Lazy parenting, in my opinion. Give a kid pop, candy, chips, a TV, and a handful of video games and they won’t come out of their rooms for a whole day. The only thing a kid cares about these days is nintendo or xbox. When I was a kid, the most prized possession was a schwinn. You had to pedal it to make it work. Moms used to cook real food back then from scratch. And there was only one tv per house with only three channels on it. If two of those channels came in well, you were happy. Now every kid has his own tv with cable and his own collection of movies and video games and a cell phone and a computer with internet. There's no reason to ever leave his room, except to go to the store to buy more video games. Why wouldn't kids be fat nowdays?
Carrots and Peas
Homemade Apple Pie (o.k., now I'm hungry :))
Since then, we have gradually programmed kids and adults to think that fast food, Doritos, Hostess Cakes, and corn-sweetened beverages are far superior to the good foods of the past, and that eating at fast food places is a mark of societal achievment, with the help from Madison Avenue marketers telling us "We deserve a Break Today". This attitude has even permeated into the lower-income population of the U.S., because 50+ years ago poor people in this country had to buy the bare nutritional essentials to survive, and they had to make everything from scratch. The lower income population now have more access to processed 'glop', and they believe that eating processed fast foods is cheaper than eating healthier foods. Also, they may have seen that eating at fast food places and dining on high sugar and fatty foods was being done by the middle and upper income populations, so they decided to emulate this behavior, not realizing that being poor is hard, but being poor plus overweight and unhealthy is even harder.
Diet’s got to have a lot to do with it.
The neighborhood I live in is having lots of southern Mexicans and Central Americans moving in, probably almost all illegals. Short, thin people.
Some, including their kids, are much fatter than others. I bet an interview, which would probably terrify the poor people, would show a direct correlation between time in America and increased body mass.
A major factor is soda. 75 years ago Coke was sold in 6 oz. containers. Today it is frequently sold in 64 oz. containers. That alone is a truly massive increase in calories. One of those giant containers has something like 700+ calories, all of it fructose from corn syrup, which another poster has pointed out may be uniquely prone to cause various obesity and health problems.
Interestingly, when fructose from corn syrup first started to be widely used it was promoted as being better for health than the old “regular sugar.”