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Twinkletoes22's avatar

What are your ideas on fighing childhood obesity?

Asked by Twinkletoes22 (289points) February 5th, 2011

This is for a nutrition project for school. I just want to hear people’s ideas on the matter.

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30 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Cut down on carbohydrates served for school lunches. Cut out white foods: white bread, white rice, potatoes.

Add more fruits and vegetables.

jca's avatar

I think kids today are too sedentary. They sit in front of video games, TV and computers. They need to get out more and do more active stuff. When I was little we would be outside all day until dinner. Back yard, front yard, friend’s house, playing. Now kids sit on the couch and play with each other, each kid looking at a screen.

genkan's avatar

Educate the parents on what a healthy diet for a child is, both in terms of types of food and amount. Many parents know about the general ‘eat fruits and vegetables’ advice but simply ignorantly feed their child too much.

JLeslie's avatar

Their parents need to cook meals at home from scratch the majority of the time, and once a child is old enough they can do the cooking. Also, more activity, gym class, afterschool sports or dance classes, anything that gets the kids out and moving.

YARNLADY's avatar

Bring back recess and physical education; serve a lot more fresh fruits and vegetables, and zero potato chip type snacks.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Improve and increase the physical education children get in school. Many school have had major cuts in their physical education programs over the years. Parents should be sure children are getting adequate physical activity when at home as well.

Healthier eating at all times (in schools and and home). Definitely more education about what healthy eating really is (for parents and children).

More understanding about what childhood obesity really is. Children grow at different rates and their body masses change as they grow (such as from the infant/toddler years to school age, and then again at puberty).

iamthemob's avatar

Stop thinking that it’s all the parents’ responsibility for knowing what’s best for the kids and start holding food corporation advertising to kids as part of the problem.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Turn off the television, video games, computer. Get adults out of children’s play – look at how many kids never play soccer unless it’s on a team with an adult coach, never play basketball unless it’s in a gym. Feed kids breakfast that’s not loaded with sugar so their metabolism gets a jump start.

Too many adults who were born in the 70’s and 80’s spent their childhood eating fast food in a minivan, either on the way to school or on the way to sports practice, dance lessons, etc. It’s hard to feed your children correctly if you don’t know what that is yourself.

20% of the kids in the US go home to households without food. Kids who have to worry about eating tend to overeat when they can eat.

filmfann's avatar

How about a fucking Jump Rope as a Happy Meal prize?

Mikewlf337's avatar

More activity instead of sitting in front of a TV. Kids today don’t get enough exercise.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Parents buy the food for the household,so therefore should be aware of what a healthy diet is, proper portions and what their kids are eating at home.
Limit time spent playing video games and watching tv and get them involved in some sort of daily exercise.
As for school,there should be no junk food served.

jca's avatar

@iamthemob: food advertising to kids is part of the problem but parents are ultimately responsible for what comes into the house. If you don’t make it available then there’s no having it.

Mikewlf337's avatar

How about we stop school lunches all together. That would make the parent responsible for packing lunches and it would spare the school from the insufferable bitching. The parents are responsible for the the food on the table and no one else.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@Mikewlf337 That wouldn’t help children out if their parents don’t know anything about healthy eating. I’ve seen some lunches that parents pack (for school trips) and they are far from healthy a lot of the time. Providing nutritious school meals is a better option because it ensures children are getting at least one nutritious meal a day (as long as the child actually gets the food), two if they eat breakfast at school as well. Having a menu planned out at school meant to provide specific nutritional content to the children can be beneficial in other ways as well because it can also be used as a tool for teaching children healthy eating.

Mikewlf337's avatar

@Seaofclouds we cannot take care of every child in the world. The government cannot take care of every child in the world. Like I said before. Childhood obesity is caused by lack of activity as well as the food they eat. You can burn off calories but you won’t burn them off sitting in front of the tv. Responsibility lies with the parent not the government or anyone else.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@Mikewlf337 The government doesn’t pay for the school lunches (except for in cases of reduced/free lunch). The parents pay for it. I pay over $2.00 for my son’s lunch every day so he can have a hot nutritious lunch instead of taking a Lunchable to school every day. My son is a very picky eater, so packing a healthy lunch for him (that would stay at the appropriate temperature for several hours) is very difficult. I’d much rather him have the hot lunch at school than risk taking something that is going to reach an unsafe temperature or sending him to school with stuff that isn’t really the best for him. Yes, his pickiness is my issue and when we are cooking at home, I can make foods he will like and eat. But sending them to school (where he has no way of warming them up to proper temperature) is not a healthy option in my opinion.

I completely agree it’s the parents responsibility to get their child nutritious foods, but there are a lot of parents that don’t even know what that is or can’t afford the more nutritious options. I don’t think doing away with the school meals are an appropriate solution. Yes, children need to be more active (I already said that in my first response).

JLeslie's avatar

@Mikewlf337 I think the parents are the bigger part of the problem. I can’t help but wonder if kids really started getting fatter, and adults too for that matter, when women began working more? I know someone will jump all over me for saying that. Women are overwhelmed, they have so much to do, food winds up being fast, fatty, and processed. Most school lunches weren’t great for the last 40+ years, but the difference was kids at least got homecooked meals at home. So, I kind of agree with you that I am tired about the bitching about the schools (although ideally it would be great if those lunches were better) but putting the burden on the parents is not going to help I don’t think. Even with school lunches available, parents can opt to send their children to school with a home made lunch.

JLeslie's avatar

@Seaofclouds Seems like schools should have microwaves available for children? I used to take fried chicken to school, it was a little warmer than room temperature when it was lunch time.

Mikewlf337's avatar

@Seaofclouds I know the government don’t pay for the lunches. I was saying that if they stopped offering lunches that the people couldn’t blame the schools. I don’t think it is hard to pack a healthy lunch. When I was in school. I packed a lunch everyday. you can get him a small cooler to keep his lunch in. There are countless options on what to pack for him.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@JLeslie It would be nice if they did have microwaves, but my son’s school doesn’t even have an actual cafeteria. My son’s lunches are made at the middle school next door and brought over at lunch time for the children (to save costs on the schools).

@Mikewlf337 I’m aware of what the options are and I’m telling you, my son is an extremely picky eater when it comes to those options. I’m a nurse, I know what healthy eating is. I’ve even went and ate lunch with my son on several occasions. I know he gets a healthier lunch by eating at school than he would with what I feel safe packing him for lunch (with what he will eat with his pickiness). His pickiness is something we are working on getting rid of. It’s just a slow process.

I also never blamed the school lunches for childhood obesity. Sure they could be healthier than they already are, but as it stands now, they already have set guidelines they have to follow. I don’t agree with school that have soda machines and candy machines in them, but that’s not part of the school meals issue. Schools stopping serving the meals won’t decrease the number of children that are obese in my opinion, instead I could see it having the direct opposite effect as parents send their children to school with more junk than healthy food. Sure, that comes back to parental responsibility, but the question is about what we can do (as a whole) to help with childhood obesity, not just what parents can do.

The only think I mentioned about schools was improving and increasing the physical education program.

JLeslie's avatar

@Seaofclouds I am pretty sure my first elementary school didn’t have a cafeteria either. I always brought my own lunch, and then we moved and it was the first time I bought lunch at school I think? Even then we took the lunch back to the classroom. I actually am not sure, because what changed the most was my mom started working full time after we moved. It could have been she didn’t want to have to bother making me lunch? I have to ask her.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@JLeslie It could be a time issue, I’d agree with that for a lot of parents. When my husband goes to work, I get up at 5:30am to pack his lunch for him (I can pack him things that will stay cool enough in the cooler and he has a microwave at work to heat up leftovers), but I could definitely see it being an issue for some people. For me, it’s strictly a matter of knowing my son gets better options and more variety eating at school than he does if I were to pack him lunch since I’m not comfortable with risking things sitting at room temperature for several hours and him getting sick from it. I’ve tried ice packs and thermoses in the past and I’ve been disappointed with them on many occasions with the foods my son will eat.

JLeslie's avatar

@Seaofclouds I am not criticising you in any way, if it is coming across that way? Again, I worry more about what the children are eating outside of school than in school. The majority of children eat 5 meals a week in school, but eat about 23 times a week at home, if we assume they eat a total of 4 times a day.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@JLeslie No, I don’t think you are criticizing me, I just felt the need to explain. I agree the issue is more of what children eat at home, and by doing away with school meals, they’d just be eating more of what they eat at home, which could make things even worse in my opinion. I guess I’m just heavily defending the need to keep the school meals in place and not get rid of them. :)

jca's avatar

My mom used to make me sandwiches when I was in elementary school. They had mayo on them sometimes and I never got sick. I also ate the cafeteria lunches sometimes – I agree there’s more choice there. My sister was a bagel and cream cheese person – every day that was her lunch for a while.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Parents should seriously restrict internet, TV, and video games.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@jca I use to take peanutbutter sandwiches and bologna and cheese sandwiches to school a lot when I was younger. If my son would eat bread, I could send him with sandwiches, but he doesn’t. He’s getting there, but not quite there yet.

JLeslie's avatar

@Seaofclouds I never ate sandwiches. I still pretty much only eat my own sandwiches, although as I have become older I am more flexible, but still need to be able to say exactly what is going into the sandwich. And, it cannot sit around, because to me soggy bread is disgusting. For me to pack a sandwich for lunch, I would have to put everything separate from the bread and put it together right before eating it.

I make my husband lunch to bring to work every day, it is never a sandwich.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I want a sandwich. I want a peanut butter and honey sandwich. Where is bob_.

mattbrowne's avatar

1) Sidewalks.


3) and parents telling their kids to leave their rooms and go outside to play.

4) And traffic light labels on food:

red = totally unhealthy, not for daily use
yellow = unhealthy, eat small portion only
green = healthy

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