Childhood obesity - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 08-18-2014, 12:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Childhood obesity

First I apologize about the source, but I thought this was an interesting article on how much bigger/fatter children have become since the UK last conducted a study of child growth in 1978.

The commentators are quick to blame the parents, but is that really the truth? Is there something else going on here besides lazy parenting and lack of exercise?

"There are only two mistakes you can make in the search for the Truth. Not starting, and not going all the way." ~ Mark Passio
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#2 of 4 Old 08-27-2014, 11:12 AM
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Part of it is the food going into our bodies. As a society we eat more than we did growing up. We also don't eat the same food either.

As a society, yes, we are not as active, either.

As an example...I will use my husband. When he was growing up, he was not allowed to participate in sports at all -- his parents were the type that thought he would hurt himself. My husband also ate a lot. Unsupervised. We are talking fried egg and cheese sandwiches with thousand island dressing after school every day. His parents pushed food on him at every meal. He was bigger than most kids. During college in had enough of being overweight and started working out. Was able to get into size 32 pants. He also started mountain biking and skiing. Now he has gained some of the weight back because he isn't as active.

Are parents to blame...yes, in part we are.
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#3 of 4 Old 09-04-2014, 05:11 PM
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ugh. politics. pure politics.

there is no real regulation in the food industry. they add as much salt, sugar and fat they need to make the food taste better. making us all addicted to food.

sadly more and more countries are adopting our ways. with more processed foods, sedentary life styles.... obesity has become a world wide phenomenon.

as long as big companies exist, as long as typical grocery stores exist, unless someone drastic happens, we cannot let go of our food addiction.

case in point. how can we even serve the typical school lunches we serve.

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#4 of 4 Old 09-05-2014, 12:40 PM
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Rather than focusing so much on who to blame, I'd rather focus on where to go from here. I honestly don't think the parents of 50 or 100 years ago were hovering over their children, closely monitoring everything they put into their mouths; many of them didn't even know where their children were at every moment of the day, let alone what they were eating. But I suppose the snacks that were available to free range kids out roaming the fields and cities of yore were more along the lines of whatever fruits or berries that they might find growing wild, or the little bit of candy they could buy with their loose change at the corner store. Pretzels maybe?

And getting those snacks, plus finding interesting things to see and do, usually entailed a lot of walking. And I'm all for being as free-range as possible today! I have a 14yo who loves getting out and taking our dog for long walks, and a 9yo who sometimes enjoys playing outdoors with the kids in the neighborhood, but sometimes turns them down because she'd rather watch TV or play on her computer, or play with me. We did have a good time swimming for part of the summer, but then we got an uncustomary cool and rainy spell that nixed that for at least a few weeks total. Now the pools are closed and there's been a bit of a heat wave, but it seems to be tapering off, so I'm planning to start walking with dd2 to the park more often pretty soon. She's also now in a dance class one day a week, and when we encourage her and take time to watch her, she loves playing music and making up her own dances...but she still doesn't pursue this independently.

I guess one big difference today is that getting kids to spend more time outdoors seems to depend a lot more on parents than it did in the past -- or at least, it does until they develop their own "thing," like dd1 did with her long walks. Dd2 hasn't got that "thing" yet but hopefully something will click into place for her soon.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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