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Childhood Obesity - Who Is In Control of What Your Children Eat?

Is there too much fast food in our diet?

Hamburgers can be healthy, but in moderation.

Hamburgers can be healthy, but in moderation.

Childhood Obesity is a Growing Problem

I guess this is a bit of a rant, but I can't help myself. I have seen so many articles in the news and papers, online, etc., that are talking about the problem of childhood obesity. Then I stand in line at the store and see little kids that are extremely over weight. When I look in the parents grocery cart, what do I see? Corn dogs, frozen pizza, frozen french-fries,cookies and pop! No fruit, no vegetables, but a lot of convenience foods. Now, I am driving back home and the drive-thru at the pizza place, as well as two “burger” places, are backed up beyond belief! What’s wrong with this picture!

How often are you in this line?

Drive thru at local burger place.

Drive thru at local burger place.

It's Too Easy to Say Yes

I know it is easy to just say yes, when the kids want pizza or hamburgers, but I think we say yes too often! Parents need to take control again. Can we prevent childhood obesity in our children? We as parents, are the only one who can prevent it from happening to our children. We have to be in control of what our children eat!

Where the Problem Begins

How important is your child’s health to you? Before the birth of the child, we don’t care if the child is a boy or a girl, if it has blue eyes or brown, if it is blond or brunette. The most important thing to us is that the child is healthy! Then for about 6 months, you feed the baby milk or formula. Then you move up to baby food. We are so careful to choose the right meats, fruits and vegetables to keep them healthy. After this point is where the problem begins!

Chicken nuggets, again?

Just because it is chicken, doesn't mean it is health!

Just because it is chicken, doesn't mean it is health!

Are You Eating Healthy?

At this point we begin to feed our children the same things as we eat. Now let’s look at what we are feeding our children. Have we moved up from feeding them fruits and vegetables as baby food to feeding the chicken nuggets and hamburgers? Are you in control of your own weight? Are you eating healthy? If you are, congratulations! You children will probably be also. You can stop reading this now! If you are not, why not?

Pizza Delivery is Just Too Easy!

Pizza for dinner, again?

Pizza for dinner, again?

Are We Really Too Busy?

So many of us are busy, busy people. We get the kids up and ready for day care or school. We rush to drop them off, then we rush off to work! Then we run errands on our lunch hour. Back to work for 4 more hours then off to pick up the kids. Now we need to run another errand…”Gosh, it’s so late now, I think I’ll just run by and pick up some pizza for dinner.” How many times a week do you do this? Hamburgers, pizza, chicken nuggets, french-fries, do you really think this is healthy? In moderation, these things are ok, but have we forgotten how important it is that our children are eating healthy?

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Keep cookies to a minimum

Keep cookies to a minimum

It's Ok to Say No

Which do you think is more important? Running that errand or cooking a healthy meal for your family? Have our priorities become re-arranged? How long will it take to bake some chicken and fix a salad? What type of snacks are we buying for our children, potato chips and cookies? What’s wrong with some grapes and baby carrots? Who makes the decision on what you buy at the store? Do you let your children talk you into buying those bags of chips and cookies? Is it just easier to say yes? It’s time to take control again! It’s ok to say no. Keep the "not so healthy" snacks as a “bribe”, if you will. If the kids eat their vegetables at dinner, they can have a couple of cookies for dessert.

A Much Healthier Snack

Keep healthier snacks available for your kids.

Keep healthier snacks available for your kids.

We Have to Take Control

Have we become so busy that we let have let our children’s health come in second? How important is it to you to sit down once a week and plan what we are going to feed our families? Plan out your meals with more vegetables and keep fruit around for snacks. Make out a healthy grocery list. Remember, we are the parents. We are the true teachers of our children. We have to teach our children to eat healthy before they become another statistic of childhood obesity. We are the ones that should be in control of what our children eat.

Look at the poll and see where you stand.

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Deborah Demander from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on July 03, 2018:

Interesting article. I think you cover the basics, parents are in control of what their children eat, and the habits they create. I do believe most adults don't eat well, and are unable to teach their children what they do not know or practice.

Sure, water is cheap and easy, but we have learned to crave the sweet sugary syrup of soda. Of course vegetables and fruit are a better choice than fast food, but because of our subsidized food system, fast food is much cheaper and easier and more filling than healthy fruits and vegetables.

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Unfortunately, it's hard to eat well. I try to pay attention to what I buy, and what I put into my body, but it's not easy and it's not cheap.

Culturally, I think it's important that we change our mindset. Unfortunately, I'm not sure that's going to happen anytime soon.

I appreciate your article. Thanks for writing.


Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on April 06, 2013:

Thank you Au fait! We do agree on the basics. I really do appreciate your insight as well as your comment. I hope you have a wonderful evening! :)

C E Clark from North Texas on April 06, 2013:

Sgbrown, I know from reading most if not all of your hubs and many of your comments that you are not one of the obesity bullies. I know you would never say anything to hurt someone's feelings, so I wasn't referring to you. But you know there are a lot of people who think they are entitled to make whatever ugly remark they feel like about someone else's size or appearance without knowing what is causing the issue.

I'm just saying that more people than most people think are fat due to things beyond their control and that's true with some children too. Genetics don't wait until adulthood to kick in, and some medications are problematic that even children might have to take. Children don't control the pesticide laden food that comes into their home and if parents don't control it either, that too can contribute to obesity.

Agree however, that parents need to keep a better eye on their children's diets and teach their children discipline even in their food habits. Parents need to see that their children get enough exercise to be healthy. No matter how little time or how tired they may be, there is a certain amount of responsibility that goes with being a parent and you just have to find the time to meet that responsibility. It seems to me we agree on the basics. I think this is a great hub to address those issues.

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on April 06, 2013:

Hi Au fait! When I was a child, I ate what was put in front of me, with no discussion. It's not that way anymore. Our daughter had some choices when she was young, but had to eat some type of vegetable. Parents do have so little quality time with their children these days, but we still have to make good choices for them.

I don't know if nutrition is taught in school anymore, I hope it is. I know the meals that are served in school and healthier than when I was in school. (That was a few years ago!) Social promotion, should be a crime! Don't even get me started there!

I have read your hub about why being fat may not be your fault, it is a wonderful hub, and I understand that genetics can make all the difference. I'm sorry about your sister, I am sure it is a daily battle for her and I meant no disrespect to anyone with this type of health problem.

My point here was more to stop letting our children decide what they are going to eat. Children can't be the ones who make this decision and I see it happening too many times. With video games and computer games, games on cell phones, children never seem to get outside to play and get fresh air and exercise. I don't know if exercise is still a "class" in school. We had PE for an hour everyday, with an exercise routine and learned how to play dodge ball and soft ball.

I agree that we should not be judgmental of anyone who is overweight. I also agree that in some cases, overweight and happy is far better than being miserable and hungry. I know that society can be cruel.

I appreciate your insight, comment and vote!

C E Clark from North Texas on April 06, 2013:

With so many parents working, I think they don't want to spend the little time they have with their children arguing and fighting about eating what's good for them. Arguing and fighting during a meal is bad for digestion anyway.

I wonder if nutrition is taught in school anymore? Nutrition basics were part of my classes all through elementary and high-school. Of course we didn't have social promotion when I was in school. We actually had to learn most of what was presented to move to the next grade, so even when information is now presented in school there's no certainty children are paying attention.

I recall seeing a woman and her son rushing around at the supermarket a few years ago. It was early evening and they were trying to find food for his supper. They settled on a frozen cheese sandwich (made from processed cheese/more fat than regular cheese) and French fries. Basically a "fat" meal.

Poor nutrition and sedentary lifestyles contribute a lot to obesity in children and adults. However there are many reasons people are overweight besides these 2 major reasons too (see my hub on why being fat may not be your fault).

I have a sister who was fat since she was born, literally. She tried hard to lose the weight when she was in her thirties and had some success, but only by starving herself and working out for a couple of hours a day, all under doctor's care. She had 2 little children so that made it more difficult to stick to the program.

Fighting her genetically predisposed fat was no picnic and life wasn't much fun for her during that time. Even with all her effort, she was still overweight, though she did look more attractive. We have a great aunt who was buried in a piano case because she was morbidly obese and overweight runs in our family. We also have some family members who are pencil thin, so it can go either way. Thyroid disease is part of our genetic makeup and can sway the scale.

Maintaining a healthful diet and getting a reasonable amount of exercise every day is important to all of us, but it is not the magic bullet when it comes to managing one's weight. It may or may not work equally well for everyone.

Is it more important to meet society's (and the coworkers and neighbor's) standards for beauty? Or is it more important to have some enjoyment in life? If one is constantly hungry and can never eat the foods they love, and I do me NEVER, why fight fat? One must choose these days to either meet society's beauty standards or receive the jeers and sneers of complete strangers as well as family and so-called friends. What a fantastic choice! Everyone should be so lucky.

Personally, I think fat, no matter how much of it there is, is more beautiful than an ugly personality and disposition that allows a person to think they have the right and indeed the duty, to criticize and verbally abuse, overweight people.

So while we (and our children) should all try to eat healthfully and get enough exercise, I think we should also be careful about judging other people and why they may not meet the current media standard (which many people feel obligated to adopt) of beauty. We don't know why they're overweight or how we are adding to their problem with our criticism and disapproving looks.

People who are loved are far more likely to be of normal weight and take more interest in their health.

Very good hub with lots of good advice for teaching children nutrition and healthful eating habits. Voting it up and useful.

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on March 08, 2012:

This is in reagards to young children, are you a young child? If so you should not be on here. If you are 18 or older,you should have learned by now how to eat healthy.

morninglight on March 08, 2012:

Hi i need 2 know why do parents haveto control what we eat

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on January 23, 2012:

I have fed my kids their fair share of fast food too. But thanks to my mom, I fed them "good" more often. My kids were never over weight. Thank you for sharing! Will reciprocate soon! :)

Maximizer from San Jose, Costa Rica on January 23, 2012:

You make some really good points here. I think for the most part parents don't play an active role in what their children eat, especially once they reach a certain age. I don't have kids yet, but I know my parents fed us our fair share of pizza and fast food. I shared this on Twitter. Thanks for SHARING.

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on January 21, 2012:

Thank you Melis. I appreciate your comment. I look forward to seeing some hubs from you! :)

Melis Amante on January 20, 2012:

I think many of us have had these same thoughts so I am happy to see you calling the issue out. Parents do need to take more responsibility and I hope your message is seen by many!

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on January 20, 2012:

I agree! One of the main things is "teaching" your children to eat healthy. It will stay with them forever. Thanks for reading and commenting on my hub! :)

kelleyward on January 20, 2012:

The word we live in today is crazy fast and full of so much stuff that sometimes it's easy to just grab the easiest thing. I long for times like traditional Italian dinners where everyone is involved in cooking and it is a joyful process. I think that is something worth working toward! Thanks

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on January 19, 2012:

Hi Janet! I think that is the problem these days, people just aren't taking the time to see that their children are eating propertly. Thank you for your comment! :)

Janet Brown on January 19, 2012:

AMEN!! It is not that hard to feel children properly and it doesn't take that much extra time.

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on January 19, 2012:

Good morning thumbi7! Thank you for taking time to read my hub. I appreciate your comment. Have a great day! :)

JR Krishna from India on January 19, 2012:

You are very true. It is OK to say NO. But many a times, we give way to their nagging and land up buying chips, pizzas .......

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on January 18, 2012:

Thank you very much hush4444! I appreciate you kind words. :)

hush4444 from Hawaii on January 18, 2012:

I agree 100%. We're all busy, tired, and stressed, but if we don't take the time to teach our kids about nutrition then we are dooming them to an unhealthy life. Great hub!

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