far behind)

post #103 of 196

Today on NPR, a story about GMO wheat mysteriously showing up on a farm in Oregon.

 

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/05/30/187103955/gmo-wheat-found-in-oregon-field-howd-it-get-there?ft=3&f=1001&sc=nl&cc=nh-20130530

 

I don't feel qualified to say that GMO crops are direct causes of diabetes, obesity, ADHD, autism or anything else. I think all of those diseases have very complex origins, and I don't think enough research has been done to assess the full impact of GMO crops.

 

However, I'm also skeptical of the USDA claims that GMO crops pose no risk to public health. How can they know that?

post #104 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

 

I've received really good advice about diet from obese people, and really appalling advice about diet from skinny people (and bad advice from obese people, good advice from skinny people, etc.). What someone weighs - or even what they eat - isn't a good indicator of what they know about food.

 

Yes. This is my husband's best friend.  Well, he doesn't give diet advice per se, but he and used to loudly boast about being a meat and potatoes man who doesn't eat rabbit food, shakes his head at vegetarians.  He's a skinny, skinny man. He's 45 y.o. now, still skinny, and has stage 1 hypertension, approaching stage 2. 

 

Thankfully he and his wife are changing their tune.  His wife ended up in the hospital a couple times getting gallstones and her gall bladder removed. They're making a big effort to eat more fruit and veggies, etc.; even got an organic produce box delivery.

 

This is the way they were raised.  Dh's friend isn't obese, but there's the dangerous hypertension.  Were his parents neglectful?  I'm reticent to say so.

post #105 of 196

well to throw in the spanner disease is not a good indicator every single time at what is going on in the family. i think its a doctor's duty to find out what's going on, instead of making any judgement call. 

 

friend is healthy. athlete cross country runner and races bikes. runs everyday rain or shine. hypertension. genetics. 

 

i have quite a few very very healthy friends (meaning healthy life styles - food and exercise because they are sports people). they grew up eating well. by their late 40s early 50s had a bunch of health issues. genetics. 

 

in fact in some families that i know back east - all had typical childhood. some stayed rail road thin. could never put on weight. others were obese. no difference in food. all as they grew older had some sort of health issue - genetics. 

 

and my super obese friend who grew up with health issues in childhood before she became obese - today inspite of all her health issues growing up, is better off without hypertension, diabetes, than many of her same age non obese friends. obese friend eats much better and does much more for herself than anyone else i know. 

 

BUT... we are talking about children. most peds. go off the BMI chart rather than looking at the family  and their genetic history. 

 

with children i find, most kids weightwise usually - not always - look like their parents (i am talking about 4th and 5th graders).


Edited by meemee - 5/30/13 at 10:40am
post #106 of 196
The conventional food grown nowadays is much less nutritious than what was grown a generation or two ago.
post #107 of 196
I have been given advice by overweight people, telling what I "needed" to change, when my weight and health were both good. Sorry, but I'm biased by those experiences.
post #108 of 196

about conventional food yes absolutely. but i want to go as far as saying - there is no organic food on this continent. true 100% organic. the water system, drainoffs, etc.

 

but we have to do with what we have. the lack of nutrition is even more reason to eat well. for many like me it has to be a combination of conventional and organic. in fact since i have been volunteering and working with food so much - mostly food access that i am tending to not go the extra mile for organic. i am constantly surrounded by people who dont have access to organic food and i feel terribly guilty that i am privileged to some when they arent. 

 

plus i also feel we really hardly know anything about nutrition. nutrition is at the place where medicine was when michaelangelo was studying and drawing muscles from cadavers. with new research about bacteria and absorption - i have come to the conclusion i have to do the best i can with what i have. i am not completely convinced a 100% for my family that organic is the best way to go. but that's me and my issue. but its based on really we have very little idea of what exactly is going on. 

 

i am sorry about your experience pek. i guess those kind of people live in every aspect of life. my experience is opposite of yours. i get the - dont do what i have done. its so hard to break. dont get into this mess. look at me as an example and dont become me. 

post #109 of 196

I doubt there is any one single cause of childhood obesity, especially in the US.  Lots of things contribute to it, and its going to be a different set of circumstances for each family.  Or even for each person in the family. 

 

I see this really clearly in our family.  DH and I are, admittedly, overweight.  Healthy, but overweight.  I admit we eat too much, though its too much of generally very healthy food (I cook, we buy organic, rarely buy processed anything... that general approach).  My DD is significantly underweight -- so much so that our pediatrician is really worried about her.  But DS is significantly overweight.  But for just him I can identify the following contributing factors:

1.  He has fructose mal-absorbtion so cannot eat most fruits and many veggies.  I can't tell him to eat an apple for snack - he would be sick for the rest of the day.  So he eats far more carb- and protein-heavy snacks and meals that he should from a weight management standpoint.

2.  I'm not home during the day so he definitely snacks too much when I'm not there.  But I need food in the house because DD really needs to snack all day.  Its not realistic for me to expect DS not to eat when DD is doing so.  Even if I were there to supervise snacking I'm not sure it would be in my parenting philosophy to dictate what he could and couldn't eat -- that would be a struggle to figure out.

3.  He's 13, so he buys things at school (more than he should) and at the store on the way home from school.  I suppose I could not give him an allowance but that raises other issues.

4.  We eat too much for dinner (well, everyone except DD).  We're working on portion control but its a slow process.

5.  He struggles with anxiety and depression.  Trying to deal with weight before getting those things more controlled would be futile.  Not to mention a "pick your battles" thing.  And the medication he takes also cause some weight gain.  Sure I could eliminate the meds, but the consequences for doing so could be too horrible to imagine (as in he might kill himself awful).

6.  He doesn't go "out to play" in the afternoons -- partly because he's watching his little sister, partly because there isn't anyone his age to play with, partly because I'm not there to nag him to do so.

7.  He recently stopped doing karate and we haven't found a sport he's interested in that we can get him to classes to replace it.

8.  Both sides of the family are generally overweight, so there is some genetic factors here I'm sure.

9.  The school has recently limited PE to save money so he gets less exercise at school.

 

And I'm lucky in that we are financially comfortable, live in an area with ready access to great produce and seafood, and we cook.

 

So, am I being neglectful?  Maybe.  But if there are so many contributing factors that I can identify for my child, then I would expect at least that much to be true for other families as well.  Some things the parents can control, some they can't.  Some things they could change but the consequences would be too severe and the entire family might be worse off.  Some things that we as a society could change if we wanted to but don't seem to have the political will.  Or we (as a society) won't spend the money on.  For example, my DD's elementary school has no PE at all due to budget cuts and the continuing race for better test scores.  We (general we) could fix that if we wanted to, but so far we haven't made it a priority.

 

It would be nice if there were a simple, single answer to the question.  But there isn't.  And given that there isn't, it seems really wrong to judge a family unless you know all of the circumstances surrounding the issue with that particular child at that particular time.

post #110 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

nutrition is at the place where medicine was when michaelangelo was studying and drawing muscles from cadavers.

 

I like this analogy!

post #111 of 196

EvanandAnna's mom your post made me cry. i have no clue why. its soo many things coming together. primarily its the overeating part of it. the book the end of overeating shows us what an epidemic it is in our country.

 

seriously i have never seen anyone here eat the amount they are supposed to. one day i ate a fully balanced diet with the right serving size. YIKES!!!! it was soooo little. (i am a little person). 

 

this whole situation is so so so complicated. 

 

and every single moment all of us are being bombarded to consume. consume. consume. with smells and flavors... at least i know i can resist some. those who dont know... why should they resist. 

 

yet we have the cheapest food here. i once learnt (am i repeating myself here - sorry) the real cost of food (compared to general worldwide prices) would be like paying for organic food. 

post #112 of 196

Portion sizes are a huge part of it. I've been trying to be more conscious of how much we eat, and it's amazing how big the servings are. I know someone who cooks two pounds of meat for dinner, for a family of five, and they eat it all. We eat a lot less than that, and I think it's still too much. Other parts of the meal are similarly lopsided. I honestly don't think it matters if my "one serving" of undressed field greens is three cups (even thought that's not one serving)...but what about when it's rice, or pasta, or cheese, or bread...or even avocadoes, potatoes, or other higher calorie food? Some of those things have a decent nutritional punch, but they also have a lot of calories, and enormous servings are going to cause problems.

 

I know that, for me, inactivity is a big part of it, though. I don't eat five slices of large pizza, or two burgers, plus fries, anymore. I did that from my late teens until my mid-to-late 20s (except when I was pregnant). My portions are much more reasonable. However, I'm also not walking the nine blocks to work from the bus stop, and back again each night. I have a vehicle, so I'm not walking a km or mile to the grocery store several times per week. I'm not walking the hill to my mom's (ds2 was always awful around traffic, and I got paranoid about busy streets). There's too much noise and commotion around here most of the time, so I rarely put on music and dance, just for the heck of it. Add in some emotional eating, and...boom.

post #113 of 196

Here's an interesting article on the subject of obesity and where it comes from:

http://www.aeonmagazine.com/being-human/david-berreby-obesity-era/

 

It's long, but worth a read. It describes a lot of different research being done that points to many different causes for obesity. The takeaway for me is that this isn't a simple issue that can be traced to one cause. It's a manifestation of a lot of different factors converging. The author concludes that we might need to blame capitalism itself for the obesity epidemic. And that's food for thought...

post #114 of 196
post #115 of 196

I'm glad I found this thread. This topic is so interesting to me because for the past several months, I've been totally reshaping how I look at food, as well as increasing the portion of my day that I spend physically active, and one thing that's crystal clear to me is that pointing fingers of blame at anyone -- parents, society, even myself -- is not productive at all, whereas awareness is the absolute key to getting from where I am to where I need to be. Since last November, I've lost at least 70 lbs, possibly more, by simply, gradually, making more and more lifestyle changes that I like and that I feel comfortable living with for the rest of my life -- not just as a temporary way to lose the weight, and then gain it all back, plus more, a year later because I'd made changes I couldn't sustain over the long haul (I've been down that road before and I'm just too old and wise to be willing to do it again).

 

I just recently finished reading Fat land : how Americans became the fattest people in the world  by Greg Critser, and it has opened my eyes to some areas where my thinking was totally off. For example, I was worried over my teen daughter's obsession with her weight, and her desire for a flat belly, and I'd previously discouraged her from counting calories. While I'm not saying her focus on the TV models is exactly healthy, I've realized that it's also not unhealthy for her to be concerned about getting fat when she sees her dad and me, as well as other family members -- especially now that she's learned about how thin I was as a child.

 

In Fat Land, Critser explains how the media's hyperfocus on extremely rare teen eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia (rare in comparison to the incidence of obesity) have got many of us worried that if we encourage healthier eating habits and exercise, we'll drive our girls to starve themselves. I've realized that it's actually healthy for dd to learn everything she can about what she's putting into her mouth -- including, but not limited to, information on calories.

 

So today when she showed me a diet she found on the Internet that she wanted to follow, I took a good look at it and told her it looked really healthy. It advocates things like drinking water instead of sugary drinks, and eating according to the food pyramid. She's made herself a chart where she checks it off when she's had a serving of fruit, vegetables, grain, protein, dairy, and so on. She told me that it's true that she's within her weight for height recommendations -- but that she could also weigh less and still be within those recommendations. I said that's true, and that as long as she's getting all the nutrition she needs, I have no problem with her losing a few pounds, even though I also think she's fine as she is.

 

I've also realized that "counting calories" is sometimes helpful for me -- for example, when I want to indulge in a rich snack. A while back, dh brought home a Marie Calendar pecan pie, and I really wanted some but not too much. So I read the info and saw that one serving -- one-eighth of the pie -- was just under 500 calories. Since I really didn't want more than a quarter of my food for the day to be pie, I cut that serving in half, and really enjoyed a few mornings of savoring a sliver of pecan pie with my morning coffee. So I'm not going to discourage her from reading those labels any more. Instead, I'm going to encourage her to read all the information, and also to learn what it all means. Awareness is key.

post #116 of 196
Quote:

Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post I've realized that it's actually healthy for dd to learn everything she can about what she's putting into her mouth -- including, but not limited to, information on calories...

 

 ...So I'm not going to discourage her from reading those labels any more. Instead, I'm going to encourage her to read all the information, and also to learn what it all means. Awareness is key.

I always felt that being a little over weight as a teenager and consequently being more aware of nutrition and healthful life styles gave me an edge later on. The thin kids who never gave it a thought seemed to gain more weight, either in college (the freshmen 15) or right after college. My weight has been up and down a bit over the years, reflecting changes in my life style, but it's never done anything drastic. 

post #117 of 196

Also, while moving away from blaming, I do see a need for increased awareness of societal factors that make it very easy for certain vulnerable groups to put on lots of weight, and make it hard for them to return to a healthy weight.

 

One thing Critser does in Fatland is outline the situation for many of our nation's poorest -- especially immigrant groups. He explains how when mothers are malnourished during pregnancy, those babies are more likely to be born with a coping mechanism wherein they're predisposed to convert sugar to fat. He also explains how groups who've survived many generations in environments where it's difficult to get enough calories tend to have metabolisms that favor weight gain. Which works out great when they are still in those environments -- but when those people come into an environment like the U.S. where we have an overabundance of cheap, empty calories and fats, it can be a real disaster.

 

How can anyone label these parents as neglectful, when in many cases they've sacrificed literally everything, and bravely come to a whole new place where they're often working two and three jobs to make ends meet? In their case, the "light at the end of the tunnel" is not even a better life for themselves, but a hope that their children can have a real life.

 

As well as metabolisms not being able to adjust, there are also habits and ideals that were great coping mechanisms in the previous environment -- such as the idea that it's good to carry some extra weight, and the idea that it's good to conserve energy and rest whenever you can. It wasn't so long ago in our own history that a fat child was a child who was going to survive childhood, and that a day's work provided all the exercise anyone needed.

post #118 of 196
Quote:

Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post

 

So today when she showed me a diet she found on the Internet that she wanted to follow, I took a good look at it and told her it looked really healthy. It advocates things like drinking water instead of sugary drinks, and eating according to the food pyramid.

 

 

The food pyramid made me fat and sick. For me, there is no such thing as "healthy whole grains." Whole or not, they are just CARBS. The pyramid encourages very limited fat intake, which leave everyone feelings hungry, so they eat more carbs, which then mess with their blood sugar and energy levels, so they either eat more carbs or start living on caffeine, or a combo.

 

And it just isn't me. When the food advice changed in this country away from fat and toward carbs, obesity rates started going up, and they haven't stopped raising. Our food pyramid was just a big science experiment, with no control group, and we were lab rats. But when it makes us fat (as it will!) then we are told it is our fault.

 

This is a great link. If you scroll down the page, there is a video called "The food revolution."  It's a speech made by a Swedish doctor at a Paleo conference. Very interesting stuff. 

http://www.dietdoctor.com/lchf

 

How did your eating and energy levels go for the rest of the day when you ate pecan pie for breakfast? For most people, that would have been a set up for energy spikes and drops, and cravings for more simple carbs and caffeine (which would have caused more spikes and drops) to get through the day.

post #119 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post

I always felt that being a little over weight as a teenager and consequently being more aware of nutrition and healthful life styles gave me an edge later on. The thin kids who never gave it a thought seemed to gain more weight, either in college (the freshmen 15) or right after college. My weight has been up and down a bit over the years, reflecting changes in my life style, but it's never done anything drastic. 

 

What a great point! I was one of those kids, and teens, who never seemed to put on weight while I was still growing, and thought I would never have to worry about my weight. I formed habits that were totally unsustainable in my adult life, and that caused me to go from a weight of 130 or 135 lbs. (at a height of just under 5'10") when I graduated high school, to a weight of 294 lbs. last November at age 48.

 

It looks like I'll be back to a healthy weight sometime around the beginning of next year, a few months before my 50th birthday -- and thankfully, I'm now living quite happily within the new way of life that I've created, which is mainly composed of mindful eating, yoga, hula hooping, and enjoying being active outdoors with my girls.

 

Thinking about it (weight) is actually quite a good idea...as a parent, my role is just encouraging my dd's to think about all the important aspects of nutrition, and not just calories.

post #120 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

 

 

The food pyramid made me fat and sick. For me, there is no such thing as "healthy whole grains." Whole or not, they are just CARBS. The pyramid encourages very limited fat intake, which leave everyone feelings hungry, so they eat more carbs, which then mess with their blood sugar and energy levels, so they either eat more carbs or start living on caffeine, or a combo.

 

And it just isn't me. When the food advice changed in this country away from fat and toward carbs, obesity rates started going up, and they haven't stopped raising. Our food pyramid was just a big science experiment, with no control group, and we were lab rats. But when it makes us fat (as it will!) then we are told it is our fault.

 

This is a great link. If you scroll down the page, there is a video called "The food revolution."  It's a speech made by a Swedish doctor at a Paleo conference. Very interesting stuff. 

http://www.dietdoctor.com/lchf

 

How did your eating and energy levels go for the rest of the day when you ate pecan pie for breakfast? For most people, that would have been a set up for energy spikes and drops, and cravings for more simple carbs and caffeine (which would have caused more spikes and drops) to get through the day.

That's a good point about the "healthy whole grains" thing. I've honestly found that it's better for me to eat a lot less of the grains and starches, and focus more on proteins and fresh fruits and vegetables. I will have to check out that link.

 

About the pecan pie -- I ate it with my morning coffee, which I forgot to mention I usually have with a lot of hot milk mixed in, so I did get some protein to help balance out all that sugar. I actually usually get my full two cups of milk each morning with my two mugs of coffee. I think I also ate a carrot with the pie on at least a couple of those mornings. My energy levels seemed pretty normal during that time.

 

The other day, dh baked a great big huge cinnamon roll and iced it. The last couple of mornings, I've cut off a tiny piece of the roll to eat with my milk and coffee. I just figure that if I'm craving something so sweet, starchy, and fattening, it's better to have it in the morning than at night. And my energy levels have still been great. I hooped for 30 minutes, 45 minutes or so after my sugary breakfast, and did a 40 minute yoga workout this afternoon. I had a homemade bean, cheese, and onion burrito for lunch. I'm getting ready to cut up a watermelon now for us to snack on before going swimming for a couple of hours.

 

About the swimming, I used to feel secretly relieved when the pool closed for the summer -- but now I realize that this time, I'm going to miss it as much as the girls do. I'm resolving now to find a variety of ways to get outdoors and be just as active in the afternoons this fall.

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