11

votes

How would you solve the issue of obesity in children?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 17, 2011 at 6:32 AM

How would you solve the issue of obesity in children? Say you worked for a non-profit who's mission was to cure obesity in children. It is unlikely you could get grass feed beef in the school cafeterias but what would you evangelize to the larger population?

513587882111828e619d66f2a146b627

(198)

on November 10, 2013
at 03:31 PM

I agree with the time allotted for kids meals at school being a problem. My son is a slow grazer and can easily take more than an hour to complete his meals.

90bcfafd2ef73fea5398c483c593349e

(872)

on March 14, 2013
at 01:49 AM

+1 for eating at meals! I often wonder how people at the office can get through the day on a lean cuisine and a diet coke. For some reason I never put two and two together. Now I realize they're snacking and making Starbucks runs all day! What a way to live. Yikes.

C513f1dba19e01bbd7e0f4f12b243a97

(670)

on March 26, 2012
at 10:03 AM

This is a super interesting question and the answers here are great. I'd also remove the emphasis on obesity though and concentrate on improving a kid's health overall. Those anti childhood obesity campaigns make me feel sick, in the way that they target the children themselves (’It's hard to be a little girl... when you're not'). I agree that obesity is a symptom, not a cause.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on March 26, 2012
at 09:43 AM

I think one of the best moments of parenting I've ever seen was a few months ago we were visiting with friends and their 5 year old was lobbying for a treat because it would "make her happy", and her mom sat down and hugged her while explaining that we don't eat to "be happy" we eat because our body needs fuel, and if we are feeling sad we need to find other ways to cheer up.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on March 26, 2012
at 06:36 AM

Really good points Sunny Beaches! Well said!

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on November 28, 2011
at 09:16 AM

avoid fructose sweetened foods/drinks, PUFA's (avoid mayo, deep fried foods) and go for meat/rice instead of wheat. easy and cheap replacement

34b560c8b9ce660d7839fb7e29d7be89

on June 18, 2011
at 09:50 AM

Great answer and I don't disagree with any of it. But what if it's too late to do anything about breastfeeding etc... My parent's are raising my cousin's kids as foster children now and they both grew up on soy and HFCS based formulas followed by a few years of junk food and pure garbage. What kind of answer's are there for a generation of FAT kids who need to lose weight now? Whatever we feed them at home they go to school and drink HFCS chocolate milk along with whatever they're fed. Which is aweful, I worked at a school once they fed 1000+ calorie meals to kids.

Fe33d1321dad116f6fedd60266d0498b

on June 17, 2011
at 07:37 PM

... or rather, attempt to- that everyone in the municipality can have a say in their creation or modification. If I listed to and acted upon the wishes of the people who just called me- rather than going through Council and the ordinance- shit would just be crazy, and way /more/ corrupt. Budget plays a huge part in that- budget adopted by Council, who are voted in by the residents. It's a participatory government! It's not easy- but if people don't participate (voting and beyond!), then shit just disintegrates.

Fe33d1321dad116f6fedd60266d0498b

on June 17, 2011
at 07:34 PM

So, a couple quick comments here: 1- I really don't get the idea of government as "other". You think the school board is corrupt? Then run for it! Contact your news organization and do an expose! Governments are largely a reflection of their populations- if the gov't is corrupt, or out of touch, then the populace is as much to blame as the government is. Some personal perspective from my own background- I'm a local municipality employee. I have to listen to the will of the people- as has been interpreted by City Council and/or codified into law. The ways to change those laws ensure...

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on June 17, 2011
at 05:59 PM

So get rid of the junk food, help the kids break their addiction and help them lean to deal with their emotional stresses in other ways.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on June 17, 2011
at 05:48 PM

The conlusions seem clear to me. Junk food is addictive and children can't stop eating it even when they want to. Also many obese children comfort eat to deal with their emotions when food is readily available. I think that people can overeat any food if they are eating for emotional reasons.

332d9f75d1077abafff6887681f6b130

(1081)

on June 17, 2011
at 04:58 PM

I disagree with what they seem to be implying in the presentation. I don't think that its just kids overeating due to stress. Its what they're eating, not why. Give 'em a nice, big, high-fat high-protein paleo-inspired meal, and they can only gourge themselves so much until they are "full" and don't want any more. But they'll be a lot healthier for it.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on June 17, 2011
at 04:53 PM

You might find this post on agricultural subsidies versus "healthy" school lunches by economics prof Alex Tabarrok interesting: http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2011/06/not-from-the-onion-2.html

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 17, 2011
at 04:37 PM

+1 for your anti corporate stance. Solidarity, man.

Fe33d1321dad116f6fedd60266d0498b

on June 17, 2011
at 03:48 PM

Also- don't underestimate voter inertia. I'm a city planner. I've had people OUTRAGED at me- and my professional friends- for daring to suggest that we build sidewalks through their (urban!) environments. They'll bring crime! They'll ruin the rural character of the neighborhood! And who will maintain them? (the last being a legit concern- in many, many municipalities- although the roads are the responsibility of the municipality/roads authority- both for snow removal and other maintenance issues- the sidewalks are often foisted off on the property owner. it makes for very patchy networks).

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on June 17, 2011
at 03:46 PM

Well that's simply natural selection.

34a367e60db77270bd7096dc04270fdc

(4171)

on June 17, 2011
at 03:32 PM

Where did I say I wanted the government to cure this? I think I clearly stated they need to get out

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on June 17, 2011
at 03:24 PM

I'm always happy to see someone thinking about the nutrient deficiency angle. I think it's likely to be one of the major causes of "overeating."

D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on June 17, 2011
at 03:20 PM

Really? Look at all the people that know, understand, and believe in why paleo is good and grains are bad, but continue to eat poorly because bread, cake, paste, cereal, etc. tastes good.

D1908552223e8a97b17f02a90cf795bf

(487)

on June 17, 2011
at 02:14 PM

Government will not cure us and take care of us. They are already in the food systems so far, demanding companies to give out nutrition information and say how many calories are in anything. Telling is with this 2 million dollar Food Plate that we should be downing milk and eating almost equal amounts of fruits, veggies, grains, and protein. And on top of that, it is distributed through Agriculture instead of Food and Drug Administration! It is not going to change through government any time soon.

34a367e60db77270bd7096dc04270fdc

(4171)

on June 17, 2011
at 12:05 PM

+1 for making me laugh

9e2180e7bfd688eb52d4f0c536172024

(2004)

on June 17, 2011
at 12:02 PM

Two legs bad! Four legs good!

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21420)

on June 17, 2011
at 11:18 AM

Steve - shouldn't you be at the P&B selling this tripe?

9e2180e7bfd688eb52d4f0c536172024

(2004)

on June 17, 2011
at 10:37 AM

Excellent. My chief source of protein will be the rats I catch after I'm relocated to the People's reeducation camp.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on June 17, 2011
at 06:48 AM

Very nice! So very true.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on June 17, 2011
at 06:46 AM

+1 very nice...

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20 Answers

best answer

17
9759643ce5d97ab8fa649ae954656c4c

on June 17, 2011
at 06:45 AM

I would start at the root by promoting extended breastfeeding and delayed solids. Solid food introduction should be completely overhauled, with "cereal grains as the first food" tossed out of the equation. I believe that a healthy foundation would eliminate most of the propensity to overeat later and obesity rates would decline. When you've got babies raised first on processed milk (or soy) and corn syrup solids (formula) and then fattened up on refined cereal grains, by the time they are school age their metabolism and ability to make healthy food choices is already shot to hell.

I know we need programs to undo the damage already done, as well, but this is where I would start.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on June 17, 2011
at 06:48 AM

Very nice! So very true.

34b560c8b9ce660d7839fb7e29d7be89

on June 18, 2011
at 09:50 AM

Great answer and I don't disagree with any of it. But what if it's too late to do anything about breastfeeding etc... My parent's are raising my cousin's kids as foster children now and they both grew up on soy and HFCS based formulas followed by a few years of junk food and pure garbage. What kind of answer's are there for a generation of FAT kids who need to lose weight now? Whatever we feed them at home they go to school and drink HFCS chocolate milk along with whatever they're fed. Which is aweful, I worked at a school once they fed 1000+ calorie meals to kids.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on June 17, 2011
at 06:46 AM

+1 very nice...

16
Fe33d1321dad116f6fedd60266d0498b

on June 17, 2011
at 03:45 PM

Honestly? I would wonder why obesity was the focus. Obesity is a symptom, often, of underlying issues. It's like saying "how do we stop children sneezing?" Stopping children sneezing isn't really what you're trying to do here- you're trying to stop them from being sick.

So, first, identify the cause of obesity that's your focus. Is there an underlying illness in the population? Is there a nascent glucose issue? Nutrition out of whack? Lack of activity? Sleep/light levels?

Kids in schools (public or charter) nowadays have several institutional issues to work through.

1) by and large they are bused (or driven) to school, due to perceptions of safety, lack of infrastructure, failure of the built environment/sprawl- perhaps a look at Safe Routes to School could be good.

2) Once in school, they're sitting for long periods of time, in a room (depending on your building) with less-than-ideal natural light, older fluorescent lighting, and climate control. Schools often don't have the funding, or knowledge, or initiative, to change these things. Perhaps hook up your PTAs with your local school district with a local environmental controls company? Educate the school board(s), go from there.

3) Recess/phys ed. Too often, kids aren't really let outside, to experience nature on a regular basis. See what policies there are, and who sets them, and how to integrate the outdoors with curriculum.

4) School food: it sucks. See if there are any initiatives in your area for school gardens, or farm-to-school, and get at your board of education about it.

Off-school-year activities: what options are there? What do local day cares do with kids?

It's easy to attack schools as "not doing enough"- so lets not get down that path just now. Schools are what we have created them to be- people without children tend to vote "no" on taxes that support them; people with children who disagree with the educational system tend to disengage from it (go to charter schools, homeschool, etc- and vote no on taxes, understandably, because they're disengaged from it) rather than sticking around and trying to change it from within. And many parents just aren't involved enough.

So, quite often, you have an organization whose only mandate from the public is to cut costs, while being available for every child in the system- not only to get their education, but often their transportation (HUGE bus systems), their food (so very institutionalized, and too terribly cheap), and their socialization. They have to do everything for every student, and can be quite overburdened and underfunded.

Your strategy should start with the schools. It should continue with the day cares, with the summer programs, with the meal assistance programs (at least in my area, the YMCA camps are often food distribution points- the kids who would have had a free/subsidized meal during the school year will get one at camp). Start local, aim for institutional change, and educate the voters. Then tell other organization what you did, how you did it, what you learned from it, and how they could do it.

It's a slow process, fixing things, but this didn't happen overnight. It won't get fixed overnight, either.

Fe33d1321dad116f6fedd60266d0498b

on June 17, 2011
at 03:48 PM

Also- don't underestimate voter inertia. I'm a city planner. I've had people OUTRAGED at me- and my professional friends- for daring to suggest that we build sidewalks through their (urban!) environments. They'll bring crime! They'll ruin the rural character of the neighborhood! And who will maintain them? (the last being a legit concern- in many, many municipalities- although the roads are the responsibility of the municipality/roads authority- both for snow removal and other maintenance issues- the sidewalks are often foisted off on the property owner. it makes for very patchy networks).

8
B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

The one single thing? Condoms. Jokes... I'm so funny.

Cut the sugar in all its forms. That alone would sort out child obesity. It really would.

34a367e60db77270bd7096dc04270fdc

(4171)

on June 17, 2011
at 12:05 PM

+1 for making me laugh

8
32123f4f25bdf6a7b70c9c2a719386ed

(396)

on June 17, 2011
at 02:27 PM

I think alot of overeating is caused by nutrient deficiencys. When poor quality food is eaten the body cries out for more looking to fill the gap. Good nutrient dense food will satisfy, however it is hard to get kids to eat things they are not used too.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on June 17, 2011
at 03:24 PM

I'm always happy to see someone thinking about the nutrient deficiency angle. I think it's likely to be one of the major causes of "overeating."

7
Medium avatar

(4878)

on June 17, 2011
at 12:51 PM

Ban HFCS and food/drink vending machines. I have students who's only food source is the vending machine on campus.

4
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on June 17, 2011
at 04:41 PM

Short answer: you can't

Medium answer: you can't without a complete overhaul (reduction) of our government

Long answer: I would like to vote Faky McFakerson's answer up more than the 1 vote I'm allowed, because he got it right, why focus on the symptom, we need to fix the underlying cause. That's right! First we have to convince people that we need change, and our culture is very bad at that, because admitting that we need change means that we were wrong, and we (I mean Americans - sorry everyone else here) don't to that because (as is evident by some political ads) you can never change your mind. Plus admitting you got something wrong opens you up to liability. So hurdle #1 is convincing people that what we're doing now is wrong and needs to change.

Secondly, if we were able to convince people that we need to change, the government will stop that and hold it up as much as possible. There is so much corruption from the local school boards up to the federal reimbursement for school lunches to the USDA recommendations on food that they don't want to change because it's good money for them.

Let's do a little thought experiment on what it would take to get the lunches in your child's school to be healthy (assume a non-low-fat, non-grain paleo definiton of healthy)

  1. convince parents that low fat is bad
  2. have parents insist to the school board that they want new lunches
  3. school board convinces the district's food buyer to buy new food (giving up the kick backs he gets from his current distributors)
  4. hire actual cooks to make food rather than reheat prepackaged food from the distributor
  5. raise taxes because #3 and #4 now cost way more money. Of course, we already spend a ridiculous amount of money on school per student and get no results because most of it is squanders in useless administrative costs.
  6. raise taxes more because now that we're supplying a non-USDA approved food we've lost our federal reimbursement on the lunches.
  7. spend all of our time dealing with attacks from the USDA and BigAg that we're killing the kids with thier high fat diet

That's just the first thoughts that came to my mind, and I should get back to work. But what you're talking about here is really a fundamental change in our political system to one where people are allowed to make choices on their own without intervention from someone who "knows better".

Fe33d1321dad116f6fedd60266d0498b

on June 17, 2011
at 07:37 PM

... or rather, attempt to- that everyone in the municipality can have a say in their creation or modification. If I listed to and acted upon the wishes of the people who just called me- rather than going through Council and the ordinance- shit would just be crazy, and way /more/ corrupt. Budget plays a huge part in that- budget adopted by Council, who are voted in by the residents. It's a participatory government! It's not easy- but if people don't participate (voting and beyond!), then shit just disintegrates.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on June 17, 2011
at 04:53 PM

You might find this post on agricultural subsidies versus "healthy" school lunches by economics prof Alex Tabarrok interesting: http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2011/06/not-from-the-onion-2.html

Fe33d1321dad116f6fedd60266d0498b

on June 17, 2011
at 07:34 PM

So, a couple quick comments here: 1- I really don't get the idea of government as "other". You think the school board is corrupt? Then run for it! Contact your news organization and do an expose! Governments are largely a reflection of their populations- if the gov't is corrupt, or out of touch, then the populace is as much to blame as the government is. Some personal perspective from my own background- I'm a local municipality employee. I have to listen to the will of the people- as has been interpreted by City Council and/or codified into law. The ways to change those laws ensure...

4
25329057c9d5f6364a74787c8c2302e7

on June 17, 2011
at 01:24 PM

We eat grains and cereal because they are phenomenally cheaper per calorie, and they are easier to process into long shelf life items. The cheapness is heavily inflated by a tradition of farm subsidies, which is in turn due to a broken and lobbyist controlled political environment.

Rid corporations of their ability to use a small profit margin to finance legislation which leads to an enormous profit margin, and market efficiencies start to actually matter. Suddenly corn and wheat aren't such an economic no brainer. Suddenly the funding that goes to the research groups that say "eat 35% grains and 10% dairy" dries up. We stop 'saving money' by buying cheap processed goods that are funded by our taxes, and maybe get some legitimate nutrition research underway.

But hell, once you reduce the problem that far, you are pretty much screwed. Get rid of lobbyists and subsidies? The recognized experts, economists, have failed for years. It is unlikely us paleo weirdos are going to gain any traction doing anything but becoming as health as possible. For lack of a better solution, we are the experiment. In 15 - 25 years, when people who've been on paleo have demonstrably lower rates of cancers and heart disease etc, even compared to those who work out just as much, we'll have a better chance at getting real attention outside of the 'diet fad' world.

This political rant brought to you by Alex from PaleoPax

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 17, 2011
at 04:37 PM

+1 for your anti corporate stance. Solidarity, man.

4
34a367e60db77270bd7096dc04270fdc

(4171)

on June 17, 2011
at 12:05 PM

Shitty food is very cheap - the general population doesn't want to waste their hard earned dollars on good, healthy food if they can get a big mac for a buck. Our poor people often have cell phones, flat screen tvs, cable tv etc and they choose to eat taco bell because they can get a god damned taco for 49 cents. Public schools offer up horrible meals to our kids, mostly for free because so many people qualify for free programs or they know how to get around the rules to take advantage of this. Parent's don't care about this, they're happy to get "free" meals through the school. The parents that do care are providing meals for their kids from home.

Our government needs to get out of our food systems, that's the only way that this will change.

D1908552223e8a97b17f02a90cf795bf

(487)

on June 17, 2011
at 02:14 PM

Government will not cure us and take care of us. They are already in the food systems so far, demanding companies to give out nutrition information and say how many calories are in anything. Telling is with this 2 million dollar Food Plate that we should be downing milk and eating almost equal amounts of fruits, veggies, grains, and protein. And on top of that, it is distributed through Agriculture instead of Food and Drug Administration! It is not going to change through government any time soon.

34a367e60db77270bd7096dc04270fdc

(4171)

on June 17, 2011
at 03:32 PM

Where did I say I wanted the government to cure this? I think I clearly stated they need to get out

3
19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on March 13, 2013
at 09:20 PM

If I were working for this non-profit I would...

  • Encourage eating the majority of daily calories at meals! I see a lot of lunch/dinners that are only 200 or 300 calories, so people end up snacking on junk all day long because they're starving!

  • Suggest a plate which is half animal products (meat, fish, eggs, etc), half vegetables. This is healthy and easy to remember/visualize when shopping. If grain products are eaten they should be limited to the equivalent (in volume) of one or two slices of bread; grain shouldn't compromise the bulk of the meal.

  • Probably most important of all, teach families how to cook quick and easy meals that fit these requirements!

  • Promote eating a variety of animal products as opposed to chicken beast everyday. Share easy and tasty recipes for fatty cuts of meat (and fatty types of fish) so people are enticed to eat something other than lean meats.

There is one simple thing that would make a HUGE difference for preventing or curing obesity, along with eating most of the daily calories at meals as I suggested above:

  • Eating a big breakfast everyday. People would be full until lunch or mid-afternoon and wouldn't need to snack throughout the day.

They wouldn't be so tired all day long if they ate dinner for breakfast. And they wouldn't be munching on snacks all day long. They would be more upbeat and cheerful at work/school.

A bowl of rich soup or meat chili for breakfast is easy to reheat in 5 minutes (even less if you microwave), and would make a huge difference in mood, attention span, preventing the munchies throughout the day, and people would lose weight.

When in a hurry and forced to eat driving on the way to work, my husband brings bacon, sausage, thick slices of cheese, cherry tomatoes, skewered chicken meat (like take-out teriyaki chicken/beef), or slices of tamagoyaki omelette which is great eaten cold. Which means that a big breakfast would be easy even for busy families. They just have to make some of it in advance to it's easy to grab in the morning.

90bcfafd2ef73fea5398c483c593349e

(872)

on March 14, 2013
at 01:49 AM

+1 for eating at meals! I often wonder how people at the office can get through the day on a lean cuisine and a diet coke. For some reason I never put two and two together. Now I realize they're snacking and making Starbucks runs all day! What a way to live. Yikes.

3
78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

on March 26, 2012
at 06:34 AM

Eric, this is an old post but I just fell in love with your comments and checked out your answers:)

Everyone talked about nutrition and physical activity in this thread BUT nobody talked about our society's culture and attitude towards food. Food has become a comfort. It doesn't matter if we give each parent and child "education" about nutrition if we don't address our culture of food, marketing, and the media.

1) Culture: in many families, especially close-knit large communities (like many in the South), food is not just nutrition. It is a way of feeling at home, carrying tradition through old-fashioned meals and pies, and that sets the stage early on that happiness can come from eating "comfort" foods.

Our culture also celebrates with food...children who get good grades at school are "rewarded" with pizza parties, soda, and cookies. We celebrate birthdays at a very early age with sugar-laden food. Again, this teaches children that sweets=happiness.

2) We need to address marketing/media ploys children are exposed to. Children these days watch a lot of TV. During cartoons, there are commercials for McDonalds, Happy Meal toys, sugary cereals...and young children want to do what is "cool" and popular. If they can get the latest toys and eat at the "cool" restaurants like their peers, they think they will be happy.

We can teach all we want, but if you hand many people these days this "education" they will say, "But life is short! I could never give up X and X"...

Food and health is about more than nutrition. It's about sociology and psychology and we need to remember that.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on March 26, 2012
at 06:36 AM

Really good points Sunny Beaches! Well said!

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on March 26, 2012
at 09:43 AM

I think one of the best moments of parenting I've ever seen was a few months ago we were visiting with friends and their 5 year old was lobbying for a treat because it would "make her happy", and her mom sat down and hugged her while explaining that we don't eat to "be happy" we eat because our body needs fuel, and if we are feeling sad we need to find other ways to cheer up.

3
0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on June 17, 2011
at 01:15 PM

We could ask the children what they think. Everyone has theories but no one seems to ask the children.

This presentation is seriously worth watching.

What's really causing the childhood obesity epidemic - What kids say.

332d9f75d1077abafff6887681f6b130

(1081)

on June 17, 2011
at 04:58 PM

I disagree with what they seem to be implying in the presentation. I don't think that its just kids overeating due to stress. Its what they're eating, not why. Give 'em a nice, big, high-fat high-protein paleo-inspired meal, and they can only gourge themselves so much until they are "full" and don't want any more. But they'll be a lot healthier for it.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on June 17, 2011
at 05:59 PM

So get rid of the junk food, help the kids break their addiction and help them lean to deal with their emotional stresses in other ways.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on June 17, 2011
at 05:48 PM

The conlusions seem clear to me. Junk food is addictive and children can't stop eating it even when they want to. Also many obese children comfort eat to deal with their emotions when food is readily available. I think that people can overeat any food if they are eating for emotional reasons.

3
50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on June 17, 2011
at 07:02 AM

Education!

"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime."

People WANT to do the right thing. But they are handcuffed because they only know what they know. I see this day in and day out. Anytime I'm at the store, or around town.. I see people making decisions that I used to make all the time. I THOUGHT I was being healthy, making proper choices etc.. then I found Paleo and it taught me not only a much better way to fuel my body, but also many other things that include; how to think, how to ask questions, to rest, to relax, and enjoy the simple things in life.

Knowledge is key.

D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on June 17, 2011
at 03:20 PM

Really? Look at all the people that know, understand, and believe in why paleo is good and grains are bad, but continue to eat poorly because bread, cake, paste, cereal, etc. tastes good.

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on June 17, 2011
at 03:46 PM

Well that's simply natural selection.

2
90bcfafd2ef73fea5398c483c593349e

on March 14, 2013
at 01:50 AM

One thing no one else has mentioned is that agricultural subsidies should be shifted away from dairy and grain production over to fruit and vegetable production. This way families that wanted to eat better could afford to do so.

2
89aad21d6a3fb747a48fdaf3288b6d31

on June 17, 2011
at 12:31 PM

Get them off high fructose corn syrup

1
61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10480)

on March 14, 2013
at 03:08 AM

Great post to resurrect! A quick point about school food, though - sometimes, kids don't even have access to THAT, and not just for economic reasons. TIME can be a factor. The first high school I went to was way overcrowded. Even with a hugecafeteria with 4 lines and 3 periods for kids to shuttle in and out of there, there was no way for me to actually obtain any of that food. By the time I hiked it from my third period class in the trailers on the outliers of school property, made it to the end of the lunchline, stood through it, found a spot to sit/stand, I couldn't shove the food in my mouth quickly enough. And let me tell ya, even when/if I was able to get the food, most teenage girls don't want to be seen standing by the wall shoving food in their mouths as quickly as they can. The solution: a bottle of Coke and a bag of Doritos. There were sometimes lines at the vending machines, too, but there were a LOT of machines and the lines were smaller and quicker. I think the school probably did that at least partially on purpose, because providing cheap/free lunches still costs money, and having their students spend money at the vending machines actually puts money in their pockets.

0
513587882111828e619d66f2a146b627

(198)

on November 10, 2013
at 03:27 PM

"Turn. Off. The. F*cking. Television. And. Go. Outside!"

Honestly, I can't imagine how I could ever get enough calories into my five year old son to make him even plump, much less obese (he is rail thin and tall). The key? He gets one half hour show (if his daily school report is acceptable) after school and the rest of the time he plays, plays, plays and plays. If he isn't playing on his own or with friends, then we are doing family activities. In the last three weeks we have taken him to Disney world for a week, a day trip to the Field Museum in Chicago and a day trip to a war museum where he could climb all over real military tanks.

IMHO children are extremely resilient to "not great" diets as long as you don't give them a steady feeding of Captain Crunch, McDonald's and Twinkies.

My son has also never had a pop (soda) in his life. He drinks fresh water, whole milk or on occasion unsweetened iced tea.

0
4610451431ec7155c87a5698be682a95

(1122)

on November 10, 2013
at 02:51 PM

As a teacher in an elementary school this question is unanswerable without the overthrow of our government. : )

Our school food is subsidized by Feds, who's sole purpose is staying in office, who's contributors are big biz., who own the factory farms and food companies, who tell schools what to serve......and on and on.

I'm really cheery in the classroom, promise.

Seriously though, unless a family is homeschooling or children are attending some uber progressive school, it ain't gonna happen for a while.

Even Michele Obama is told to pipe down on the healthy eating campaign......

Change begins at home.

0
C2450eb7fa11b37473599caf93b461ef

on November 10, 2013
at 02:26 PM

I think the answer is probably a multi-faceted one, and I agree with much that's been said here. One thing that hasn't been talked about it the way in which we eat. I'm a teacher, and our school lunch periods are 22 minutes long, and so kids are inhaling their lunches. I remember reading in a book about the way school lunches were handled in France, and I was so impressed. Kids have an hour to sit and savor a well-balanced, well-prepared meal, and they eat it with adults as role models. The social aspect of a meal is also emphasized, but not in the Lord of the Flies way that cafeteria lunches in the US are "social."

I think children need to be taught to slow down and savor their food; they need to not eat on the run, nor in front of the television. And the snacking beast needs to be tamed. Children in the US are generally fed in ways that stem from both the "low-fat, higher carb" craze of the 80s, as well as the "many small meals" craze. The book about France also talked about snacking, and about how French adults and older children don't snack at all, and younger children get one snack in the late afternoon that's a sit-down meal like everything else. Seriously, take a look at the stroller set or the diaper bag of any parent of a toddler: goldfish crackers, cheerios, sippy cups. Eating on the run has become a discipline and behavior-management tool.

OK--just looked the book up on Amazon: French Kids Eat Everything. There were several things about the book I disagreed with (and it wasn't the best writing I've ever come across), but there were many things that seemed so spot on, and gave me food for thought with my own kids.

Notice that I didn't say that kids need to be eating paleo to battle this epidemic.

513587882111828e619d66f2a146b627

(198)

on November 10, 2013
at 03:31 PM

I agree with the time allotted for kids meals at school being a problem. My son is a slow grazer and can easily take more than an hour to complete his meals.

0
172eac65a29ca0b8380f9149d247f144

on November 10, 2013
at 12:10 AM

My personal thought is getting more mums breast feeding for longer, cutting sugar in kids diets, getting kids outside playing and walking more often.

0
C8b4068fa3bb4055c91904fec4b920e7

on June 17, 2011
at 09:07 AM

Very briefly... Internationalist Communist Party-World proletarian revolution- sort out the mess...

Outside of this I think this and several other major problems will not be solved...i.e. they are rooted in capitalism.

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21420)

on June 17, 2011
at 11:18 AM

Steve - shouldn't you be at the P&B selling this tripe?

9e2180e7bfd688eb52d4f0c536172024

(2004)

on June 17, 2011
at 12:02 PM

Two legs bad! Four legs good!

9e2180e7bfd688eb52d4f0c536172024

(2004)

on June 17, 2011
at 10:37 AM

Excellent. My chief source of protein will be the rats I catch after I'm relocated to the People's reeducation camp.

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