America's Number One Terroristic Threat

Photo Source:  Walter Siegmund
Photo Source: Walter Siegmund

Will Our Children be our Future, or Our Demise

Americans Have Always Dreamed That Our Children Would be Our Future, but Will They Even Be Around to See it?

Some current studies suggest that the current generation of children will be the first generation to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. This is a very sad set of circumstances, that has been brought about by the over abundance of fatty, processed foods, fat foods, industrial farming, and the use of high-fructose corn syrup in so many products that are touted to be "Low Fat," "No Fat," and/or "Fat Free." To exacerbate the problem, many people don't cook at home anymore, or they rely on frozen TV dinners and other quick-to-prepare frozen foods. Gone are the days of the nuclear family, where mom spent all afternoon in the kitchen and had dinner on the table when dad got home from work, and the whole family sat down together to eat. Now kids are eating quick to heat up frozen hot pockets, and either sitting in front of the TV or playing video games while they scarf down all manner of fatty, nutrionally poor foods, that pack on the poundage at an alarming rate. This lifestyle is not only making our kids morbidly obese, it is also making their health deteriorate at an alarming rate. Who would have ever imagined 12 year old girls having liposuction, or relying on gastric bypass surgery as a quick fix for weight management?

Healthy Foods
Healthy Foods

Disclaimer

I am neither a physicain nor a nutritionist. Any changes to your child's diet or medical plan should be discussed with your health care professionals. No information contained in this article should be considered a treatment, cure or prevention for any disease or symptoms thereof.

Childhood Obesity Trend as a Function of Time

 http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hestat/obesity_child_07_08/Figures1.gif
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hestat/obesity_child_07_08/Figures1.gif

Who Do You Think is Responsible?

  • Parents
  • The Federal Government
  • The School System
  • The Food Industry
  • All of the Above
See results without voting

Percent of Children and Adolescents Who Are Obese

Percentage of Children and Adolescents Who Are Obesea, from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).
Percentage of Children and Adolescents Who Are Obesea, from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

Rate of Increase of Childhood Diabetes Among Children and Adolescents

Source:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3028358/figure/F1/
Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3028358/figure/F1/

Tipping the Scales- A Documentary on Childhood Obesity

Who is Responsible?

]Who is Responsible for this Childhood Epidemic?

Many people say that parental responsiblity is the first line of defense against this childhood epidemic, but is it? Walk into any supermarket and look at the prices of your healthy foods versus the prices of all the foods that are laden with fat and sugar. Next take a look at the Saturday morning TV shows that children are watching today, and look at all the commercials. Children are bombarded with commercials for unhealthy foods on every kids' TV show. This is planned propaganda used by the food industry to undermine parental authority.

Take a look at many schools across the country, and what they are feeding the kids during lunch. Standard fare is pizza, chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese, and this is because the school lunch has to meet a certain calorie count. But nobody said the calories had to be healthy calories. As a matter of fact, if they tried to pack healthy calories into the school lunches to meet the governmental requirements, they would go way over budget. Most of the money schools get from the government to subsidize the school lunch programs goes toward payroll and adminstrative costs. Less than $1.00 per lunch actually goes toward the food in that lunch.

To exacerbate the problem, how many schools have vending machines that sell sugar laden and/or high fructose laden sodas, candies, and other unhealthy snacks? But, try to take those vending machines out of the schools and you end up having a revolt, because kids want to eat cookies, not carrots? It's now believed that by the time the kids being born today graduate from high school 45% of them will have type 2 diabetes as a consequence of childhood obesity, and WE did it to them.

"Obesity has been found to contribute to approximately 55% of cases of type 2 diabetes,[8] —chronic obesity leads to increased insulin resistance that can develop into type 2 diabetes, most likely because adipose tissue (especially that in the abdomen around internal organs) is a source of several chemical signals, hormones and cytokines, to other tissues. Inflammatory cytokines such as TNFα may activate the NF-κB pathway which has been linked to the development of insulin resistance.[9] Gene expression promoted by a diet of fat and glucose, as well as high levels of inflammation related cytokines found in the obese, can result in cells that "produce fewer and smaller mitochondria than is normal," and are thus prone to insulin resistance.[10][unreliable medical source?] Fat tissue has also been shown to be involved in managing much of the body's response to insulin and control of uptake of sugar.[11] It secretes RBP4 which increases insulin resistance by blocking the action of insulin in muscle and liver.[12][13] Fat cells also secrete adiponectin which acts in an opposite way to RBP4 by improving the action of insulin, however, engorged fat cells secrete it in lower amount than normal fat cells.[11] The obese therefore may have higher level of RBP4 but lower level of adiponectin, both of which increase the risk of developing diabetes.[13][14"Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lifestyle_causes_of_diabetes_mellitus_type_2

To answer the question, "Who is responsible?" the simple answer is parents, schools, the federal government, the food indsutry, media, and children themselves. Everyone of these elements is playing a contributing factor to the problem, and collectively they are sending our kids to their graves before their time.


Childhood Obesity Rates by State

Source: http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/childhood-obesity-trends-state-rates.aspx#2007_State_Chart
Source: http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/childhood-obesity-trends-state-rates.aspx#2007_State_Chart
Source: http://versatilehealth.com/fat-obese-kids/
Source: http://versatilehealth.com/fat-obese-kids/

The Gerson Miracle: Dr. Max Gerson made several important dietary discoveries before his untimely death from arsenic poisoning (who didn't want his discoveries

Vitamix 5200: A quick way to make healthier, more nutritious, and tasty foods. Great addition to any kitchen where people are constantly on the go.

How Do We Sove the Childhood Obesity Problem?

Solving the Childhood Obesity Problem: Big Challenges

The two solutions to this problem are proper diet and exercise, BUT the challenges to get our kids eating properly and exercising regular may be bigger than one might think. Proper diet needs to start in the home and it also needs to exist in the school lunch program. The same thing goes for physical activity.

Today in many schools kids are eating pizza, chicken nuggets, french fries, and drinking sodas that contain 15 to 20 teaspoons of sugar in each bottle. Would you let your kids sit down at the dinner table at eat 15 or 20 teaspoons of sugar? Well, that's what they are doing to themselves while they are in school. Who is to be held accountable? The school? The parents? The kids?

WHY are there vending machines in schools that are laden with Skittles, Twinkies, Three Musketeers Bars, Potato Chips, Coke, Pepsi, and Mountain Dew? Where are there ice cream sandwiches sold in the cafeterias in many schools, and why are kids allowed to buy them INSTEAD of a lunch? WHY, because WE allowed it to happen. Becuase schools use the many that is raised from those vending machines to fund programs that having nothing to do with health or physical activity. Because the No Child Left Behind program has shifted priorities and taken the funding from where it should go first, to fund programs that are of secondary importance to health. Do you expect your child to get a good education when he/she is too fat to even fit into a school desk?

Where are the school lunch programs that include a healthy portion of fruits and vegetables in each child's lunch? Where are the vending machines that have seltezer water, unsalted nuts, and apples instead of high-fructose corn syrup and sugar laden drinks and snacks? Where are the community education programs that teach parents and their children how to eat right and start getting some physical activity?

Did you ever think about what would be left in the supermarket if you removed all of the unhealthy foods and only left the healthy foods? You MIGHT have two aisles remaining in the entire supermarket. So, "Why," you may ask, "Do the supermarkets promote all of these unhealthy food items?" Becuase, for every $1.00 Mrs Consumer spends, she can get much more bad food for her dollar than good food she could have bought with that same dollar. Consequently, people are starving themselves into obesity. Now, that sounds like a contradiction in terms, but it it isn't because a diet that is overloaded with calories from fat and sugar is not providing sufficient nutrition, even though it's allowing us to pack on extra weight in monumental proportions.

This doesn't even address the environmental problems that are caused by the industrial farming industry, from using herbicides, pesticides, contaminating drinking water, and consuption of fossil fuels. Did you know that for every 1 lb an American gains, we have used 29 MILLION gallons of petrochemicals?

The Problem
The Solution
High Cost of Healthy Food in Supermarkets
Shop for Produce at Farmer's Markets, Buy Organically Grown Produce from Local Suppliers
Low Cost of Unhealthy Foods in Supermarkets
Food Producers Need to Re-Evaluate Their Priorities and Shift From Corporate Profits to Consumer Health
Poor Nutrition Choices in School Lunch Programs
Federal Subsidies Need to Be Sufficient to Provide Healthy Meals
Too Many "Bad Food" Commercials on Children's TV Programming
Food Suppliers Need to Take Social Responsiblity and Promote Healthy Foods
Lack of Focus on Physical Education Programs in Schools
Physical Activity Promotes Better Health, Which in Turn Promotes Better Grades
Parents Lost Ability to Say "No" to Bad Food Choices
Parents Need a Wake-Up Call and Think About What They are Allowing Their Children to Do to Themselves

Summary: Do YOUR Part to Overcome Childhood Obesity

What Can I Do to Help Overcome Childhood Obesity

  • Make healthy dietary choices for you and your family.
  • Shop farmer's markets and buy organically grown, LOCAL produce.
  • Consult your physican and nutrionist about changing your lifestyle.
  • Get out with your kids and go for a long walk, bike ride, or other exercise that is approved by your family physician.
  • Write or call your local school board and tell them you want nutritious school lunches.
  • Write or call your state representatives and tell them that schools need to have healty nutritious lunches and a physical education program above all else.
  • See if your community has a diet and exercise education program. If they don't, start one.
  • Boycott all of the supermarkets that promote poor dietary choices.
  • Look at the commercials your kids are watching on TV and write or call the companies that are promoting "bad food" on kids TV programs.
  • Encourage your school board to have assemblies that are based on healthy diet and exercise choices.

This is only a small example of things that you can do to help. Every small voice in America that stands up and speaks out can help to make a difference. Remember in America, "United We Stand, Divided We Fall." We CAN NOT afford to be divided on this issue. We need to stand together against industrial farming, bad foods in school vending machines, poor nutrition in federally subsidized school lunches, media blitzes that target "bad foods" aimed at kids, and lack of physical education programs in schools. If you believe in these things, share this on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and all of your other social networks. Let's save our kids!!!!

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12 comments

healthcarepro profile image

healthcarepro 2 years ago from Somewhere on Earth

Great topic and great hub.. Fast food revolutionized the world destroying human health... in a way... voted up and useful..


pocono foothills profile image

pocono foothills 2 years ago from Easton, Pennsylvania Author

@healthcarepro-Thanks for your comment and compliment. I just get so mad when I see parents with obese kids feeding them garbage at McDonald's or Burger King, and adding to the garbage with those sugary fountain drinks. I always eat a veggie burger with seltzer water when I go to those fast food places, which isn't perfect, but it's a lot better than a triple whopper with cheese and a super-size coke.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 years ago

I remember eating only home-cooked meals as a child. We were allowed to go home for lunch at school break and carried our lunch box if not. Then came the processed food and genetically engineered options and I believe this is where most of us steered off the path of healthy eating. Your post is well done and I hope it reaches home with many readers.


pocono foothills profile image

pocono foothills 2 years ago from Easton, Pennsylvania Author

@teaches12345-Thanks for your comment and compliments. I wish that all the companies that control the prices of the healthy foods would read my article, and maybe they would think about reducing prices on the good stuff and raising prices on the bad stuff, so more people could eat a healthy diet.


quildon profile image

quildon 2 years ago from Florida

I hear you. Your passion for the topic comes through in this well-researched article. But, is anybody listening? I have seen many nasty comments on the internet directed at the First Lady's attempts to get children to eat healthy and to move more. Maybe few are listening, but we need to keep talking. Voted up and useful!


pocono foothills profile image

pocono foothills 2 years ago from Easton, Pennsylvania Author

@quldon-If people don't start listening, eventually North Korea will win, because Americans will have eaten themselves into obliviion.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

Hi, pocono foothills,

Great read. Well-written. Voted up and all the way because you deserved it. And what an interesting and truthful presentation that the parents need to seize before it really gets out-of-hand.

And children of age should do their part in stopping obesity.

I appreciate your hub work.

Please check your fan mail and then head over to check a couple of my hubs and then be one of my followers. I would love that.

Sincerely,

Kenneth/ from northwest Alabama


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 2 years ago from Oakley, CA

Very well done, and extremely important and timely information! I agree 100%--no, make that a million percent!

While my kids got out of school in the late 1980's, (I think that was before all this 'garbage for lunch' stuff got started in the schools), they were not affected by that...although, I cannot swear as to what was served; we could not afford to have them buy lunch, yet we made "too much" to qualify for free or subsidized lunch. So, I packed them sandwiches to take..mostly peanut butter or cheese. ...yeah, peanut butter and cheese have fat, but also a healthy dose of protein.

And that was the generation before the sitting-on-the-backside-playing-video-games-all-day. The earliest systems were just coming in at that time. My kids played outdoors most of the day, like I used to do.

I sure understand what you mean about the cost of healthy food! Even though my kids are long since grown, my husband is a heart patient, and his dietary restrictions are all but impossible on our fixed income.

Voted up, interesting and useful--seeking and not finding "important" button. Shared on my FB page. (The HP 'share' button isn't working for me... :( )


pocono foothills profile image

pocono foothills 2 years ago from Easton, Pennsylvania Author

@Kenneth Avery-Thanks for the kudos. I had a friend in high school whose motto was "Thin may be in, but fat is where it's at." He died before he turned 55.


pocono foothills profile image

pocono foothills 2 years ago from Easton, Pennsylvania Author

@DzyMsLizzy, Thanks for the kudos. Well, I'm not so sure about the garbage for lunch not being around until after the '80's. Ice Cream sandwiches were frequently the lunch of the day when I was in high school in the late '60's-1970, so the problem has been around for a long, long time. Thanks for sharing. Fortunately, my kids (I still call them kids, even though they are all adults) are very exercise oriented and eat mostly healthy too.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 2 years ago from london

A huge problem, my Friend.

Great advice on diet and suggestions. We need more of these articles for us all. Peace.


pocono foothills profile image

pocono foothills 2 years ago from Easton, Pennsylvania Author

I'll try to write some more like that in the very near future.

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