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  1. The Bard of Wigan
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    The Bard of Wigan Contributing Member

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    Childhood obesity

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by The Bard of Wigan, Mar 9, 2009.

    It makes me sad when I see obese children/young adults.

    What kind of parents let their children eat so much crap that they end up overweight?

    The "it's glandular" reason is one that is not applicable to most overweight youngsters. It's that they eat too much and do very little but sit at their computer all day. Look at any internet site were people post pictures and you'll see obese individuals.

    It truly saddens me.

    Bard x
     
  2. KP Williams
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    KP Williams Contributing Member

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    I have an extremely fast metabolism. It doesn't matter how much I eat of whatever arterial poison I want; I never gain a single pound. And no, I do not exercise much at all. It's just the way I am.

    So does it not stand to reason That the reverse could also be true? Sure, the primary problem could be that people eat too much junk and exercise only enough to make it to the toilet. Just don't assume that everybody can help being overweight.
     
  3. Speedy
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    Speedy Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm in the same vote as FMK. I think i eat more then half these "bigger" people, i just burn it off at such a fast rate, that i just can;t store it (it''ll catch up to me one day, it always does).

    I dont blme parents. Life is different these days, its hard for a parent to say get of the computer when everyone does it. I blame both the parent and the kid. Half these parents for not caring enough and the kids for being weak.

    I don't feel sorry or sad the slightest. It actually never comes to my mind unless its brought up. If their happy im happy, if there not, its not my problem, its their fault.
     
  4. SonnehLee
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    SonnehLee Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've gotten to the point where I've decided that it isn't my place to judge these people or their decisions, especially when I know nothing about their life or what they're dealing with.

    It makes things simpler.
     
  5. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's not necessarily a lack of caring. It's not knowing what to do, having no place for the kids to go where they can get the right exercise, having no concept to the portions a child should have, or giving them too many high calorie snacks. The kids are not weak if they are only learning bad habits from their parents and not yet understanding what foods make them gain weight and that it is bad for them.

    And Speedy, this should hit home for you. Some people become addicted to fattening food the same way people get addicted to cigarettes.
     
  6. Speedy
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    Speedy Contributing Member Contributor

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    Arkk i wrote about 15 responses, but i'm not going to bother...


    I just wish i was living the 16th century instead ;)
     
  7. Bob Magness
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    Bob Magness Senior Member

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    I'm like you Bard, I also find it distressing when I see obese children. But first let's get this "sitting in front of the computer" myth out of the way. Children do not become OBESE from lack of exercise.

    It is true that most children are not getting enough exercise but the amount of calories a child would burn running around with his friends is not enough to offset the huge number of calories some children are consuming nowadays.

    And we can't blame most of it on genetics either. The rate of increase in obesity in children is far greater than what a shift in genetics in that time would allow for.

    It is food, plain and simple. It is both WHAT they eat and HOW MUCH of it they are eating. Whenever I go back to the states and go to a restaurant or run through a fast food place it always catches me off guard just how big the portions of everything have become.

    Yes, some people have fast metabolisms and don't pack on the pounds as quickly as others. But even the vast majority of those with slow metabolisms would not be obese if they ate more reasonable portions. I don't feel sorry for the adults. But I do feel sorry for the children as most of them just eat what their parents give them. And early onset diabetes is no joke.
     
  8. Sato Ayako
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    Sato Ayako Contributing Member

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    Yeah, childhood obesity is a pretty complex issue. Most of it is probably a combination between an inability to get safe exercise, more sedimentary activities, and healthy foods more expensive to purchase.

    Some of them have a food addiction. I've met a couple of them. As someone who has dealt with eating disorders and is currently addicted to prescription drugs, I can't judge.
     
  9. ValianceInEnd
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    ValianceInEnd Active Member

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    My obese friend has a girlfriend, who's not half bad if I do say so myself, so I say there's a hope for obese people. :p

    But it truly can be an unfortunate disability. And I mean that, because they physical can't do the things those in better shape can. It's really their fault when they can't stop eating, but when it's genetic it really is a huge shame.
     
  10. Gone Wishing
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    Gone Wishing Contributing Member

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    There's a wide range of factors that determine weight. However, it's undeniable that a percentage of children are obese due to an unhealthy lifestyle and poor eating habits and, since it was the OP, that will be the only issue I address.

    I always maintain that education is the key, but it perplexes me that the information about eating healthily is so readily available and seems to be ignored in favour of making children 'happy', or even making life 'easier' by the quantities of fast food and processed, packaged foods that children get to eat on a daily basis.

    There was a television show in Australia a while back called Honey, We're Killing Our Kids (more than likely versions were made and shown in other countries >?). During the course of an episode, parents were shown the effect the lifestyles they led were going to have on their children some 30 years later (computer aging programs and the like). I never ceased to be amazed how shocked and surprised people seemed to be that a diet of chips, lollies, coke and other high fat/salt/sugar, low nutrient foods were going to make their children unhealthy adults, and possibly not even make 40. (This included foods like 2 minute noodles - do people really not know that there is not much good there?)

    When I was at high school (the first time 'round :p), we were taught the basics of healthy eating and cooking in classes like Home Economics and Physical Education. I know these classes still exist, I also know many schools have banned unhealthy foods from their canteens, so the knowledge is being ignored/forgotten somwhere down the line - but there's only so long parents can claim to be uneducated in these matters before they need to see their choices for what they are: irresponsible.
     
  11. star_fire
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    star_fire Contributing Member

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    at least in my area, i mainly blame obesity upon unhealthy food portions.

    childhood obesity may be the parent's fault, or genetic's fault, but i just go on what i see. and what i see when i go to a local restaurant is HUGE food portions. the food that i receive on one plate is enough to sustain me for two days, and i usually end up splitting with one of my siblings.

    in my opinion, if you want to cut down on childhood obesity....cut down on the amount of food you get at Cheddars.
     
  12. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Perhaps I was being insensitive just then. But the fact is, you can't simply say parents don't care and the kids are weak. Parents simply may not realize what is too much for the kids to eat, and have bad eating habits themselves, which the children pick up on. They also may not know how to set limits, which will lead to the kids eating far too many fattening snacks. You cannot blame children for becoming obese if they are simply doing what they learned when they were very young and have never been taught self-control or how to change. I saw a program yesterday about a severely obese teenager who got that way because the mother did nothing but feed him like a baby but in huge portions of extremely fattening foods, and wanted to do everything for him.
     
  13. becca
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    becca New Member Contributor

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    There is also an issue with food prices. If you want to buy a pack of cookies, you can get them for $1-$3.50 (US), where a small bag of apples that maybe holds 6 is $5+.

    People on tight grocery buggets can't get as much food, and sometimes opt for less heathly food. Quite simply because it will last longer, and costs less.

    I think part of the overall mantality needs to change. I think if healthy food was more affordable, and unhealthy food cost more, the obesity rate would go down.

    You can't just put all the blame on the parents. Especially if they are doing the best they can.
     
  14. SonnehLee
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    SonnehLee Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can't quite remember where this was, but I recently heard about a village somewhere where no one had teeth. At all. Because Mtn. Dew was cheaper than baby formula, so they bought Mtn Dew and put it in bottles for their babies/toddlers, and because of the acidity of Mtn. Dew, their teeth never came in.
     
  15. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Food price is a great example. During the summer between by first and second year of college, I was not working and my boyfriend spent a bunch of weeks without a job. We ate really terrible food during that time. We once found a package of Kraft Dinner with nine boxes that was only about ten dollars. Add the milk and the butter, and two letres of pop, which costs less than the same amount of juice, and you have nine meals for less than twenty dollars. Kraft Dinner in reasonable portions may not lead to weight-gain, but it does little for you in terms of nutrition
     
  16. becca
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    becca New Member Contributor

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    One of the heathiest cheap meals I have ever some up with is rice and pot pies. Rice is good for you, but one pot pie is abour 300+ calories. But it's cheap.
     
  17. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Or pasta with the right kinds of sauce is good. I don't eat meat and dairy together, so pasta with tomato sauce and lots of parmisean is great.
     
  18. star_fire
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    star_fire Contributing Member

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    i think you may have watched the appalachia special on 20/20 (US). they really have a hard time down there.
     
  19. Speedy
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    Speedy Contributing Member Contributor

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    Nods in agreement.
     
  20. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    I hate threads like this.

    I just dont care how healthy some people think they are, i dont see how it gives them any right to tell bigger people how to eat and live their lives. Plus kids only rely on parents to *bring* the food to them for a certain time - after that they can get hold of it themselves.

    Fat people exist - get over it.
     
  21. becca
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    becca New Member Contributor

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    :D Well said Ash!
     
  22. SonnehLee
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    SonnehLee Contributing Member Contributor

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    That was it!
     
  23. Eoz Eanj
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    Eoz Eanj Contributing Member Contributor

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    The topic of obesity is not a criticism of obese individuals themselves, nor is it in any way related to body image- it’s a concern and it’s a concern due to the crazy amount of repercussions that follow being obese, especially for children.

    Must we all must respect an individual’s choices to do with the way they live their lives? Yeah I agree with that, but isn’t that under the assumption that the habit of ‘eating’ is controllable? What do we do when ‘eating’ becomes something that is uncontrollable, when ‘eating’ becomes more than just a daily habitual exercise?

    Eating can become an addiction and like all addictions, it can become out of control and can totally be detrimental to an individual’s ability to function by themselves, and with other people.. that's why obesity is regarded as a condition that can be treated.

    Overall, this ‘childhood obesity’ issue is essentially a philosophically motivated argument- is there really free will? Can the ability to choose exist if the behaviour itself cannot be controlled by the individual? Is it moral for children to grow up in environments where they do not receive proper nourishment or exercise, where their social interaction with others is going to be under such great scrutiny because of their physical size? Is this kind of exposure not extremely influential upon their development, such in the sculpture of their physical and mental health, therein identity? As a psychology student, I’d find anything that had such adverse and immediate consequences pretty worrying... I can understand why the Government here in Australia is pretty hellbent on changing the publics ideologies towards food.
     
  24. lessa
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    lessa Contributing Member

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    A lot has to do with the availability of the fresh foods.
    In my small remote town fresh veg. and fruits are really
    outrageous prices. Also poor quality.
    But I have it a bit easier to make nutritious meals because
    I was raised by a mother who grew up during the depression.
    I know how to cook from scratch. Also how to make meat and
    vegetables go farther.
    Mind you I have had to modify many to fit with the health problems
    of today. Lower fat, is the main concern.
    Where we live you would expect to see young children out playing
    every day. But no they are inside watching the boob tube or playing
    video games.
    We have a lot of obese children.
    We also see a lot of really obese adults.
    much is due to genetics as many are native or at least have native
    blood. And their body works differently from white people.
    No that is not racist or bigotted. It is the truth.
    My husband eats 3 meals a day and doesn't really over eat.
    He is over weight. He gets exercise at work but only exercises after
    work during the summer and fall. In the winter we hibernate.
    That is what his people have done for generations and it shows.
    Our one son struggles with weight while the other doesn't seem to
    have much of a problem yet.
    they are both adults but one was always stockier than the other
    even though they are the same heighth.
    You would think our town and area would have less obese people
    than the big cities as we do not have the take out places every
    where. But I think we don't.
    One way to get kids to eat healthy and portion size their food
    is to teach them to cook.
    Let them see how it is made and what different styles of food have
    to offer.
    But don't be judgemental I know that is hard when observing.
    I weigh way too much and I still look at what others put into the
    grocery carts and shake my head.
     
  25. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sorry to burst your bubble guys, but to me Philosophy on obesity = bull****.

    It's an unproductive, over-discussed, useless arguement. Wherever you find a capitalist society with a high population you will find fat people and fat children. That's life.
    I understand that discussing obesity isnt an insult to the individual.
    However, I feel that threads like this on this forum are and have been insulting before. They're merely there as an excuse to argue, and i feel that most people use these topics to regurgitate facts that have been spat from dieticians mouths for decades in order to make themselves feel more knowledgable. Pointless, unproductive, and useless.

    No diet could be less fruitfull than this rubbish discussion is. <-- Oh yeah. ;)

    If you guys want to hate on something, or discuss some social issue, then why dont you go WRITE something productive about it and post it in the non fiction section? Why use the lounge as a rubbish dump for your wannabe-psychological explorations? We all know how these discussions end - they get nasty, and they get closed.

    Change the friggen subject for once, at least.

    Face it - there isnt always some wrong-doing in a childs socialisation that causes them to be fat. People like to eat. It's a comfort to most. Some are just greedy.
    We live in a greedy world.

    Seriously - get over obesity. It isnt going to go away.


    (Man, this subject irritates me to know end :rolleyes: )
     
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