The Obesity Epidemic; Are we doomed!

By Nick1962 Latest Reply 2012-06-07 20:27:50 -0500
Started 2012-06-02 17:33:28 -0500

This is a spinoff of another post featuring the recent news that New York Mayor Bloomburg, in an effort to possibly make some positive steps to get a handle on our obesity epidemic, floated the idea of limiting the serving size of soft drinks to 16 oz.

Discussion here with link to the New York Times article:

The debate in that thread was spirited, with many folks having strong opinions. This is a good thing! It means we’re paying attention to the world around us. At the end of the day, I think we all agreed there was a major problem with obesity, which I know isn’t the sole cause of diabetes, but is a huge contributor. However, we disagreed on three points. 1) What needs to be done to combat obesity. 2) Who is responsible to take those steps, and 3) how effective they would be.

As parents, we try to do the best to raise our kids healthy, and teach them healthy habits to take them into adulthood. Through my own “enlightenment”, and knowledge gained here at DC, I’ve come to the conclusion that most folks (ourselves excepted) have no clue what a healthy balanced diet is, much less share it with our kids. Even being in the food business nearly 20 years, I stand guilty as charged. I knew portion control, but rarely practiced it at my own table, never thinking I could be doing long term harm (however my 48” waistline should have tipped me off).

Like any savvy business, the food industry took advantage of our weaknesses and has been cashing in ever since. Ounce by ounce they enticed us to buy more and bigger, and we did. Some fast food meals can contain a whole days worth of calories and carbs in one sitting. And it’s not just fast food either.

So my follow up question is; is there something we, either as individuals, a group, society, or at a governmental level can do to ensure the current generation doesn’t get any bigger, while arming the next to live healthier lives than we seem to be. And, is it something we can all agree on, or are we all doomed to “dig our graves with our teeth” (thanks James) and eat ourselves into extinction.

115 replies

Pharmacist George
Pharmacist George 2012-06-07 02:03:36 -0500 Report

Well I couldn’t agree more with your statements. Believe me I know these facts firsthand because I fill those people’s prescriptions every day. I am filling prescriptions for Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol for 15 or 20 year olds. Those diseases just 5 to 8 years ago were affecting mostly people 60 years and older. As a matter of fact Type 2 diabetes is a recent nomenclature for a couple extinct ones. Not long ago Type 2 Diabetes used to be called Adult Onset Diabetes or Non Insulin Dependent Diabetes but those terms can’t be used any longer because they don’t apply.

The problems are huge and of epidemic proportions and mainly caused by the unfavorable choices people are making. During my pharmacy practise often people bring us prescriptions for Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure while they are munching on potato chips or they will be eating a cheese burger and fries while waiting for their prescriptions.

Small changes can litteraly bring us priceless health benefits. Switching from sugary soft drinks, juices and loaded coffee and tea beverage to water is one way. Another would be to snack on a fruit or vegetables and small amounts of nuts and almonds. Just pick up physcial activity by as simple as standing up and walking a couple steps then siting back down and repeating this cycle every 15 to 20 minutes will bring a lot of benefit.

Getting the government involved may help a little but at the end it will come down to the choices we make.

Nick1962 2012-06-07 11:09:28 -0500 Report

Thanks for chiming in here Pharmacist George. You are so right about one hand not knowing what the other is doing. I was one of those! Thankfully I'm better educated now. It's odd, but I often say diabetes is probably the best thing that could have happened to me.

Those small changes do add up too to make one big one. Government intervention should be the last resort I think we all agree, but maybe sometimes that's just the nudge we need to take matters into our own hands.

Pharmacist George
Pharmacist George 2012-06-07 11:26:20 -0500 Report

Good for you for the new direction in life you've taken. You are absolutely right it's the small changes that count. Many people think they have to do too much to be able to control diabetes or other chronic conditions. Where in fact one has to be aware that actually by not fueling the fire with gas (or obesity and other conditions with faulty lifestyle choices) we can actually put out those fires. As a result people won't suffer as much and we can put a dent in the rise of obesity and chronic diseases and live happily ever after but we have to act NOW.

That's what I have been able to do in my pharmacy pracctice and that is during a brief consultation whith my patients I would be able to give them simple information they can apply to reegain control of diabetes, obesity and other conditions. Often my consultations ended with a genuine handshake from my patients thanking me for caring and for the valuable information I provided them. Most importantly simple and small actions work.

So enough wining and start doing, it is time for people to rise above the challenge and start taking actions that will litterally save their lives. I feel very strongly about this.

Nick1962 2012-06-07 11:51:36 -0500 Report

Well, if you've read only half of the responses here, you know you're not alone in having a strong opinion. Thankfully there seems to be a movement beginning, and I know that some of it gets passed on just seemingly by "osmosis" - my co-workers see the changes I made and how I feel, now they want in on the action too!

Pharmacist George
Pharmacist George 2012-06-07 11:57:51 -0500 Report

More power to you because your progress is infectious and more people want to be like you as an example once they have witnessed how the changes have positively impacted you and your life. Let me know if you have any questions in the future or need any support in any area. Take care.

old biker
old biker 2012-06-03 16:45:45 -0500 Report

Hey Nick thanks for the two excellent discussions and the food for thought..This is a problem that took years in the making and there is no end in sight..There are so many contributing factors that are rooted very deep in place and they all play a part in this puzzle..I wouldn't know where to start. The last thing we need in this country is more legislation..Like Ron White the comedian likes to say."there's no fixing stupid" I knew for years I should quit smoking,did I?? No. I had to wait till it became a health issue..Lets see how honest we all are..If we never had to deal with diabetes…Lets throw it out of the equation would we still be working as hard at eating right and exercising as we are now

Nick1962 2012-06-03 17:19:53 -0500 Report

You are so right (unfortunately so). Like smoking though, i think we have come to the point as a country where we have to put the damaging food behind the counter next to the smokes. The smoking rate did decline since that happened (though I still kept the habit which i expect to kick this year), and has declined ever since. Bloomburg is making a start, though maybe misguided, which may do some good long term. It did take us a long time to get here, and it will be a long road back.

old biker
old biker 2012-06-03 17:51:29 -0500 Report

It is just not the food..It's the mind set we helped to put in place with our kids that is killing them in record numbers. When I was a kid,Back in the stone age.nobody had their own tv in their room..No PC, cell phone, or game boy..You could not keep us inside..Kids ran school back from school..We played football, baseball,basketball..There was no distraction nobody got a ride anywhere..I felt like Forrest Gump..Run I go down to our park and never see any adolescent kids running and playing..Toddlers with their mom's..But no teens. I find that sad

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-06-06 21:44:37 -0500 Report

I must have been your next door neighbor!! You couldn't keep me inside as I was having too much fun. It really sadens me to see how kids today live, Not much personal interaction as we had, even when together they play on their cell phone, lap tops, etc.. I miss those days of porch light flashing to come in or being in the yard when the street lights come on.

old biker
old biker 2012-06-06 22:11:21 -0500 Report

There was something I just read read about kids growing up and having problems communicating with each other face to face…take the texting away and they are lost..sad

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-06-07 17:16:21 -0500 Report

Have to agree, have you seen the commercial of the boy at grandma's house and he is playing video games, computer, etc and he calls his grandmother on his cell to bring him something to drink(grape soda, i think). It is for obesity, but it also hits home with lack of one on one communication, it is very sad.

Nana_anna 2012-06-06 22:24:51 -0500 Report

We always lived by this statement, "If they don't want it, to bad, they will eat anything when they are starving." It worked. My mom taught us right on the portion size, one serving, only. Especially if there was a desset. We there never was. The habit change for me when I got married, and my husband ate everything! I was in heaven, lol!

Nick1962 2012-06-03 18:18:27 -0500 Report

That was one of the rules in our house. One common tv set and one common computer, and the kid had limited time if front of both.
The trend with today's kids seems to be changing, at least around here, and i think you're absolutely right that will have to be a part of it. Facebook will eventually fade as will the whole iPhone thing. Video games are already being looked at as a stigma. My 19 year old neighbor won't even consider dating a guy with an elaborate game console. There's hope!

dietcherry 2012-06-02 22:26:39 -0500 Report

Im going to jump into the fray. Here is an excerpt from a news article I just posted:

"New research finds that almost one in four adolescents in the United States have diabetes or pre-diabetes, according to The New York Times. These are not children with juvenile (T1) diabetes but full-on type 2 diabetes."

Ive shared recently that cases of T2 have surpassed cases of T1 in adolescents. And Ive read that deceased teens and young adults in their 20's were discovered to have early heart disease revealed during autopsy. Yes I know there are more factors at play: inactive lifestyles, toxins in our food supply, lack of decent healthcare, cheaper junk food, and the list goes on.

The Government shouldnt HAVE to step in and keep citizens from eating themselves into crippling disease and early death; nevertheless thats probably exactly how it will play out. This is my opinion; I respect yours so please respect mine :)

suziesgirl 2012-06-04 20:09:36 -0500 Report

I agree with you also. In stead of the government interfereing with the diet of all Americans, perhaps they should monitor the FDA and the junk they aprove for food consumption. If they would stay in their own back yard and clean up the mess they help to create, we would all be a littler healthier. I too am concerned for the youth of this country. I see so many young women obese to the rediculous point. The government's FDA has no problem with high fructose corn syryp, but God forbid they approve Stevia to be added to foods. Our kids are in big trouble unless we get control over the junk. Limiting the size of soft drinks you can buy, really??? Someone needs to limit the amount of junk sugars they are allowed to put in it. How about not being able to buy junk with food stamps. I have a 300lb 27 yr old nephew on food stamps, I know hard to believe. He doesn't work so he qualifies. Guess what he is allowed to buy with them, you bet a Slurpie at the corner store. Can't afford real food, shouldn't be able to buy junk with our tax dollars. Just my opinion of coarse. Soon he will also be on medicaid for his physical alements. Oh well, someday the maddness will stop, when there are no foodstamps to aid and abaid this nonsense.

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-06-07 17:30:08 -0500 Report

I think I read recently that you can't buy soda with food stamps, but what about candy, potato chips, etc? I think they should follow the wic program where stamps have to be for vegies, fruit, dairy, meat, non- sugar cereals, beans/legumes, etc. That program won't let an item not on the list go through, so why can't stamps follow same type of protocal? They can also have a site set up for recipes that can be followed so as to make the stamp amount last for the whole month. When I worked at the grocery store I would see customer's come in and basically blow their whole amount in one shopping trip with items that would in no way last beyond a week or two. I think this would help alot.

suziesgirl 2012-06-07 19:29:18 -0500 Report

Only in America my dear. It should come to the attention of all taxpayers, but its a slow process and much harder to overturn. Some people have been on the system since birth. It's a sad thing, nanny state. It will drive us crazy to think about it too much.

Caroltoo 2012-06-07 19:10:30 -0500 Report

It's a Federal program so that must be true of all states now. That's good news. I thought it was really abuseive when at the time I became aware of it, but had to follow the law without discriminating even though I thought it was wrong.

Nick1962 2012-06-07 20:27:50 -0500 Report

I remember when it went into effect here. Lots of grocery lines getting held up because stuff had to be sifted through.

jayabee52 2012-06-07 19:14:02 -0500 Report

The way I understand it, yes it is a federal program where they give money in "block grants" to each state. It is up to each state to determine the rules of the program in that state, so the things one can buy may vary from one state to another.

Nick1962 2012-06-07 20:25:48 -0500 Report

That's how I understand it also, but I also though it depended on how much the individual state kicked in as well, which would account for the variations.

Caroltoo 2012-06-05 16:44:41 -0500 Report

Oh, I saw this so often while I had a 7-Eleven franchise … slurpees galore. Also moms who would send several kids through the line with a one dollar food stamp and a 3 cent candy. She would then collect all the change and legally buy a pack of cigarettes for herself!

Nick1962 2012-06-04 20:19:44 -0500 Report

Can't do that with food stamps in my state thank heavens. Was wondering when you'd join the party here suziegirl! Knew you had some strong convictions on the topic.

suziesgirl 2012-06-04 21:16:27 -0500 Report

I know, I'm a stinker. Seems like I have strong convictions about everything these days, those damn harmones. Glad your state is on the ball, wish they would get on board in Fla. They aren't helping people here at all with a free for all sytem. Were you waiting for that response Nick?? LOL how well you are getting to know me. LOL

Nick1962 2012-06-05 11:47:36 -0500 Report

Stinker! Naaah. Nothing wrong about being outspoken if it helps someone.
I don't think it's a question of getting to know you, but rather how much like me you are!

suziesgirl 2012-06-07 19:37:54 -0500 Report

Nick, I think deep down inside we are all pretty much the same. We all want fairness and honesty, however we know that "aint the way it is". We do keep trying though, don't we? They say lower your stress level, well mine stays so high these days, but you would have to bury your head in the sand to not respond to the world these days. Hey, heard a good one today, I had a diabetic patient who has a co worker who was in a study where he was cured, healed you name it, but does not have diabetes anymore. The study was Isolets. I recently read about this in book called Bombshell, by Suzzanne Summers. I was truely amazed. There is some pretty neat things going on with diabetes. Guess we won't hear too much about it for some time. Wonder if you can go back to eating junk? I don't want junk to eat, but 1 slice of cheese cake would be nice. HA!! Have a good one Nick,

Nick1962 2012-06-07 20:21:34 -0500 Report

Yeah, it's pretty hard to not to be effected by it once you've found out just how easy it can be to gain control if you're willing. I've been following a lot of the science of diabetes and there is so much out there that's happening it gives me hope - intestinal cell transplants, robotic pancreas, islet therapy - I'm thinking there should be something big within the next 10 years. In addition to the new healthier movement, I can't help but get excited.
Cheesecake? What's that? I think the only dessert I've had more than one spoonful of in the past 5 years was a coconut/macadamia tart. This was well worth the spike, and better than…well, let's just say it was really really good.
Best to you as well.

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-06-03 16:05:00 -0500 Report

Great reply! I have to agree with you, our self control seems to no longer exist.

dietcherry 2012-06-03 17:20:28 -0500 Report

Thanks and youre right about self-control !!!

dietcherry 2012-06-03 18:10:16 -0500 Report

lol I feel very strongly about this subject and ultimately I just want everyone to live long, healthy, and productive lives, enjoying the best health possible :)

Nick1962 2012-06-03 11:37:54 -0500 Report

Yup, today's statistics - 80% of us or overweight, 30% are obese. One of the main reasons we have a lack of adequate health care is because we spend so much time treating things that could be prevented.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-06-03 16:23:02 -0500 Report

Of the 20% who are not overweight and the 70% who are not obese, how many of them are diabetic, have high cholesterol or suffer from high blood pressure or other medical problems? These are the people statistics see as being healthy.

Society equates people of normal body weight and have the proper body fat index as being healthy. I have taken a lot of thin people to the hospital in the back of an ambulance with lights and sirens because they have had a stroke, are suffering from diabetes, or have extremely high blood pressure. The worse was a 12 year old with no heart problems who came in the house feeling faint with numbness in her arms and legs. We got there hooked her to a monitor and she was in bad shape. She had a massive heart attack and died before we got her to the hospital. This little girl was of normal weight for her age and height. I also had a classmate in 10 grade have a massive heart attack at breakfast.

There are overweight people who do not suffer from high blood pressure, have diabetes or high cholesterol. I was over weight most of my life and I do not suffer from high blood pressure or high cholesterol. My sister who is not overweight had a mild heart attack and has high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

I think once society stops focusing on obese people and focus on healthy eating for everyone, make it easier for people to have access to proper health care and make fresh foods more readily available and affordable for everyone, only then will there be healthier people.

As for treating things that could have been prevented, have to do with inadequate health care, look at babies born with heart problems or other medical problems they may suffer from for the rest of their lives, look at those of us who are at risk of heart problems because both parents had it. Keep in mind some health problems are caused by the genes we have and we are not responsible for that. I do agree that to a point we may all live longer if we led a healthier lifestyle however even if we do that doesn't mean we won't die at some point.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-06-02 22:50:56 -0500 Report

Personally I don't want the government at my dinner table telling me what I can or cannot eat. I don't think anyone wants that. People have a right to eat themselves into a coma if they choose to do so. Yes parents should have enough sense to provide healthy foods for their children. However, many people choose not to do that because they themselves have simply given up on their own health or simply don't care.

Obesity is going to be a part of society. It has been there since the beginning of time. It is an issue for two reasons. One because the cost of health care for an obese person and second because Hollywood thinks everyone should look thin enough to hide behind a toothpick. To them being thin means being beautiful and obesity is ugly.

Not one of us can control what anyone eats nor can we control what they eat. The next thing someone will suggest is automats where people can go and pay for properly portioned meals.

My question for you would be, would you want someone standing over you telling you to eat this not that every time you decided to have a meal or a snack? If the government is involved Big Brother will be larger than life an in total control of everyone in this country.

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-06-03 16:15:13 -0500 Report

Not attacking you for your personal thought, ok:) I would rather not have any one telling me what or when to eat either, but I don't want to pay higher premiums and have less coverage because of the people who don't practice self control for what ever the reasons. Eat all you want, but pay for your health care due to being over weight yourself or let the insurance company penalize the individuals coverage/checkbook not as a whole. Then maybe we will see some changes?

Nick1962 2012-06-03 11:32:34 -0500 Report

Actually Joyce, the automat isn't a bad idea, and it's already started. Most stores near me already have a dinner station that will set up a proper hot meal while you wait. Of course what could be closer to the automat than your freezer and microwave? Trouble is what we put in that microwave in the form of pre made meals is terribly unhealthy in most cases. I remember the first Hungry Man TV dinner (loved the salisbury steak). Therein lies one major problem. Most people eat to satisfy a mental craving, not to become nourished, and like Carol pointed out, we don't possess the genetic trigger that tells us when we've taken on what we need and to stop.
I must disagree that obesity has been around since the beginning of time. I've got a hobbyist's interest in archeology, and to date I've not seen any remains unearthed that suggested obesity except among kings and royals. In fact, obesity was a sign of wealth and power well into the late 19th century. It proved you had the funds to eat well. The thin body image wasn't started by Hollywood, it was the egyptians.
Government intervention into food has been going on since President Truman signed the National School lunch Act in 1946 - a quote: “The well nourished school child is a better student. He is healthier and more alert. He is developing good food habits which will benefit him for the rest of his life. In short, he is a better asset for his country.” Why we stopped this I don't know.

suziesgirl 2012-06-04 20:19:41 -0500 Report

It wasn't very profitable! Thats why it stopped. I agree that eating is a major crutch for some people. I dominates just about everything, everywhere. I almost get sick when I see all the food commericals promoting foods that are so very bac for people. They pass them off as gotta haves, and it works. They make money, and people get sick. Sort of a win, win, for the food industry and the medical industry. How sad, but I believe that many people are starting to wake up to the hype. Not as many as should, but nothing is changed overnight. I am no longer pre-occupied with food, but what foods are best for me. It's harder, but It's worth it.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-06-03 16:56:04 -0500 Report

LOL Nick I loved it also but we never had that until I was in my 20's and bought it to see what it tasted like. My mom was not a believer in anything frozen. The Salisbury steak was the worse food you could eat but it was tasty. Don't ask me why. My microwave is used for storing cereal and cracker boxes. I don't use it at all.

Interesting facts thank you and I stand corrected. Nick if you saw what we were served in school it would make you gag today. My elementary school did not have a cafeteria so we had to take lunch if mom was not home lunch time which was rare. We took lunch or rainy days and cold snowy days. The only thing we had provided by the school was a half pint of milk that cost us 3 cents.

The food in Jr High and High School would gag a horse. I was not used to eating mass produced food so if I didn't like the food for lunch the next day I took my lunch to school. I did not want Salisbury steak floating in gravy with a layer or two of grease on it or fried chicken with so much grease you could grease the hinges on the back gate with it. My mom did domestic work and she was taught to cook by her mother so she taught us how to cook and because she cooked us meals at home we never went to fast food restaurants. We rarely go to them today. In fact we rarely had anything that came out of a box or can. We rarely go to them today.

Nick I think the school lunch program was a very good and still is a very good program and over the years the readjustment of the program has caused schools to have healthier meals for kids. The school where I worked is a Title 1 school which means breakfast and lunch are provided for kids who need this. It is sad when I know that kids in my community only get those two meals a day and it is hit or miss evenings and weekends. When the State took over and we got a new principal who hired inexperienced teachers who never experienced hunger was horrible. Teachers were taking food because they thought the kids were being served too much food. Someone from the state was visiting and saw this and put a stop to it. At teachers meeting the teachers complained that the food would be wasted. I said so what many of the kids in your class room live in conditions you wouldn't put your dog and many go to bed hungry at night. For some of them, these are the only two meals they get and Title 1 entitles them to it. What I suggested was that if kids left their fruit cups and pieces of fruit let them keep it for a mid-morning snack.

My main concern is not obese kids but kids who are homeless or who live beneath the poverty level and do not have enough food to eat.

Nick1962 2012-06-03 17:29:04 -0500 Report

Our school food was no better. In fact the hospital i worked at actually got rave reviews for it's food if that tells you anything. Thankfully with the help of folks like Jamie Oliver, school foods are becoming haelther and at least more mainstream than tater tots, mac & cheese, and mystery meat which are cheap to produce 'en mass.
Homeless and poverty stricken children do deserve attention. Frankly, I could see if someone like the beverage companies wanted to continue selling their products, then a tax (like cigarrettes) could be levied to have school cafeterias provide and evening meal for these folks.

suziesgirl 2012-06-04 20:33:39 -0500 Report

Really?? Another tax? Where does it end? How many kids are we seeing in the woods these days, or on the streets sleeping on newspapers? Yes there are homeless kids everywhere, but, why do we have to feel responsible for irresponsible parents. Many of these kids have parents to recieve food stamps and government assistance. What do they do with the food stamp money? Sell them for drugs, cigarretts, beer? Can we take over for all the parents who should not be parents? I think not. I don't know about you, but I am sick of paying a tax for everything under the sun. Now we have to pay for kids to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at school. Maybe the kids should just live at school and then everything they do can be monitored and we can pay for it. I thought kids went to school to get an education, not to be raised by school teachers. When do parents become accountable for raising the children they brought into this world, stop those welfare checks and food stamps, bet they would learn real quick to make a lunch and serve dinner for their kids. No that won't happen, we need to be a nanny state pick up the slack for the slackers. Yes there are people who need our help, they are not proffesional takers. We have created a monster in this country and its called welfare. It was never meant to be a source of permanent income, it was to help people until their situation changed. Now they keep the income taxpayers provide and get side jobs for all the niceities, like new cars. This story never ends and I don't think it ever will

dietcherry 2012-06-02 23:16:50 -0500 Report

My answer for you would be: people already stand over me and tell me how to eat

JSJB 2012-06-03 03:59:56 -0500 Report

You have to have more family time with the kids. Be more involved with their lives. Today people just want to have children and when they can fend for themselves they forget about them and thing of their own lives. This is the problem with the younger generation.

dietcherry 2012-06-03 08:12:03 -0500 Report

Absolutely JSJB. The shift away from responsible parenting is resulting in all kinds of devastating effects. Excellent grasp of the situation!
Of course I was being flip above about the food police, in the guise of our family, friends, co-workers, etc. Funny how these self-appointed officers know what we shouldnt eat but havent a clue about themselves and/or their offspring!! lol Education is key :)

Irish1951 2012-06-02 18:55:47 -0500 Report

I agree that there is definitely a major problem here. It seems odd that people haven't made certain connections between waist size and the increase in D. As I stated in the other thread, kids in school are lacking in Physical Education classes. The school boards see arts, music and phys ed as the first targets in budget cuts. They have sold out to the standardized test are the need for more class time and less playground/ phys ed. I believe that these programs should be mandatory. If the politicians truly want to pass laws, I would fully support that.
The idea of limiting advertising is interesting and possibly workable. The trouble again will be who gets to determine what constitutes what is the recommended daily allowance for a particular item. Is it calories, carbs, sugar, fats, etc. The medical community doesn't agree on what type of diet is best for us much less the general population.
As to the final suggestion, the foster care system in this country is notorious for being inadequate. This would totally overwhelm the system. Further, I am sure that the intent would be a temporary removal with the goal of returning the child once the situation was remedied. Do we require that the family receive some type of training before the child returns? Who and how would this be overseen? The logistics and cost in that type of effort would be mind- boggling.
We need to address these issues but I think it does come down to personal responsibility. The various levels of government and there agencies can only do so much. Education is the first step. As suggested "home economics" and health/phys ed are a starting point. Ultimately, we can only do so much as a group or as a government. People will choose what they will and there is little we can do to change that.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-06-02 21:06:31 -0500 Report

Irish I agree with you. The woman who is the Executive Director of our community association is a retired Certified Nutritionist. She started a healthy eating and cooking classes for kids. The community gardens supply them with fresh fruits and veggies in season and kids enjoy being in the program.

The school where I worked had a gym. It wasn't used because there was no money in the budget to have the leaky roof fixed or the warped floor. It was unsafe for kids to use. I went to our State Capital on a meet the legislators night and got into a major argument with one of them because he was blowing smoke about conditions of the schools and putting money in them would be a waste. Funny when the state took over the school and gave it to a private entity, the state had to fix the gym.

The major problem with obesity that must be addressed should start in the Human Resource Department where Food Stamps are distributed. Young mothers simply don't know what foods to purchase let alone how to prepare them. You see them in the supermarket with two carts, one filled with fast fix foods that are loaded with salt and high in calories. Cans of veggies instead of fresh. The other cart is filled with chips, cookies, sodas, milk, sugary cereal and candy.

I had phys ed all the way through to high school and home economics from middle to high school. I hated those classes because I already knew how to cook (I wanted Auto Repair shop. Back then that was unheard of for a girl).

As you said people will choose what they will and there is very little if anything we can do to change them. People will diet or make changes when they feel there is a need for them to change.

old biker
old biker 2012-06-04 11:31:34 -0500 Report

I agree, Another problem is the food banks..They are there for people who need them..Stocked with donations from local merchants and I'm not sure if any federal money is at their disposal..All the education on nutrition is useless if you can't supply the proper food for your family.
There was a time right after I was laid off, that I went to our local food bank. I think I went twice..It should of been called the sugar shack..This place was isle after isle high carb items, candy for kids and all the bread you can cart off.and in all fairness I was told their was chicken and hams available some months and lots of juices..You can't fault people for doing what they have to do to survive..But I watched enough pasta being handed out to feed a small army

suziesgirl 2012-06-07 19:43:45 -0500 Report

You are so right Old Biker, when we were kids, we ate some terrible food, because it was free. But, ya know, there was not good reason for it, but a father who didn't like to work much. Being laid off, well thats another story and you are right, people have to survive and feed their children as best they can. I don't think it hurts to fill those bellys with maybe not so good foods as long as it isn't for a life time. Maybe that is why we are supposed to pray over our food, ya know, I'm sure of it.

Nick1962 2012-06-02 19:07:36 -0500 Report

Totally agree about starting in the schools.
As for the advertising, we already have basic nutritional guidelines in place, we'd just have to break that out into what constitutes a meal.
And yes, the third one would end up being a social issue requiring training of the parents. I know that system is already overloaded, and it would create what some call a nanny state, but hey, that's why it's called child welfare.

DeanaG 2012-06-02 18:52:31 -0500 Report

Mandatory physical education classes in addition to the home economics classes you mentioned.

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-06-03 16:57:18 -0500 Report

YES!!! I think all kids should have to do this as I did when I was in school. We had recess and a PE time in elementary school, then from 6th to 12th grade we had to have PE as a class all year long and only in 10th to 12th grade could we pick the activity we wanted, we also had to shower after each pe class. It is sad that they cut out pe and water usage when trying to do the school budgets. We had home ec in 8th grade and again in 10th or 11th. My children ages 17 to 29 only had to have 1 semester of pe in high school and didn't have to take home ec at all. In middle school they didn't have to do either!

I must confess, that PE was my favorite as I was very athletic, runner, dancer and gymnastics so I actually looked forward to them when my friends dreaded it. But today with all the tech games and such, kids don't go out and play so they need the pe classes. The new thing on our street is kids riding electric/gas powered scooters! One more way to take exercise away.

old biker
old biker 2012-06-04 11:04:58 -0500 Report

so right on..I too was a runner at one time…Bugs me to no end to watch young kids at the park sitting on thier duff just texting away

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-06-04 15:29:40 -0500 Report

I agree with you there, I don't mind them talking with friends, but put the phone down and do something for exercise! I wouldn't even mind if they talked on the phone while walking around the park, or better yet, meet the friend at the park and walk together. I know technology can be good, but it sure can be soo bad:(

Nick1962 2012-06-02 17:33:47 -0500 Report

OK, I’ll start.
It occurred to me that since the basic home economics classes were taken out of schools, most people never really got any formal education on how to properly prepare foods in the home. I’d like to see a mandatory restyled “home economics” semester long high school class where the focus is on not only portion control, but label reading, average daily requirements for things like calories, carbs, sugars, fats, etc., and above all comparisons to what we need to eat versus the value of what is available to us. After all, these are life skills.

Second would be to limit food advertising like we have with sugared cereals. If you have a meal or even individual sandwich/dish what have you, and it clocks in more than the recommended daily allowance for that portion, you can’t advertise it. Yes, personal responsibility and moderation are key, but we limit beer advertising because some just don’t have that willpower.

Last, and I know this will be controversial, but I think we need to determine the legal line where obesity becomes neglect or abuse in children. 17% of children in the US are considered obese. It’s pretty clear we’re failing them somehow, and I think parents need to be held accountable to some degree for their welfare. Just my opinion.

Caroltoo 2012-06-03 16:16:52 -0500 Report

Hopefully, training in the latest information on diet and nutrition. When you said "Home Economics" I flashed back to a lesson on "How to select a good piece of meat". The recommendation was to look for a well marbled piece because the included fat woud make the meat more tender and more tasty. True, it is more tasty and tender, but oh so different than today's suggestion that we avoid saturated fats and return to the leaner beef that are grass fed, not corn fed!

Nick1962 2012-06-03 17:32:51 -0500 Report

When i graduated from high school, that was the last home ec class we had. A shame too, I enjoyed spending time with the girls.
Yes, the class would need some serious updating, like how to cook on a limited time frame, preparing your own convenience "packages", and as you say, how to properly select foods.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-06-04 10:06:16 -0500 Report

Nick we have Technical High Schools in our city. These schools teach skills along with regular classes. These schools have programs such as Paramedic/Police Officer, Cooking, Beauty, Auto, Computer/Communications to help kids prepare for a future. Some go on to college while others end up with skills to help them get jobs. I still think they should have enhanced home economics classes in Middle and High School.

I wanted to take auto shop in high school but wasn't allowed because that wasn't what girls were supposed to do. I suffered through home economics but had an uncle who had a gas station. I spent my summer pumping gas and helping the mechanic change oil, rotate tires and fix flats as well as do other small repairs. When I got my own car and had to take it to the shop, I told the mechanic what was wrong with it.

My parents had two girls. Mom taught us how to fish, crab, sew, cook, and paint. Dad taught us how to properly use and respect his tools. My sister was the coordinator for 14 years for students at the university where she worked in the Habitat for Humanity and has helped build houses from Maine to Florida. She can frame walls and hang sheet rock with the best of them. We watched a video, bought the proper wrench and changed the kitchen faucet. As she says it is expensive to be a helpless woman these days.

Nick1962 2012-06-04 11:29:38 -0500 Report

For us here those are called “Community Colleges” (we called them tech schools up north). Some used to have culinary programs, but nothing on nutrition. We do have a few life skills programs, but they’re mainly geared to those high school students who are clearly not college material, and may not make it through a tech school either – those who’ll graduate high school but enter the job market as minimum wage, unskilled labor.

I was pretty much on my own as a kid (had a sister who needed more attention), so if I wanted something, I had to figure it out myself. Taught myself to sew on an old Pfaff sewing machine and made myself a down filled winter jacket from a Frostline kit, and pretty much taught myself to cook (no such thing as microwave meals at the time). As nutty as I think it is, this whole “preparer” movement that seems to be around now might have some merit. There’s a whole generation who’ll go hungry if the power goes out.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-06-04 19:07:08 -0500 Report

Nick outside of teaching a test that will get kids no where in life, schools have got to get back to the basics of teaching. When I graduated from high school I went to work. I graduated from College in 2007. Kids don't learn how to figure things out in school anymore. The home economics teacher taught nutrition, how to prepare meals and how to buy nutritious foods. Back then there were no microwave ovens and frozen foods were frowned upon by moms who cooked meals. If you want kids to eat and be healthy someone has to teach them these things. Parents who are not healthy eaters are not going to teach their kids about being healthy. Kids will suck up information like sponges as long as you make the information interesting and fun to learn.

Nick kids today wouldn't survive like you did. They don't know how. I have male cousins who can cook and one who designs and makes clothing for men and women. He made another cousins wedding dress and it was gorgeous. We were taught to be self sufficient. Kids today wouldn't know what to do when the lights go out or even what to do if the light bulb in their bedroom blew out.

Nick1962 2012-06-04 20:15:45 -0500 Report

You're right, and that would need to be yet another step in the battle. There are kids who'll grow up to be doctors and stock brokers, but the majority won't. Life skills in general aren't taught today, either by parents or schools. No wonder kids are becoming diabetic.
I had a young coworker just today ask if she could use water in her radiator becouse she thought it was low, then ask for a dollar for a bottle of water for the vending machine. Really? Can't just use an empty bottle from the recyling bin and fill it in the bathroom? I think you and I agree here, these kids are really screwed up and ill prepared to take care of themselves adequately.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-06-04 23:34:32 -0500 Report

Nick, I work for a non profit. We just finished a grant doing outreach that provided information on Childhood Lead Paint Poisoning. The purpose was to provide information to parents of children age 0-6 years old and pregnant women. We did outreach at supermarkets, health fairs and daycare centers.

You would not believe how many young mothers refused to take this information. It gave them information on Tenants Rights, how to have your home tested, how to clean your home to reduce lead and all kinds of resources.
One mother told me she didn't want the information. Her mother was with her and made her take the information and she took some for her other daughter. Grandparents were taking the information for their children. Fathers were willing to take information.

If parents don't care enough to take FREE information how on earth are they ever going to get and use information about other childhood diseases, how to identify them and what resources are available for them. How are they going to learn how to eat properly and feed their children healthy meals if they say they don't have time to take the information (a lot of them used that excuse) or they don't want it?

The only supermarket in our community gave away computers to students who had the highest grade in the school, the most improved, and the student who never missed a day from school, was on time and completed all assignments. They had 50 computers and only gave away 6. Parents wouldn't participate.

We had a camp-out for kids, a mother came and asked us to feed her 3 kids because she didn't have time. She had to get her hair and nails done because she had a date that night. She also asked if her kids could participate. I told her we could not feed her kids and they were too young to participate. She wanted us to feed her kids and babysit them so she could go out and have fun. Had she said I don't have enough food to feed them, they would have been fed.

If the government wants to do something they should enforce parenting laws and hold parents responsible for their children.

Nick1962 2012-06-05 11:44:45 -0500 Report

Joyce, you're seeing that unfortunate percentage of kids the system isn't working for. THANK YOU for the help you provide.
I know it might be a stretch, but I'm hopeful that these kids will grow up and become productive adults depite their parent's ignorance.
I have a friend who's a councelor and works with these kids, and through some of her work (through the child) positive changes have been made for the whole family. It may be just a pipe dream, but I think it can be done.

jayabee52 2012-06-05 00:04:35 -0500 Report

Enforcing parenting laws means they'd have to find more foster homes, and that from my admittedly little experience (my #2 son got involved with a girl in the foster care system for a while in middle school) was also kinda a racket.

I think there are no really good answers to this problem.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-06-05 11:24:01 -0500 Report

James I agree, even with the laws we have parents still are not held responsible. For instance we have a law for parents whose kids didn't go to school. Parents complained the law could cause them to lose their jobs. One woman was arrested and had to spend 24 hours in jail her complaint was she couldn't make her 2 elementary school kids go to school. Her kids went to school after that. How do you allow your kids tell you they are not going to school and you agree with it?

We also have a curfew for kids 16 and under. Our former Police Commissioner told us at a meeting that a 10 year old was picked up 2 weeks in a row at 2 in the morning over a mile from his house hanging out. Curfew is midnight. His father came to the curfew center at School Headquarters to pick him up and said his son could stay out as late as he wanted to and there was nothing anyone could do to stop him. The next night the same kid was picked up again on a different side of the city. The father came and the commissioner ordered him arrested for child negligence. At trial the father was order to pay a $1,000.00 fine and a weekend in jail. His kid was never picked up again.

The foster system needs a major overhaul. I know people who told me to apply to be a foster parent for the money. I am not a child person. I can only tolerate them in small doses and I don't need money so bad that I would take a child just to get the money.

Nick1962 2012-06-05 09:59:46 -0500 Report

James, could it be that there may not be any really good single answers, but many good smaller ones?

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-06-02 20:51:11 -0500 Report

Nick why put the responsibilities on the schools. Good manners, self respect, healthy eating habits, are all the responsibility of the parents. Having worked in a school, I have seen teachers deal with making sure there were clean clothes in the school for some of their students, digging in closets to get them school supplies, dealing with angry or parents who use the school as a baby sitting service by not picking up their kids. Teachers took them home in their vehicles.

The problem with obesity are parents who think Oodles of Noodles is a great meal for dinner, who buy boxed macaroni and cheese or preparing frozen meals for dinner. All of these foods are high in calories and salt. It is easier for a parent to go to a drive-thru and order breakfast, lunch and dinner or pick up the phone and order a meal than to cook themselves. It seems children control what they eat not the parents.

As far as parents being accountable, there are kids, from both good and bad homes who go out and vandalize private and public property, who steal, rape, kill, assault people, are disruptive in school, who bully and do countless other things and in most cases, the victims have to sue the parents. No one holds parents accountable for the actions of their children. I actually asked a juvenile judge why parents are not held responsible for their children.

The parent whose child was taken by CPS because the child was over weight was the stupidest thing I have ever seen happen. There are children who are abused, abandoned, coming home to find the family gone, who are homeless and are bounced from relative to relative. These are the children CPS should be looking out for.

locarbarbie 2012-06-04 07:27:26 -0500 Report

I agree totally, parents are abdicating their resposibilities and are not being held responsible for their kids actions. I remember distinctly, my father lecturing us on how our actions reflected on him. It was a mindset that adults seemed to have back then that seem to be missing in so many parents today. I also remember that we could not get away with much as kids because ALL the mothers on the block seemed to be "spys with eyes in the back of their heads!" How often I would come home to be grounded because one of the other moms would call my mom to "tattle" on something I had done wrong! And my mom would thank the informant, instead of telling her to mind her own business as so many would do today! There does not seem to be the same type of solidarity and concern anymore.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-06-04 09:52:26 -0500 Report

Barbie, parents today are in the mindset that "it takes a village to raise a child" I am in the mindset that the village is tired of raising the village idiots children. People today seem to give birth and that is where parenting stops. Children are allowed to run around the neighborhoods doing what they want to do because they know mom and dad are not going to stop them. If you tell a parent their child did something, depending on the parent, you will get I will take care of it, my child didn't do it or mind your business.

I grew up the same way as you. We toed the mark because we knew if we did something another parent was going to tell our parents and who wants to be grounded in the summer months?

Even worse, children control the parents. I see it in the mall, the grocery store, restaurants and other public places. I see kids, fight, curse or simply tell their parents no and the parent stands there at a loss as to what to do. In some cases, grandparents are the worse. They think what their grandkids are doing is adorable. If you didn't allow your children to act out in public why allow the grandkids to do it? We didn't have time out in our house. Our version of time out was the period between getting slapped or spanked and your senses returning to normal.

suziesgirl 2012-06-07 19:49:13 -0500 Report

Our society has lost so many of its moral values that it is beyond scarey. We just need to hold on, I think it will only get worse.

suziesgirl 2012-06-07 19:48:05 -0500 Report

Oh yea Nick, sometimes really big things start out as very small ones. Talking to people is how we spread the good word. One person at a time.

locarbarbie 2012-06-04 11:32:33 -0500 Report

I too grew up with my share of spankings, and the closest I came to a time out was to be sent to bed without dinner (at 5:00!) I did not feel abused (although plenty sorry for myself at times!) and I feel that I turned out to be a good mother and citizen.

I agree that a large percentage of today's kids are disrespectful (whatever happened to "yes maam, no sir, please and thank you?), unruly, rude, profane and sometimes downright mean. My grandaughter is 13 and she has told me that there are several girls who cut themselves for attention, one her age who has attempted suicide, and she has wittnessed so many mean, and vicious actions of girls that the school just poo poos. I never experienced things like that at the age of 13 and I wonder what in the world is going on?

Nick1962 2012-06-02 21:04:25 -0500 Report

Oh, I'm not dumping everything on schools, just a seed at least. You are so very correct that parents play the biggest part, but when they are unable (or unwilling), the school is the next defense.
Bad parenting is an issue all unto itself.
You open up a whole new can here - do we need better child laws? What you've seen are pretty severe cases, and not really the general populus. There will always be cracks to fall through, but I was looking at the big picture.

Caroltoo 2012-06-02 20:54:05 -0500 Report

So how would you solve it?

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-06-02 22:40:34 -0500 Report

You can't solve the problem at all because in this country people have the freedom of choice. Even with laws to stop obesity people will still be obese. There would be no way to enforce or regulate what people eat or how much. I don't think there is a congressman or senator who is going to be stupid enough to stand up to the food industry by banning fast food places.

We don't need better child laws we need laws to force people to properly raise their children and be responsible parents. Something that also would never happen. Most people think they are good parents. People forget that children don't work so they are not responsible for what they are given to eat. When they are old enough to work, they now have access to fast food places and make bad food choices even if they were raised eating healthy.

I think what needs to happen is mandatory phys ed classes in all schools. This would at least give kids the opportunity to exercise, learn how to be a team player and have fun. Parents should take away electronics once or twice a week and make their kids go out and play.

Nick1962 2012-06-03 11:43:43 -0500 Report

Joyce, i notice you're viewing this from a deny and limit perspective where any action would be viewed as either removing a freedom, or forcing behaviors. Our food stamp system has already taken a stand on nutrition, so why not make it a reward system. Keep your family healthy and you pay less health insurance?

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-06-03 16:00:32 -0500 Report

Nick in the reality of this, it is a deny and limit perspective.
-Deny Perspective/Removing a freedom-Our constitution gives us the freedom of choice.When the government denies us the right to choose and choose for us, they are in violation of the very laws that gives each of us this right. They are denying us the privilege of purchasing items in the amounts we choose to purchase.
-Limit Perspective/Forcing behaviors-If restaurants limit what we can purchase, people are going to go someplace that has no limits attached. If I can go into a 7-11 and get a 32oz drink, why would I buy a drink in McDonalds?

Removing a freedom will force a change in behaviors. If I have the right to purchase and eat what I and the government changes that right, it is only going to force me to do something different to get what I want.

A prime example was Prohibition. The government took away the right of people having, making or purchasing alcohol. The end result was it did force a behavioral change. People found a way to make it on their own illegally and sell it. The end result was the government spent more money enforcing the law than they would have made on the taxing of alcohol. The government had to repeal the law to save money. When you take away a right, people simply continue the right by taking it underground. Hence the development of the Black Market.

Nick I agree with you 100% the food stamp system has taken a stand on nutrition however, not everyone receiving food stamps purchase healthy foods. Nutrition information is not given out once a person receives the stamps.

Nick1962 2012-06-03 16:38:56 -0500 Report

Your example of Prohibition is a perfect example. It did change behaviors as it was intended to do. I'm in no way saying do away completely with sugar laden drinks or foods. I am saying we need to limit how they are sold (which right now is clearly in excess), and who their advertising is targeted to. We have national nutritional standards which are being clearly negated by the food industry.
Carol below is right. At some point, insurance rates are going to get so high that companies will eventually stop covering obese patients, just like there is talk of limiting coverage of diabetics who are not complying with their health regimen. I think a little rstriction now would be worth heading that off.
At the end of the day, no one is taking away your rights or freedoms. There is no place in the constitution that says you are guaranteed soft drinks. And like Prohibition, I'm sure the government wouldn't mind if you made your own Coke. No one will deny you from consuming it.

dietcherry 2012-06-04 10:26:39 -0500 Report

Its clear to me that youve thought alot about this because your insights are spot on Nick.
Just who needs 32 ounces of liquid when eating a meal? Nevermind the fact that it substantially dilutes your stomach acid, diminishing your ability to effectively digest your food. Unless you are in constant danger of dehydration, this isnt healthy or necessary :)

Nick1962 2012-06-04 10:46:41 -0500 Report

I have thought about it a lot (mainly in hindsight). I didn't understand how i could get up to 300 pounds as a teenager and no one really stopped me.
I don't get why we have things like "Big Gulps" and "Big Grab" bags of chips, and king size candy bars, and the ADA and nutrition councils aren't all over it with anti-eating campaigns.
Just like being a smoker, I heard all the warnings about eating and chose to ignore them. But it alsmost seems opposite the anti-smoking movement - not only are we NOT putting harmfull foods "behind the counter", but we're actually increasing the amount we put out. Today that would be like saying "nevermind everyone, go back to smoking in your offices and stores, in fact, we're increasing each pack now to 40 cigarettes for the same price"
Just. Don't. Get. It.

dietcherry 2012-06-04 11:16:05 -0500 Report

Im right behind you in the choir my friend :)
Food is a basic need in life but that surely doesnt mean that all of it is good for us. Much of it is so overly-processed that it is either no longer healthy or never was to begin with. Theres a need for limiting the unhealthy consumption of the unhealthiest of it.

Nick1962 2012-06-04 11:26:37 -0500 Report

On the very first day of my diet class we looked first at what we were going to live on as far as carbs and sugars. Then we looked at all the foods out there that claimed to be healthy (Healthy Choice, Lean Cuisine, etc.). Boy, were we shocked.
Trouble is nowadays, these foods are so much more convenient and better tasting than what we could produce on our own that eating well is too much of a chore.
If I thought I could make money at it, I'd personally go into advocacy and produce public service/after school programs/shows.

Nick1962 2012-06-06 19:13:35 -0500 Report

Well, for balance sake I'm thinking it would need to be a smart female, skinny, blonde or red head, young - you know, the opposite of me.
I'll have to check Craig's list I guess.

dietcherry 2012-06-06 21:32:38 -0500 Report

lol Im sure there will be a craigslist ad by a T1 fitting that description—I mean I really do! :-)

Something I wanted to share in this Discussion: According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there has been a 58% drop in trans fatty acids in Americans' bloodstreams since 2000. Change can and does happen!!

Nick1962 2012-06-07 08:15:25 -0500 Report

I'm not even going to try that on craigslist for fear of what I'll get back. :)
Yes, change does come - on my commute this morning I heard on the radio about a "sugar summit" planned and part of the discussion was about getting soft drinks back into their intended role like they were in the 50's. Basically back to being an infrequent treat versus a daily, all-day consumed beverage. Haven't seen anything in the news, but I'm watching for it.

dietcherry 2012-06-07 09:36:20 -0500 Report

Wow that is great!!! You know theres been a lot of negativity in this thread regarding the inability and/or outright refusal of the public to make dietary changes; I dont agree. We are not wired to eat ourselves into disease and early death; overeating is learned behavior and it can be unlearned.

Carol made an EXCELLENT point about those of us with D making the necessary changes and thriving because of them—how many of us were simply overeating before the diagnosis? Yes there will always be a segment of the population that will use food in the unhealthiest ways imaginable but I embrace the idea that we are ready for a food revolution and that it is coming…

Nick1962 2012-06-07 10:50:44 -0500 Report

Found it!
The Center for Science in the Public Interest started its first ever “National Soda Summit” this morning (06-07-12) in Washington. Here’s a link to the story with a link within for the agenda.

I agree with your point about negativity, but I wonder if its not more of a case of frustration. How often do we talk ourselves into accepting something we don't like saying "its never going to change, why fight it" and just give up hope (and in turn spread that gloomy outlook).

Yes, Carol was right (as always), mine was a case of simply eating until I felt like wanted to stop. The problem became each time I ate, that stop threshold got pushed out inch by inch. What was once my favorite snack (Fritos corn chips) in the 1 oz. bag became the "deli" size 1.5 oz bag, then to the now 2 oz. "single serve. Don't know when, but eventually i stopped messing with the single serve bags and downed half a 16 oz. in one sitting. That reminds me - how much TV and advertising do we see with one sitting in front of the television with their hands in the huge bag of chips?

I even get those that look at this as a rights issue. Yes, you have the right, but your rights end where mine begin. Or rather the actual quote from Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.; “The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins." If my friend on the max dose of Met allowable is getting that drug covered by Blue Cross, the same insurance I have, well that fist is getting way too close to my nose not to flinch or defend myself.

dietcherry 2012-06-07 11:50:35 -0500 Report

This is awesome—wish I could have attended! And Im happy to see that the American Heart Association is one of the supporters. Notice how D is singled out as a consequence of soda and sugar-based drinks; wonder how the ADA feels about this?

Nick1962 2012-06-07 11:55:35 -0500 Report

I'm thinking the ADA is going to be going into damage control mode soon for not being more active in fights such as these. Should they not be the ones at the head of this movement?

Caroltoo 2012-06-03 16:09:30 -0500 Report

Having diabetes is a deny and limit perspective by this example and, for many of us, great positive change has come from that! It wasn't painless … thinking we have been denied something we want never is, but it has created positive change.

Personally, if someone wants to be morbidly obese, I would consider it their right to commit suicide by food.

I do not want to be asked to pay for their choice, that is my freedom.

I am concerned, very concerned, about the children in their families who are affected negatively by the adult's choices. Healthy examples should also be a right of those children.

So, whose right takes precedence?

jayabee52 2012-06-02 22:46:25 -0500 Report

like the recent commercial I've seen on TV where the kids are on the computer and watching TV.

All of a sudden all goes dark in the house and the kids groan and say something like "I hate it when this happens" the shot then goes to mom in the basement near the circuit breaker panel saying "Works every time!"

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-06-03 16:26:43 -0500 Report

James when I first saw that my first thought was why is mom going through all of that when she can simply turn off the tv and computer and give the kids something else to do.

jayabee52 2012-06-05 19:44:56 -0500 Report

Well she did essentially the same thing without getting the usual hassle from the kids. Yes it is manipulative, and if it was done to me, I'd check out where the problem was and probably the first place I'd go was to the breaker box.

But I can understand this mother's wish to be non-confrontational because I often felt that way also.

I always hated it when I had to do something which would be unpopular with my 3 sons. I never let them know it, however, and didn't let them manipulate me. My middle son, now that he's grown and married really likes how his mother and I raised him. He said as much a couple times.

But their mother and I kept the perspective that even though we loved them, we were their parents, not their buddies, and sometimes needed to do some things which were not popular with them at the time.

That seems sorely lacking in some parents today. I pray that when my sons start raising kids (no grand kids yet!) they will follow their mom's and my example and will do the sometimes mentally tough work necessary to raise kids who are healthy in body and in mind. And I as a grand parent, plan to back them up in that.

We see and hear the stories of the dysfunctional families, and they are truly apalling. However sometimes we lose sight of those parents who seem to have it together and quietly raise famlies with children who are well behaved.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-06-05 20:33:41 -0500 Report

James sometimes you do have to have a confrontation with your kids. However, if you raised your kids to do as they are told with no talking back then she would not have had to turn off the circuit breaker. My mom or dad would have said turn off the tv and it would have been turned off no questions asked.

My aunt allowed her great grandson do what ever he chose to do. He paid no attention to her when he got older. She was bedridden when he turned 15. My aunt would call my mother in tears because he would blast a radio. Finally I had had enough of him and her calling crying and upsetting my mother. I went to the house with my mother and sister and went to the kitchen, grabbed him by his shirt and told him if he did not help care for his grandmother and stopped doing what he was doing I was going to throw his stereo out the window and him behind it. He said he would dial 911 and call the police. I told him to call a funeral home and an ambulance because the minute he got off the phone I was going to beat half to death. No more problems with that. When she passed away he blatantly disrespected the minister by coming downstairs with no shirt and stepping on her foot with no excuse me. I was on fire until the minister left the house. I went out in the yard and snatched him up again. The night after the funeral. My sister took back the A/C unit we loaned my aunt. He took it from her and put it in his bedroom. He asked me a year ago would I have hurt him. I said yes because I am the one cousin none of the children in this family play with. When I ask you to do something your best bet is to go do it. I do not tolerate children talking back and I am not going to argue with them. He said he was scared to death of me.

You should write a blog on raising children. There are parents who could use your experience and insight.

old biker
old biker 2012-06-06 21:56:17 -0500 Report

Right on JOYCE..I grew up in the generation were kids were seen and not heard..I don't want to tell you how many times that my dad took a belt to my ass..I never felt I was abused or not loved..There was never any of the slightest doubt about his love for me. I grew up knowing what respect was..Kids today wait, don't get me started

jayabee52 2012-06-05 21:35:43 -0500 Report

yes I agree with the need or confrontation at times, and I have done it. I think that a lot of parents want to be their kids' buddy and abrogate their parental responsibilities until it is too late in the kid's life. Our kids minded us because we taught them from little on that it was not wise to cross mom or dad.

One technique we used was the "countdown" technique. When we noted behavior of which we did not approve, we would call the child's name and then start at 5 and count down to 0 (and do it pretty rapidly) and if we got to 0 and the behavior continued then punishment was meted out. (usually a swat on the behind — followed with a hug and an expression of love).

One incident which was funny, was when we were gardening with another family. Our boys (there were two at the time) were with their mother and the lady who owned the land. Sandy had to leave momentarily and The boys were misbehaving somehow. Ann (the lady with whom we were gardening) saw the misbehavior and called out "Boys! 5, 4, 3, 2, 1" When the boys heard that, they looked quizzically at one another and stopped their misbehaving.

Ann said she had to stifle a laugh because of the look they gave one another as if to say "Darn she knows how to do that too". She also was a bit frightened that she didn't know what happened after "0" because she saw us do that with the boys but had never seen it when we got to "0" but fortunately they didn't know that and so they complied.

As far as talking back to me I would tolerate it a bit to allow them to ventilate their feelings, but they learned that they could do that, but it would do no good as it wouldn't change our decision on the matter, so they learned (as the "Borg" would say:) "resistence is futile!"

Our boys grew up with definite boundries, but also secure in their parents love. For me there were some difficult situations, but for the most part raising them was a joy and the best thing I had ever done.

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