T Nation

This is horrifying.

I’m beginning to think that all those nutritional Chicken Littles may be on to something:


Begin crazy rant–

This is what happens to those with parents who want to “protect” their kids from all those dangers of sports while coddling them with candy. Was I the only kid who wasn’t bought unlimited amounts of soda and candy? I’ve seen the figures for % of overweight children in the 70’s, and it sure as hell isn’t genetics at work. Consider all the drugs that are illegal (esp. schedule 3-4) or the evil of cigs and how many people they can kill, then consider that McDonalds and Coke, the icons of America will end up killing more. Plus everyone gets uglier and uglier. No one has any self respect anymore.

—end rant

If you have a 6 year old who is obese, isn’t that child abuse on the parents part? I mean they had to start eating unlimited amounts of food at a very early age to get type II diabetes before the age of 10.

the number of people who will die this year from weight-related cause, like diabetes, will be nearly the same as die from tobacco, for the first time ever–within three years, it will be the number 1 cause of premature death

Fat kids are starting to piss me off. Everyone is blaming genetics and all kinds of shit on their children being fat. All the time I see sports teams folding because of lack of participation. Why? Because all the kids are inside playing video games and eating deep-fried twinkies (yes they exist). In the summers around here, I hardly ever see kids running around playing. They are always inside sitting on their asses. Another thing that pisses me off is people blaming McDonald’s and other fast food companies along with soft-drink companies for making everyone fat. Well dammit, if you got off your fat ass and did something every now and then, it wouldn’t affect you nearly as much. I was waiting for the bus today to go home, and this fat ass girl walks up and starts talking to the person next to me. This fat girl was breathing hard and heavy between words, and guess what, she was walking DOWNHILL. How ridiculous is that?

I do feel sorry for the people that have disorders such as hypothyroidism, but that can be controlled too. These people just need to get off their asses, walk PAST the fridge, and get outside. Walk a dog, play frisbee, build something for Christ’s sake, but dammit, DO SOMETHING!! I have a young cousin who is fat as shit, and his parents won’t LET him play sports even though he wants to. The parents are both fat, and my guess is that they never played sports or did anything worth a damn. In fact, the fatass father keeps a 20 oz coke next to his bed at night, just in case he gets thirsty. They go thru a 2-liter of pop a day. Are they asking to be fat or what? I mean damn, drink some damn H20 every now and then.

No wonder America is getting god damn fat as shit and people need to purchase 2 seats on airplanes. Americans eat so much god damn fast food and then blame the companies for making it taste good so they keep eating it. TAKE SOME FUCKING RESPONSIBILITY IN YOUR LIFE!!! Stop eating that shit and eat something good for you, like, I don’t know, VEGETABLES!?!

I’m sorry for such a rant, but this just really pisses me off. People are so damn lazy today, it’s ridiculous.

One other thing. I feel like an idiot for admitting this, but sometimes on Maury Povich, he has these shows about fat ass kids. I’m talkin about 2 year olds that are 150 lbs. Their parents don’t do a damn thing to stop them from eating!! They say that their kids cry if they don’t get food and if the parents hold it from them, they’ll go get it themselves!! Guess what, the parents AND grandparents are fat as shit also. Have they ever heard of locks? Lock that shit up and get the kids some good food. I mean damn, do it for their health and sanity. When I have kids, in like 800 years, my rugrats better go outside and do something. If they are fat, I’ll do extra stuff with them, I don’t care.

Sorry again for a rant :slight_smile:

Maybe this is natural selection kicking in. :slight_smile: It seems that we’re getting larger groups of extremes among our children. I see more high school kids with bodies college athletes would have envied years ago, and then I see overweight behemoths like the ones mentioned in the article more and more as well.

I can’t relate to being a lazy kid at all. I drove my parents nuts always wanting to go somewhere, play something, be outside, etc. Even though I ate crap (which is the beauty of being a teen for most of us), I never became overweight, or overfat, rather.

Given that there seems to be a consensus that the parents are the problem with fat kids, what do you all propose to do about it? I mean, basically a lot of these kids are left alone in the house from the time they get home from school until mommy and daddy come home from work – and in single-parent households that unsupervised time is going to be greater on average than in two-parent homes.

Kids being kids, when left unsupervised, will sit on their asses watching TV while stuffing themselves with the junk food with which mommy and daddy stock the cupboards. Maybe they might even exercise their thumbs on their Gameboys or something, but that’s about it.

Also, these kids are being told to stay in the house and not play outside because there is no one to watch them – how many young kids with both parents working are told to play outside when mommy and daddy are at work? On the one hand, that is probably logical for safety reasons. On the other, you are going to get fat, lazy kids that way.

I don’t know the answer – I don’t necessarily want laws dictating how parents raise their kids, especially when I think about how they would be enforced and the type of precedent they would set. What do you think?

If kids are at home, unsupervised, after school, then it is child negligence and is punishable in the courts. Most parents know better, and won’t have their kids home alone, whereas children go to babysitters or a relatives’ place.

All I was saying is that kids need to stop watching tv, go outside and play, along with eating a little healthier. Since most kids don’t know any better, the burden of doing these falls on the parents. The parents have to MAKE these kids do something. Give them incentives of some sort, or better yet, spend time with them doing the outdoor activities.

I understand that some parents can’t be around all the time. But please please have a guardian watch them. Am I making sense??

PS I hate these damn error messages!!!

After-school activities. Football, baskeball, soccer, even table tennis are all great activities and there are clubs for all these sports. 2 hours a day and not as many of these kids would be obese. Trust me, time for homework and other stuff would still be there.

I hate these error messages. I type a long post, get a message, try to go back, and my message is gone. not fair.

Boston…this topic sounds familiar…the article you supplied before sparked quite a debate if I remember correctly, I wonder what the newbies here would have to say about it.

Parents could start by not buying costco sized boxes of nutritional shit and by getting their kids involved in afternoon sports programs.

On obesity in general–
People ask me how I live such an ascetic lifestyle as to be in this shape, but I always tell them that it doesn’t take much; a few hours a week, and cutting back on nutritional garbage foods. I always hear in response though, “oh no, I don’t think I could do that- lifting weights is too tough/ not for me.” To jump from the 50th percentile to the 98th percentile in terms of health and fitness may require more motivation and effort than the typical person can muster, but jumping from the 50th to the 80th does not require all that much. Yet this jump would effect such a dramatic increase in quality of life. Do people really discount their futures and efforts to so great an extent that minor changes like these are not worth while? This same sort of mentality leads to total stagnation or even regression in all other areas of life as well. Does it really make someone that exceptional just because they are willing to trade input over the minimum required for a greater return? If it weren’t for the fact that this raises healthcare premiums and makes the population I have to date so much uglier, I would just throw up my hands and say “to hell with you all. I have my own damn life to worry about, I’m not going waste my energy babysitting all your fat asses.”

Actually, that is exactly what I’m saying. To hell with them. Next issue.

People in the media claim that excessive images of beauty are destroying kids’ identity and self esteem, leading them to eating disorders like anorexia and bulemia. Hogwash. Kids need more images of “unatainable beauty”, and we can call them roll models. What percentage of kids are actually suffering from undereating psychiatric disorders in this country? Given that the number who are overweight constitute a super-majority, it can’t be too high. Parents don’t see obesity as a negative though, after all, the kids are just following in their parents footsteps. Isn’t it cute?

Ok, really enough of this.

It all begins with the parents. They buy these kids video games, buy all this junk food, and then leave the kids to do what they what (which is child negligence or endangerment). So I highly doubt parents leave their kids alone as much as you think.

It does begin with the parents, as they don’t force the kids to get off their asses. It’s not that difficult; the parents can get off their asses and do something with their fat ass kids instead of giving them pop and deep-fried twinkies (which do exist, by the way).

Parents have to do these, because the kids don’t know any better. Instead of stuffing the cabinets with junk and shit foods, stock it with veggies and pastas, which forces the kids to eat healthier. I was always limited to what junk I could eat, but these obese children are not. I’ve seen tv shows with 2 year olds that weigh 150 lbs. How ridiculous is that? The parents either say that their baby is healthy and it is just baby fat (my ass) or they don’t want to discipline their kids because they’ll cry. boo freakin hoo. Discipline is necessary in a child’s life. Without it, things like this and worse happen.

McKee - I’ve never heard that excessive images thing. I can understand it though. I live in a college town where all the girls are skinny and beautiful and everyone is trying to be that perfect girl. The guys all wear button downs and khakis and dress shoes all the time. Miami University, Oxford Ohio, anyone heard of it? I swear it’s a cookie cutter town, where everyone looks a like and tries to be hot. There are so many instances of eating disorders here, as some of my good girl-friends here have them.

Although that is true in older people, younger kids have no notion of anything like that. They have no bias, no racism, no negative connotations of the sort, so I can’t see where this would be a valid argument, just like you said.


My lord, he wasn’t kidding.

I wonder how long it’ll take before excessive fat will gain such acceptance that those in shape will become the subject of ridicule. How long it’ll take before someone can be fat (or if you’d rather, portly. Rotund) and proud.


Im think Boston Barrister is right. Some people do have a predisposition to weight. We all know that a better diet and activity helps. What I don’t think some people understand, is how hard a single mom can have it. these people often struggle to survive. When you’re in that mode, it’s hard to get ahead in many different ways. Some people can’t afford the better foods. Some live in apts. etc. I hat this rise in obesity, but have a little understanding.
The concern for a child’s safety prevents that good old neighborhood play. You have to have the cash to live places like that. Some development communities don’t even have sidewalks. One parent makes it harder to watch the child, feed the child, entertain and provide for the child, etc. Afternoon sports programs can cost money along with time. remember a single mom has to prepare the food, shop, laundry etc.
I don’t like this situation, but have a little sympathy. Yes, these kids are at risk, but I don’t have aneasy answer.

irondoc, while I agree with everything you say, I was wondering what you would contribute the dramatic increase in obesity to. Are you saying that we’ve had just as a dramatic increase in single parent families? It’s just that we cite all of these factors for the rise in childhood obesity, but have things really gotten 10 times worse in the time period that the article discussed? I don’t know the answer to that; I just thought we should take it into consideration.

I guess cheap food sources could have gotten a lot worse nutritionally. That’s another consideration. We also might want to look into the figures on obesity among social classes. I can’t remember if the artical mentioned if obesity discriminated on the basis of wealth.

I think the world has also changed a lot recently in that there is less that you have to do to survive in America. Everything from revised welfare systems to the amazing technologies that we have today. You can get through life now with hardly any physical exertion, because so many things are taken care of for us. I’m not complaining at all about the advances our society has made, but there are people who will not exert themselves unless they absolutely have to. That’s a completely different mindset from those of us here who seek out physical exertion.

On a side note, I just started a new job. In the break room here, we have a drink machine. No, not a vending machine, but a free flowing fountain machine so that we can get all of the soft drinks that we want. On top of that, we get a giant bag of popcorn every morning that would feed the ravenous appetites of about 20 people. All of this from the same company that pays for our health insurance.

JW - The examples you saw on TV are clearly what I would call abuse. If you have a 2 year old in excess of 100 lbs, it’s your (parents) fault. I don’t think I weighed over 100 lbs until I was in the 5th or 6th grade and I was a little bigger than average at that time.

Those kids are the extreme though. We have many other factors to blame for this. As pointed out before, a single parent can sometimes have trouble finding and/or supervising outdoor activities for their kids. This is especially true at a time when physical education programs are being reduced or cut out of schools. Teachers in general have been underpaid and not respected very much, and the proverbial “gym teacher” is the classic example of this. Now we are starting to see how important a gym teacher is in our society.

Random notes:

  • You cannot separate the body from the brain. A fit persons brain functions more efficiently than an unfit person’s brain does. I’m sure all of know some real physical basket cases who are otherwise brilliant, but imagine how sharp they might be if their body was in shape. So I’m fearful of the effect this obesity trend is going to have on our country as more and more people grow up fat and sometimes fall far short of their potential as adults. If anyone is interested I can provide references for the fit/unfit brain comparisons.

  • I had dinner with an old soccer coach of mine a couple of months ago. He told me that kids now literally don’t know how to run well until a later age than kids of my generation (I’m 33). The culprits probably being video games and computers. So instead of 8-10 year olds being able to work on specific skills, he has them play games like tag and dodgeball so they can learn to run and cut. Sad.