Skip to comments.GLENN COOK: The reason kids are getting fat
Posted on 07/04/2010 6:50:50 AM PDT by rellimpank
At some point, Americans are going to have to confront the real reason our kids are getting fat.
The obvious answer: They don't get enough exercise, especially outside play time. Duh.
These days, fat kids are more politicized than budget deficits. Every week, it seems, there's a new report telling us more kids are overweight. So politicians demand more tax money for new sports and recreation programs, they condemn and threaten the fast food industry, and they agitate for fully subsidized health care for children.
They even argue that the juvenile obesity epidemic can be reversed by significantly expanding welfare programs, and by having schools provide weekend meals. Poor kids used to go hungry. We're told today's poor kids are fat, not because they eat too much, but because their parents can't afford or don't have access to healthy foods.
First lady Michelle Obama has made childhood obesity her personal crusade, and she visited Las Vegas a few weeks back to promote her "Let's Move!" campaign. She's all for more food subsidies and federal interventions in the grocery trade, but to her credit, she's also encouraging kids to walk or bike to school, among other constructive ideas.
That said, the condescension that dominates this debate is enough to make anyone purge.
(Excerpt) Read more at lvrj.com ...
All she has to do is tour the U.S. carrying a sign which states:
"Do you want to grow up to look like me?"
Cheap but effective.
The "obvious answer" should be they eat way too much junk. It's a LOT easier to take in calories and gain weight than it is to burn calories and lose weight. You'd have to jog about 10 miles to burn the calories from a single doughnut. I could be off on the numbers, but not by much.
Mc Donald’s existed when I was a kid. So did junk food, and even video games. And I was still not fat.
When I was young my mother would routinely kick me out of the house first thing on a hot summer morning. “Go out and play!” she’d yell. “But there’s no one to play with!” I’d protest. “Play with yourself!” she’d reply.
The menu's I've seen in my daughter's school suggest this is a horrible idea, the kids would be better to stay home and play X-Box than to eat the crap they serve at schools.
Mac N Cheese
That isn't much better than McDonalds, but even if a kid eats that, if they are playing outside and staying active, they won't gain weight. But if you sit at home playing video games and eat that, you're gonna get fat!
P.S. The secret to perfect Snickerdoodles was Crisco..
We’re Americans and we are supposed to be fat. We earned it.
I’m guessing your parents didn’t allow McDonalds do all the cooking for your home. I know my urban friends seldom cook when they have a dozen fast food places within a couple of blocks of their home.
The last time I had fast food was about two years ago when I stopped on my way home from the upper peninsula.
It’s nobody’s fetchin’ business how fat kids are today!
We've gone from riding our bikes to the nearest convenience store to buy comics, cards and candy, to not letting kids ride alone at all -- even in the relative safety of suburbia, even if we've bought them cell phones...
...In the Southern Arizona neighborhood of my youth, the elementary school was also the local park. The grounds were open, so playgrounds and fields could be accessed any time, day or night...
...When I was a kid, early arrivals at school were guaranteed a spot in games of football, kickball, soccer, basketball, tetherball, four square and whatever else we could think of. The sooner you got to school, the more you got to play.
He hit the nail on the head.
That be it. Too much TV, too many video games, obsessive parents who fear the world.
Well, it's reasonable to fear a two ton machine moving 50 mph in the public space and controlled by a complete stranger.
Kids and cars don't mix. And we've decided collectively that cars are more important.
When I was a kid (I graduated from high school in the mid-1980s, so it wasn’t all THAT long ago) we spent most summer days outside playing sports from morning to dinner time. Spring and fall were even better for weekend evenings, though — because when it got dark around 7:00 PM it was perfect for playing “manhunt” and causing all kinds of mischief in the neighborhood before getting home at a reasonable hour.
Bingo. I've had people come to my door to hassle me because my little boys (8, 6, 4) go to the playground within sight of our house "alone."
I watch them cross the street, so they don't stop to fight in the middle of it and get hit by a truck.
***juvenile obesity epidemic can be reversed by significantly expanding welfare programs***
My observations suggest that kids on welfare tend to be the fattest, along with their mommas.
More food stamps for all!
There you have it folks; the poor in America are fat and lazy. . .so let's give them more money.
Genuinely poor people, like the kind I saw in places like Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe would all be very confused how one manages to be in poverty and yet still be fat and "inactive." They would not understand it and they would think it was a joke. . .well, it is a joke. . .and the joke is on the U.S. taxpayer.
While exercise is good for turning fat to muscle, it is no good for weight reduction. The bottom line is that the body is *supposed* to turn good nutrition into fat. So it has all sorts of mechanisms to increase weight and defeat weight loss.
Males needed more muscle and less fat for hunting and combat, so it is easier for them to lose weight and gain muscle mass. But females need fat to support their immune system while it changes over during pregnancy and after. Sperm actually increases in potency when males are somewhat starved, but females lose fertility when they are somewhat starved.
I recall when I was in a kid during the Kennedy era, there was something called the President’s Council on Physical Fitness. Evidently , even then the government felt the need to intervene in childhood activities. However, today it is worse. I do not know what the solution is for those sad inner city minority youths whose obesity is staggering due to inactivity and too much television watching. They have no parental supervision or encouragement and their culture is often dictated by values foreign to those I and a million other Americans were brought up on. I do know that their parents ought to take responsibility for their upbringing, and not sit around waiting for Michelle Obama to get them hand outs. However, for those children who are getting too fat in suburban and rural America, there is no excuse. Parents need to reevaluate what is important in life. When I was a girl, mothers were at home so there was always watchful eyes in the neighborhood. Today, parents panic because they hear stories about kidnappings and perverts haunting neighborhoods. Although I think these incidents may occur less frequently than dramatic news programs record them as happening, it would rarely if ever happen if there were people home and active in their houses during the day. In the past,most of the family activity was centered around the home and the yard so kids preferred to be there. Schools should go back to having two recesses in addition to the after lunch play time to foster increased physical activities. I could go on and on, but one thing I think is important to repeat, more government intervention is not needed. The more your taxes go up to pay for these silly programs, the more you have to work outside your home to pay them, and the less time your child has to just be a kid.
This appears to confuse cause and effect. It makes sense that people who are idle and have no self control would tend to be both overweight *and* poor.
I don’t remember snacking when I was a child, we ate three meals and it was rare if we were offered a cookie etc. If I was hungry after school for some reason... my mother would offer me an apple.
By the time I had children, most of the pediatric literature on raising children encouraged both mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks. If I took my kids to a park or the playground with other mothers, everyone brought “snacks” to replenish the kids. Even if I only brought some water and slices of apples, my kids would beg me to let them have some of the snacks the other moms were offering.
The problem is that the left wants EVERYONE to live in the cities. The fact that cities aren’t the best place to raise a familiy never seemed to occur to the left, or more likely, they saw it as another form of enforced equality.
The obvious answer: The socialists have to make everything a crisis and especially make Americans feel bad by telling the ‘our kids’ are fat. If they repeat it enough people believe it.
We had fat kids in my day too. Nothing new here.
The problem is that even well-adjusted parents are forced into this weird behavior.
We lived in an apartment complex a few years ago and it was a nightmare. There was another mother who had a son my son’s age and the two of them would go out to play in our front yard. The boys were nine and ten. The doors were open and both moms could hear the boys.
A neighbor called the police on us over and over again. And what were the boys doing wrong? Well, one time they were sitting in a tree examining ants. (”They could fall or hurt the tree.” They were perched on a branch five freakin’ feet off the ground.) Another time they were running their trucks up a grassy hill. (”They could hurt the grass.”) Another time they were playing ball. (”They could take out a window.”)
In the end, she won. We either had to be visibly watching the boys or having to hire a baby sitter.
The best part was that nine was the legal age to leave children without supervision *of any kind*. Her kids were left for hours locked in their apartment while she worked.
Cut down food stamps and watch them get thin.
I see a lot of kids. I walk by a grade school, a junior high and a high school.
I almost never see a fat kid, even at the high school.
Adults are getting fat as pigs. I went to Wal-Mart yesterday and I can tell you this for sure.
I don’t know when it happens that skinny kids become fat adults but I don’t think there is that much of an obesity problem with kids.
“When I was a kid we had 3 TV channels in black and white”
HA! When I was a kid, My Grandfather’s upstairs tenant got the first TV in the neighborhood. It was an enormous box, with a little oval-shaped picture tube. It was more black and pale green! My Dad built our first TV from a kit! One station, on in the morning, then the Indian head test pattern until sometime in the afternoon. I was outside all the time, either riding my bike, or exploring in the woods.
These days, I see my neighborhood kids come home from school, and don’t see them outside again until they’re waiting for the school bus the next morning. The K-9 school is about 3 blocks away. But they go to the Catholic school which is much further away, like 5 blocks!
Limit food stamps to staples only. Meat, bread, rice, beans, vegetables, fruit etc. What do their welfare momma’s have to do all day beside take care of their damn kids?
Around here the cops would tell her “don’t waste our time with this nonsense.”
"Kids and cars don't mix. And we've decided collectively that cars are more important."
You forgot your sarcasm tag.
Exactly. Today, we treat our kids like veal and adults like children.
OMG, me too. And we're still alive to tell our tale! We even played stick ball and flag football in the street. How on earth we survived I could not say......
1. We didn’t use to buy as much junkfood, even if it was there.
McDonald’s was an occasional treat, not a daily thing. Junk food existed, too, but it was also an occasional treat, or something I had to use my own money to buy.
2. We didn’t eat as much processed/unsatisfying food.
Parents who are too often resorting to dino-nuggets and other prepared foods for dinner are feeding kids a lot more salt and fat than they think, and very little fiber. That stuff revs up appetite instead of satiating it.
Also, that nasty high-fructose corn syrup wasn’t in our food back then. I’ve read that, when you drink a soda made with it, your body doesn’t recognize that it just ate 120 calories. It thinks it just drank water. People are unwittingly Big Gulping their way to disaster because of HFCS. Soda companies are now experimenting with bringing back sugar. I just read that Dr. Pepper will be doing that for it’s 125th anniversary.
3. We were outside more.
Maybe it’s not just the exercise, it’s the going outside to play for long periods of time, where you are not near the junk food. My parents threw me outside to play most of the time, in a big back yard. There was food out there, but it was fresh fruit. Now, it’s not perceived as safe to let your kids play in the front yard, or walk over to the park by themselves, or walk to school. Parents are truly terrified of abductions, even if they are statistically very rare. Also, there’s no one to play with, so many people have one kid, and that kid is in after-care or at scheduled activities. We have a cul-de-sac at the end of our street. Even though kids live in the houses around the cul-de-sac, they never come out to play together.
4. Stay-at-home moms made a difference.
They were more likely to cook foods that had fiber and less salt and fat.
They were home in the afternoon to supervise (enforce) outside play and make snacks.
They didn’t have to drop the kids off on the way to work and pick them up at aftercare, so they could walk with the kids to school or let them walk by themselves, and mom was home when they got home.
With more people at home during the day in the neighborhood, it was less safe for creeps to lurk around, ready to grab an unwary junior high girl or a little boy (recent crime attempts in my area). My mom was Neighborhood Watch before it was ever invented.
That being said, I was not a skinny kid, but all of the above kept me in regular sizes, not “pretty plus”. Fat kids were rare, maybe one in your class every year.
I was born in 42 (19) and in my house the rule was if it isn’t raining than mom said, “get out of the house, go play” and play we did. If we weren’t digging holes to cover with plywood to make a secret cave, we were digging up dirt to plant a small garden (and this was in northern NJ) or we went to the school yard depending on the season and plaid ball, either stick, base, basket or soft.
In the summer when school was done, each morning a guy from the rec dept showed up at every single public field an d school and brought bats, softballs, basketballs etc and he sat there all day while we chose up sides and played ball, or plaid that game where you whack the ball and try and wrap it around the poll while your opponent does the same but the opposite way.
Most every driveway had a hoop and we would get together sometimes and play one on one basketball, or at the school we’d play stick ball, one on one and we’d play all day with a break for lunch and dinner a nd if there was any light left we;d play after dinner. WE climbed trees and lived through it, we road bikes all over the place, nobody ever drove us, unless it was pouring rain. I had a paper route and had to turn that money over and get a small part back for myself PLUS I had work around the house I had to do.
Fat, LOL we had no time to get fat and in fact my mother used to force feed me to keep my weight up. She said she was embarrassed I was so thin and though everyone would blame her for not feeding me.
Up through the 6th grade, every morning before school started a bunch of us would show up and we’d have races over a predetermined distance, or we’d play punch ball. In short we were always moving.
Today kids go home and plant their butts in front of a computer. They can’t any longer just go outside and meet up with their friends, now you have to make a freakin’ “play date”, WTF is that all about.
Feel bad for today’s kids, they may believe they have it good and they certainly have more and fancier toys but I wouldn’t trade the way I grew up for anything.
OK, I gotta go home, the street lights just came on and thems the rules.
Re: When I was a kid we had 3 TV channels in black and white
>HA! When I was a kid, My Grandfathers upstairs tenant
>got the first TV in the neighborhood. It was an enormous >box, with a little oval-shaped picture tube. It was more >black and pale green! My Dad built our first TV from a kit!
Your conversation reminds me of this classic MP sketch...
Monty Python - Four Yorkshiremen:
A do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do column about a do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do First Lady.
We lived in the country surrounded by prison farm land. The only thing that separated us from the prisoners was a couple strands of barbed wire and shotguns held by guards.
When I was that age, I was regularly riding my bike to supermarkets, drug stores, etc. that were as distant as two miles from my home. I also knew every alley in West Whittier, Calif.
This wasn't all that long ago--Eisenhower was president. However, from the way society has changed, I may as well have lived in a different galaxy.
Texas cops are a different breed.
We have 8.6 acres in Texas and it’s legal to taget shoot (and hunt) in our rural area.
A neighbor keeps calling on my kids (18 and almost 17 now) for shooting on the little range we have set up. (”A bullet could ricochet!”) They didn’t like where we’d set up our deer stand. (”It’s too close to the property line!”)
After the 4th call, the cops told them that *they* would be charged with harassment of the *police* if they called again.
By G-d, I love Texas... :-)
I agree — it’s about the calories, not the exercise. Of course, they’re not totally independent, since if you’re outside playing you’re not sitting there with a bag of chips or whatever.
How comes these “poor single Mamas” in the inner city are so obese? How does Michele adress that?
I know, you’ll have an answer and solution for that one!
There are also parks. And we had a yard. It was a postage stamp but it was a yard. Cars are no excuse for lazy kids.
I think there is more than one reason. Kids today can’t go outside and PLAY like we did. When I tell my kids that I ran outside after breakfast and we would run, swim, play in the neighborhood ALL day, they are amazed. I do not let my younger kids outside without an adult now. TOO many pedophiles and that concern. Also, my mom was a stay at home mom like all of my friends’ moms. They cooked real food. Nothing was fast or processed. It was baked chicken over microwave nuggets, mashed potatoes over french fries, and real vegetables (nothing from a bag with chemical sauce). We had two choices for a drink: milk or water. Kids today also have hours of homework. In comparison, I had maybe a half an hour over my ten year olds two plus hours. Homework that extended past an hour was for high school so we still played during the winter. Fast food was a once a month treat (not a weekly thing like today). As for junk... Mom baked something two to three times a week but it was burned off. Just a thought since this has been a topic of discussion in my family...
Keep in mind, I am not including the drug addicted single Mamas in the inner city. (crack, cocaine, heroine ...)
1. They eat too much junk. The stores are full of it, and it’s darn near irresistible to the palate of young kids. But if Mom and Dad don’t buy it, they can only eat it occasionally at their friends’ houses.
2. They don’t get outside to exercise. When I was growing up we covered many miles every day because (a) my mom would have laughed at the idea that I might be driven to friends’ houses, even in the winter; (b) before suburban sprawl, friends’ homes were close enough to walk or bike to, perhaps a mile or two; (c) mom wasn’t worried about me getting raped and strangled by a psycho who had spent his day downloading kid porn. We biked to the lake and spent the day swimming unsupervised; we ran around in the woods and fields; we rode our horses and cleaned up after them. Today, young kids are kept inside due to fear.
3. The sad fact is that even when parents think they’re giving their kids good food, that food is full of chemicals and hormones. There’s a reason so many of our kids are going into puberty at 7 or 8.
4. Pursuant to #2, above, kids seldom do exhausting chores anymore. No more push mowers!