18

votes

Is it just my imagination or are the dietary guidelines for preventing childhood obesity getting even worse?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 27, 2011 at 10:34 PM

I watched in horror this morning while a dietician laid out a diet plan to prevent childhood obesity on the PBS program "A Place of Our Own".

It was basically:

Limit protein to 1-2 (1 1/2oz.) servings per day of lean protein like fish

6-7 servings of starch (1 serving being one piece of bread)

3-4 cups of NONFAT milk

No mention of acceptable fats at all

I was too busy yelling at the TV, "That's how I got fat!" to hear what they had to say about fruit and veggies.

The last I time I had checked in with CW sources about what kids were supposed to eat, 2% milk was all the rage. My favorite line from the movie "Fathead" was "We feed our kids skim milk while their brains are still growing and then wonder why they can't sit still?" And that was during the 2% milk recommendations.

I'm just wondering if anyone else has encountered recommendations like this from their pediatricians, or schools, or other kids parents? And how you responded? I don't believe in pushing my dietary ideals on others, but I'm not sure how to smack down terrible advice like that without short-cutting to "eating saturated fat doesn't make kids fat" or "nutritionally paleo is where it is at". Both of those usually just get me "deer in the headlights stares". I'm looking for the playground equivalent of the "paleo elevator speech".

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Yeah, I don't remember where I first heard it but it's the perfect term for that kind of diet.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on December 15, 2011
at 01:41 AM

The thing I ran into as a kid is never really feeling full when eating a bowl of cereal and nonfat milk, so then I'd have to eat another one just to feel some sense of fullness. It is pretty easy to chronically carb overload doing that daily, so I think that did lead to some early weight gain.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on December 14, 2011
at 06:46 PM

That'll lead to malnutrition for sure, but there's no way in Hell you got fat eating that.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 14, 2011
at 05:36 PM

You'd think all the morbid obesity would hamper reproduction at some point and those with better habits/genes would increase again as a proportion of the population. :-))

Cf4576cbcc44fc7f2294135609bce9e5

(3125)

on December 14, 2011
at 04:59 AM

i try to emphasize how important it is to eat raw uncooked food not for its known benifits but for the unknown benifits that are yet to be discovered. i think back to how i used to eat or worse what i ate as a child. now i only cook meat.

Cf4576cbcc44fc7f2294135609bce9e5

(3125)

on December 14, 2011
at 04:50 AM

not all docs are fools, my own doc recomended the paleo diet to me and i just ignored him. then one year latter though my own research i tryed the diet not for weight loss but to end the rheumatiod arthritis that took away all the life i had left. i have lost 45 pounds and i think my doc will guess what happened. doctors are no more intelligent than you or i . doctors called me several times a day asking for advice on treating difficult infections. some dont even have common sense. others seem brilliant but its only because we are standing on the shoulders of the giants that came befor us.

F6ea948ab43dc51d72509c0989e670fe

(1639)

on July 31, 2011
at 03:50 PM

+1 for "BOOM" :)

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 29, 2011
at 06:06 PM

Thanks for fighting the good fight for your kids. I hope other parents out there are sticking to their guns in the same way.

Medium avatar

(572)

on July 29, 2011
at 10:53 AM

My kids are 28 and 25 now, but back in the 80s and 90s I fought with their pediatrician ALL THE TIME about fat in their diets. I kept repeating over and over during visits that THEIR BRAINS were developing so why would I give them skim milk?? He just kept saying I was going to have fat kids. End result? Two beautiful women that are normal weight and have kick-ass brains. Jeez I could still punch that ped-guy. I had to fight with him tooth and nail on most everything. I'm sure he thought me the biggest beast on the planet. haha

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 29, 2011
at 01:56 AM

Wish I could pick multiple answers. This is probably what I'll say, if I see any kiddos drinking nonfat milk.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on July 28, 2011
at 06:10 PM

It's also frustrating for doctors who put effort into educating themselves and giving genuinely helpful advice to their patients in the hopes of making a real difference in their lives, only to find that the patient really doesn't want to make an effort, ignores their advice, and would rather take a pill. It's easy to forget about that here on PH but tons of patients have that attitude.

E7a462d6e99fec7e8f0ddda11b34a770

(1638)

on July 28, 2011
at 03:45 PM

Love that term "carbivore"!

E7a462d6e99fec7e8f0ddda11b34a770

(1638)

on July 28, 2011
at 03:44 PM

You go girl! She's lucky to have a mom like you.

Fe535c4994ac6176f76e1ff6d29eb08a

(4286)

on July 28, 2011
at 02:29 PM

+1 Jared, you said everything I wanted to say! Luckily, it was a chili cookoff, so I did have the meat varieties. I did bring up the point that chili is not supposed to have beans and everyone looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language. Of course, that what I get living in Seattle. Excuse me for being taught to make chili by Texans.

5437163ddf70d4532f196bfb4333753e

(3614)

on July 28, 2011
at 12:09 PM

Gahhhhh! Vegetarian chili is NOT chili. It's vegetable bean soup. "Real" chili is not even supposed to have beans. Beans were added back in the day to add some inexpensive filler. And "My Pyramid for Mommies?" I just puked in my mouth a bit. I'll bet that was paid for by the corn refiners association.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 28, 2011
at 07:47 AM

I think I got into metabolic trouble because my family was extremely well read when it came to nutrition in the '70's and '80's (we didn't know the scientists were lying). We were I guess the diet equivalent of "early adopters" for nutrition. I was a fat kid because we did the "right" things according to the experts at the time. I'm watching it all go mainstream now, and I feel like I should put a big picture of myself at my worst up there on a billboard saying, "This is what whole wheat and nonfat milk do you!"

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 28, 2011
at 02:25 AM

Seeing fat children is a real shame. It sucks that so many parents are clueless about how to treat their kids.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on July 28, 2011
at 12:52 AM

they did switch docs. they arent paleo, but they arent stupid.

B525b3e4b1d6f1cdceec943cdec6eb7d

(1680)

on July 28, 2011
at 12:37 AM

This is a great summary, FED. Thanks!

4b61b13ed39e5c5d01fe234900cadcf8

(1138)

on July 28, 2011
at 12:32 AM

nice condensed Paleo speech!

4b61b13ed39e5c5d01fe234900cadcf8

(1138)

on July 28, 2011
at 12:30 AM

regarding the McDonalds recommendation - OH MY GOD. I hope they switched doctors after that. That's horrifying!

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on July 27, 2011
at 10:59 PM

Breaking people's dogma is rou business. Trust me I do it daily

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on July 27, 2011
at 10:48 PM

Perhaps your friends would be willing to try spinach quiche? It's "vegetarian" and includes lots of good stuff for a breastfeeding mommy. :)

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on July 27, 2011
at 10:38 PM

+1 for "I was too busy yelling at the TV, 'That's how I got fat!' to hear what they had to say about fruit and veggies."

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9 Answers

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16
Medium avatar

(19469)

on July 28, 2011
at 12:18 AM

My "Paleo elevator speech" usually goes something like this...

"So for almost a million years human beings lived in the wild right, you know, 'hunting and gethering'. Well they're out there, hunting animals and eating the entire thing. They're going for the organs, cracking the bones to get at the marrow, basically getting as much fat as they can because they're working hard and its the most efficient source of calories. Along the way, they're also picking up fruits and vegetables, whatever's edible and in season, and it's all fresh, organic, and prepared in the ways handed down from generation to generation.

Then, all of the sudden, some people figure out how to grow crops and BOOM, the human population explodes, we get art, and science, and technology and all of this stuff that we have today, but we also start to get sick. We have "diseases of civilization", heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and we have problems with our bones and teeth, you can actually see the moment we adopted agriculture in the fossil record because people got smaller and sicker right off the bat, and that was with whole-grains!

Of course it's really crazy now with all of the chemicals and flavors and colors and high-fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils. There's stuff in our food that we've NEVER eaten before and we've even got genetically modified plants and animals to deal with.

So, the idea is to get back to square one. Put foods into our bodies that we are designed to eat. Basically its fruits, vegetables, meats, some nuts and seeds, the occasional starchy tuber and that's it! It might seem really hard to live without bread, but after a while you feel so good you won't even miss it. I've got some great books and websites that you can check out if you're interested."

Ok, so it's more like a 60s elevator speech, but I have a pretty impressive track record and just about everyone I've talked to has at least taken me up on the "more information" offer if not tried paleo or become a full on paleo ambassador themselves.

B525b3e4b1d6f1cdceec943cdec6eb7d

(1680)

on July 28, 2011
at 12:37 AM

This is a great summary, FED. Thanks!

4b61b13ed39e5c5d01fe234900cadcf8

(1138)

on July 28, 2011
at 12:32 AM

nice condensed Paleo speech!

F6ea948ab43dc51d72509c0989e670fe

(1639)

on July 31, 2011
at 03:50 PM

+1 for "BOOM" :)

6
A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on July 27, 2011
at 10:47 PM

I'd start with "children's brains are built with animal fat!"

...and then continue with "healthy hormones are built with fat and protein."

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on July 27, 2011
at 10:59 PM

Breaking people's dogma is rou business. Trust me I do it daily

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 29, 2011
at 01:56 AM

Wish I could pick multiple answers. This is probably what I'll say, if I see any kiddos drinking nonfat milk.

5
7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on July 28, 2011
at 01:28 AM

Shit. I don't normally get angry about this stuff but it's just so ridiculous, I can hardly believe it. My mom's a doctor and reading this stuff makes me realise how lucky we were growing up. She told us that we shouldn't eat too much O6 as soon as we were old enough to understand the concept (all of us have always been ridiculous science and math nerds so that's not so far-fetched) and refused to buy low-fat dairy or things labelled "cheese product" instead of just "cheese". She would often comment on how unhealthy most of her vegetarian/vegan patients were and that she would urge them to consider that it wasn't really an appropriate diet for humans, especially if they were actually carbivore vegetarians who refused to eat vegetables. And she refused to allow soda in the house, and as a result none of us ever drink it in adulthood. Sure, we ate grains but it was way better than the diet most of her colleagues would have recommended. Too bad most medical professionals don't educate themselves much more beyond the small amount of training given on nutrition in med school.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Yeah, I don't remember where I first heard it but it's the perfect term for that kind of diet.

E7a462d6e99fec7e8f0ddda11b34a770

(1638)

on July 28, 2011
at 03:45 PM

Love that term "carbivore"!

5
Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on July 28, 2011
at 12:09 AM

My 3 year old daughter is a little on the pudgy side, but im not worried about it. She is in the 90% for weight, but only the 20% for height, but my husband and I are both of above average height, so Im confident that as long as she stays active and keeps eating healthy food, she will shoot up and lose her toddler pudge (sob!).

Still though, at her last checkup, our pedi, who I LOVE and ADORE, told us to switch to skim milk. These are the things that kill me about it:

  • I dont think he would have said that if she was a boy.

  • He didnt ask about any of the OTHER foods she eats, or what a typical food-day looks like for her. he jumped right to the milk thing, and didnt ask about how many french fries and chicken nuggets she eats.

  • He talked to me about it right in front of her, and that pissed me off a bit.

I just nod and smile, and go home and continue doing what I do- she gets whole milk but I do limit it to 16oz a day. The rest of the time she likes seltzer water with a lime in it. :)

We have some other friends with the oposite problem- their son is thin and doesnt eat anything ever. Their doctor actually told them to start taking him to McDonalds. Seriously. no matter how ignorant a pedi is of our idea of good nutrition, I cant believe in this day and age doctors are telling parents to take their kids to McDonalds more often.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on July 28, 2011
at 12:52 AM

they did switch docs. they arent paleo, but they arent stupid.

E7a462d6e99fec7e8f0ddda11b34a770

(1638)

on July 28, 2011
at 03:44 PM

You go girl! She's lucky to have a mom like you.

4b61b13ed39e5c5d01fe234900cadcf8

(1138)

on July 28, 2011
at 12:30 AM

regarding the McDonalds recommendation - OH MY GOD. I hope they switched doctors after that. That's horrifying!

Cf4576cbcc44fc7f2294135609bce9e5

(3125)

on December 14, 2011
at 04:50 AM

not all docs are fools, my own doc recomended the paleo diet to me and i just ignored him. then one year latter though my own research i tryed the diet not for weight loss but to end the rheumatiod arthritis that took away all the life i had left. i have lost 45 pounds and i think my doc will guess what happened. doctors are no more intelligent than you or i . doctors called me several times a day asking for advice on treating difficult infections. some dont even have common sense. others seem brilliant but its only because we are standing on the shoulders of the giants that came befor us.

4
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on July 28, 2011
at 12:52 AM

I am amazed, but not really. This is "the" advice being given these days.

I think this is the cause of the current health epidemic... it is like an alcoholic trying to become sober by drinking more. Eat less fat, eat more starch, oh you're not thinner? Eat even less fat, even more starch... still not thin? Here try these medications...

What is interesting to me is the psychology of it. The doctor is recommending what they have been trained to, and would probably get in a lot of trouble for saying otherwise. The patient listens to the doctor because they're supposed to, and assume that any shortcomings are their own fault (maybe that steak I had last week made me gain 3 pounds...). Doubting either the doctor or the status quo is not acceptable to either person.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on July 28, 2011
at 06:10 PM

It's also frustrating for doctors who put effort into educating themselves and giving genuinely helpful advice to their patients in the hopes of making a real difference in their lives, only to find that the patient really doesn't want to make an effort, ignores their advice, and would rather take a pill. It's easy to forget about that here on PH but tons of patients have that attitude.

4
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 27, 2011
at 11:54 PM

We have several vegans and a lot of vegetarians at my kids' school and what strikes me is that none of us criticize each other, rather, we discuss food policy issues and all believe in the same the same common denominator: "Do what's right for the kids". I don't know one vegetarian parent there that feeds their kids over-processed vegetarian food. In fact, those are the kids who always get leftovers in their lunch boxes. Sure they eat tofu but mostly, whole/clean foods like eggplant, pumpkin and the vegetarian kids eat fish and sushi.

Many of the parents are open to unconventional ways of feeding kids (meaning, not USDA recommendations). I know the vegetarians believe in the raw milk and they are coming around to higher fats. Some are vegans for religious reasons (Buddhists) but often times, they don't force it on their kids.

I find that discussing nutrition, rather than being preachy is the way to develop a good back and forth. Some parents are very interested in the science. So while you may be upset about the content of that show, it could be a great way to open up dialogue with other parents.

Cf4576cbcc44fc7f2294135609bce9e5

(3125)

on December 14, 2011
at 04:59 AM

i try to emphasize how important it is to eat raw uncooked food not for its known benifits but for the unknown benifits that are yet to be discovered. i think back to how i used to eat or worse what i ate as a child. now i only cook meat.

2
Fe535c4994ac6176f76e1ff6d29eb08a

on July 27, 2011
at 10:42 PM

Its not your imagination at all. I was at a friend's house last night and they have a newborn. On their fridge I saw something called "My Pyramid for Mommies" or something like that. Basically what you just said, but aimed at mothers that have recently given birth. I try not to be preachy, especially since these were friends of friends, so all I could do is shake my head and say "no thank you" to the vegetarian chili.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on July 27, 2011
at 10:48 PM

Perhaps your friends would be willing to try spinach quiche? It's "vegetarian" and includes lots of good stuff for a breastfeeding mommy. :)

5437163ddf70d4532f196bfb4333753e

(3614)

on July 28, 2011
at 12:09 PM

Gahhhhh! Vegetarian chili is NOT chili. It's vegetable bean soup. "Real" chili is not even supposed to have beans. Beans were added back in the day to add some inexpensive filler. And "My Pyramid for Mommies?" I just puked in my mouth a bit. I'll bet that was paid for by the corn refiners association.

Fe535c4994ac6176f76e1ff6d29eb08a

(4286)

on July 28, 2011
at 02:29 PM

+1 Jared, you said everything I wanted to say! Luckily, it was a chili cookoff, so I did have the meat varieties. I did bring up the point that chili is not supposed to have beans and everyone looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language. Of course, that what I get living in Seattle. Excuse me for being taught to make chili by Texans.

1
Cf4576cbcc44fc7f2294135609bce9e5

on December 14, 2011
at 05:11 AM

i pretty sure its the parents fault and not the guidelines, after all unless the kids shop for the food the parents bought it right. lets face it, parents are too freaking tired after all the stress of work and the fear of loosing ones job to come home and prepare real food. if anything people eat to reward themselves for all the misery dumped upon them from others that are in the same damned situation. people today are medicating themselves with food the way our grandparents did with tobacco and booze. (let medicine be thy food and let food be thy medicine) and so, i eat paleo :)

0
Medium avatar

on December 14, 2011
at 05:32 PM

Saw an article last week where parents were scolding doctors for failing to point out that the parents' kids were obese. People! There are ways to find out if your kids are too fat. Rolls of corpulence visible at midsection: significant red flag. "My kid has started to waddle, should I be concerned?" Truth be told, many parents don't recognize obesity in their kids because the parents don't recognize it in the mirror.

"They were once an industrious, creative people. Then they got lazy, fat, and stupid." Some future historian will write a 100,000 word book about our age, and it will come down to those two sentences.

However, I do not despair. Natural selection rules. Homo Sapiens Healthy: new subspecies yet to emerge in decisive numbers?

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 14, 2011
at 05:36 PM

You'd think all the morbid obesity would hamper reproduction at some point and those with better habits/genes would increase again as a proportion of the population. :-))

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