jump to last post 1-15 of 15 discussions (34 posts)

Three out of four Americans will be overweight or obese by 2020

  1. wildorangeflower profile image61
    wildorangeflowerposted 6 years ago
    1. wilbury4 profile image84
      wilbury4posted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I can relate to that... I'm English by the way.
      Jamie Oliver, an English chef, who is very health conscious in what he cooks, recorded a series of programs where his intention was to educate children in American schools, on nutrition. I can't recall the exact city where the series was recorded but I assume that the program was broadcast throughout America. I hope you watched it?
      A certain point really amazed me. Jamie fronted a class of children, who were around 8 year olds. He produced several raw, common vegetables and asked the children to name them. Not one child knew any.... Personally I don't blame the children, I blame their parents and teachers.
      It seems that the youth of America, or as you say, 3 out of 4, are living on fast/unhealthy foods.
      These 3 of each 4 heading towards obesity need to act now before more serious health issues arise.
      Cheers, Wilbury.

      1. Polly C profile image87
        Polly Cposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Is that a fair portrayal, though?  (the school shown on the Jamie Oliver programme that is?) I saw that too, but sometimes it seems they focus on the extreme.

        My son can identify most fruits and vegetables, and this is typical of all children I have ever met at his school. He is ten.

        They do not have junk food on the school menu, but a good mixture of healthy food. My son takes a packed lunch though.

        If I remember rightly that was a primary school with children from fairly deprived backgrounds, with parents who did not have a great education.

        1. wilbury4 profile image84
          wilbury4posted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Hi Polly,
          I'm just using the Jamie Oliver program as a means to show agreement with the original statement "Three out of four Americans will be overweight or obese by 2020".
          It may have been a deprived school, though I can't really say.
          So from what we have both said, assuming that the original statement heading this forum is fact, does this mean that 3 out of 4 schools in America aren't educating their children to a good standard?
          Just following on logically.

          1. alternate poet profile image76
            alternate poetposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            This is exactly what the world survey of education says about American schools.

            The food thing goes with a survey (an American survey) where random young people were asked a range of questions from simplest geography to simplest physics to simplest politics etc - the highest scoring answers were mind boggling.

      2. rebekahELLE profile image92
        rebekahELLEposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        that show was filmed in a state which at the time had the highest obesity rate per capita. he had some success, but as was shown, it has to be embraced by both local and state officials. I don't know what has changed, but it was interesting to see the effects it had on everyone from the school officials to the kids.
        I think it can still be found on youtube or Jamie Oliver's website.

        it's not only working parents, but busy children with after school activities jam packed into their daily schedule. at some point, parents need to remember that every hour of their day does not have to be scheduled. let them choose one after school sport or activity.
        kids are eating on the way to practices and dance class or stopping for fast food on the way home. there's no time to sit down at the table with their family. priorities are upside down. hmm  or on the other end, kids are just neglected. kudos to those who are doing their best to maintain balance and feed their kids the best they can, it's not always easily done.

  2. alternate poet profile image76
    alternate poetposted 6 years ago

    Arab and Asian countries don't seem to have this problem - does that mean that christianity makes you fat ?

    1. charkamman profile image60
      charkammanposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      If fast food is exclusively meant for Christians, you're probably right eheheh.
      There are studies about changing eating patterns in Asian countries leading to obesity and coronary diseases, so I am afraid that having another faith soesn't protect you from them.

  3. lrohner profile image84
    lrohnerposted 6 years ago

    It's been a while since I was a Mom of school-aged kids, but back then there were so many obese kids in the elementary school, it was heartbreaking. The schools did everything right (teaching nutrition, healthy lunches, no soda machines, etc.), so I have to assume it was the parents' fault.

    So sad.

  4. kazemaru2 profile image59
    kazemaru2posted 6 years ago

    It's depressing but it's not only america anywhere that knows the blissful lifestyle of Globalization will have a substantial overweight population. Just look at India and China in a few decades they will be different from america.

    1. Joe Badtoe profile image61
      Joe Badtoeposted 6 years ago

      just have this vision of MCDonalds head honchos standing in a boardroom admiring a mural of fat people on the wall whilst saying

      'our work here is permanently profitable'

    2. Shadesbreath profile image89
      Shadesbreathposted 6 years ago

      America started getting fat when it went to a two-income system.  With no parent at home doing the full-time job of tending to the family needs,well, umm, nobody is tending to the full time job of tending to the family needs now.

      Having a healthy diet requires getting fresh vegetables and fruits.  This requires going to the store more frequently, and it requires cooking that takes longer than ripping the zip-strip off and tossing something in the microwave, or, god help us, in a frying pan for 10 minutes. Hamburger-Helper actually constitutes a "home cooked meal" now.

      Meal preparation requires planning, organization and some skill.  It also requires money, because healthy food costs more than crap.  And it requires time.  A lot of time.

      Which American parents don't have.  Both have to work to support the lifestyles that rose out of our having decided that working in the home and caring for a family was a demeaning job not worth doing.

      Welcome to America 60 years later.

      1. Norah Casey profile image80
        Norah Caseyposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        I disagree with your implication that women working has made it impossible for children to eat healthy. Both of my parents worked, there were seven kids in our family, and we ate fairly healthy (none of us were overweight or are overweight now). I won't lie and say we never had a frozen pizza, but the vast majority of the time we ate simple but healthy meals.

        I would argue that further research into this would show that there are portions of American culture where this issue is most severe. For example, while I argue against the notion that working parents can't provide healthy meals, low income parents (whether both parents work or not) are certainly at a disadvantage. It is much easier to feed three kids off of McDonald's dollar menu than to go to the store and buy ingredients to use for cooking. Add to that the fact that most low wage earners have to work multiple jobs in order to sustain themselves and their children, and you compound the problem.

        1. Shadesbreath profile image89
          Shadesbreathposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Well, I didn't say that eating healthy was impossible, so I suppose I should clear that up right away. I did not mean to suggest that there was no possible way to procure healthy food.  Grocery stores have offered healthy food the entire time. My point is that, clearly given the data, people are not choosing this option.  I am proposing a possible reason based on some observations and reading, etc.

          And I don't mean to suggest that going to a two-income system is the singular cause, but I believe it is a major cause due to the loss of time being spent in the home.  I recognize the anecdotal evidence of your family as a possible scenario that could have played out more broadly in the U.S, however, it has not played out widely.  In addition, as you point out, for many families it is not a realistic one.  Crappy food is readily available and costs less and takes far less time or skill to prepare. Whether low income or just tired from a long day at work, the reality is that people are fat because they are obviously choosing the convenience food. 

          These convenience foods began taking off in popularity at the same time that households shifted to dual incomes, and with two incomes, they were flexing their spending muscle, raising demand for goods, which in turn raised prices, which ultimately made it a requirement that families have two incomes, which further increased the popularity of time-saving food choices.

          I suspect your saying "...your implication that women working has made it impossible for children to eat healthy..." has some emotional energy behind it due to you suspecting me of making some sort of attack on women's rights. If so, I assure you that is not my point at all.  My point is that there was an economic result of increasing the earning power of households. This would have been the same had women always worked and men entered the workforce 60 years ago.  It has to do with numbers and human nature. The gender issue, while obvious in one regard, is incidental when it comes to the economics involved.

          1. alternate poet profile image76
            alternate poetposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            I think you make a good point about the coincidence of most women working being connected with obesity - even though clearly it is possible to eat healthy with working mothers it does not mean that this is what happens.

            Here - American tourists are overwhelmingly 'large' to 'very large' - they especially stand out in relation to the Chinese all around them.  One of the characteristics that also stands out (in stark relation) is an overwhleming childishness.  The self-important attitude and postures are precisely that of an angry child - I am no Freud but it looks very much like the reaction to a missing childhood, missing attention and lack of real deep care and attention as a child.   And this is part of the modern state of affairs in the home with distanced  parenting and McDonalds as the substitute comfort food.

            I am sure that Norah is right - that many mothers manage to work and take good care of their family - but a busy mother is not the same as the mother at home, or as it is in most homes in China where the Grandmother is at home looking after the children.

            1. Shadesbreath profile image89
              Shadesbreathposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              There is a distinct and obvious shift in the disposition of the workforce that is becoming more and more glaringly apparent with each passing year here--the sense of entitlement and all sorts of things.  I suspect that abandoning the traditions of child nurturing that moved humanity along over the course of hundreds of thousands of years is showing some ill effects, exacerbated by other factors, obviously, but more than simple coincidence for sure.

    3. psycheskinner profile image83
      psycheskinnerposted 6 years ago

      Most other 1st world countires with working women have avoided having an obesity epidemic.  Is it only Americans who need 24/7 attention from their Mommies to learn how to eat properly?

      Or is it that when you live in a poor American neighborhood (as per my experience in Peoria) there are no fresh veges available within walking distance, just rows and rows of freezers and a MacDonalds.

      And yes, when I did find a few veges in the back of the freezer filled supermarket I had to tell the teen on the checkout what they were.  And he was closer to 20 than 8.

    4. Mikeydoes profile image81
      Mikeydoesposted 6 years ago

      I'll put up  a bet (any money) right now that this is not going to happen.

      1. psycheskinner profile image83
        psycheskinnerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        I'll take that bet.  $20 by paypal?  Anyone want to be the bank?

        1. Mikeydoes profile image81
          Mikeydoesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Gentleman's bet remind me when it comes around. I'll forget most likely, but if the time ever comes and I win and some reads this tell me!

          and the bet is 3 out of 4 American's will be obese, what constitutes obese? Because Technically jon cena and most fighters/wrestlers are obese according to the actual scale used. Does that include newborns?

          this is a shoe-in victory for me

          Its not about what you eat, its about how much of it you eat.

          1. psycheskinner profile image83
            psycheskinnerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            The medical defintion is what would be used as that is what the claim is based on. (BMI over 30)

            1. Mikeydoes profile image81
              Mikeydoesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              So no then? Because that means john cena is morbidly obese, I'm sure I'm close too, hes got 6 pack abs and obese ya ok... That was for people in the 1950's. It has to measure fat not some flawed BMI system.

              1. Maddie Ruud profile image81
                Maddie Ruudposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                I agree.  Having a BMI over 30 does not mean you are actually obese, if you have a high percentage of muscle mass.  Using BMI > 30 as the sole criteria for these surveys yields misleading results.

                Countless studies have been done that show that BMI is not the best indicator of health, but doctors persist in using it.  What gives?

                1. Shadesbreath profile image89
                  Shadesbreathposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  Using it probably makes it easier to convince people they need more treatments and greater oversight by yet another group of people who knows what's best for us above and beyond government leaders and church leaders.

                  Thank god we have so many people to tell us how to live correctly (for a fee, tithe or tax).  smile

    5. LSKing profile image85
      LSKingposted 6 years ago

      I have three school aged children, 5,6, and 9. They're familiar with fruits and vegetables because I introduced them at a young age. Eating healthy can be cost effective if you change your shopping habits.

      Instead of buying produce from the many chain grocery stores you can visit a local produce place. They have the best prices on fruits and vegetables. There's are also many local growers who fill trucks up for mobile selling, you can find them parked in neighborhoods and near open market places. However, they only appear once or twice a week. They have great prices too.

    6. CYBERSUPE profile image60
      CYBERSUPEposted 6 years ago

      My wife and I raised 5 children to adulthood we fed them hot meals made from fresh meats and vegetables. We sat at the dinner table as a family unit and no one dared complain what was for dinner. No substitutes were avaliable. The sad thing today is my wife has meet countless women with families and children who say quote  "I don't cook". Pray tell then, how do young children ever learn how to eat correctly?

    7. pylos26 profile image76
      pylos26posted 6 years ago

      I reckon the root of the obesity problem stems from television…kids sitting for hours on end every day watching tv instead of running to a friend’s house down the street to play ball or climbing trees to build a tree house or fort.  When was the last time you saw kids playing jump rope or hop scots?  Lack of exercise.

      1. Shadesbreath profile image89
        Shadesbreathposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        It takes too long to put on all their helmets and other government mandated safety equipment.  Our deathly fear over losing our babies, thanks to the 24-hour news cycle, has made video games even more appealing than they might have since we over-protect and over-supervise kids to death.  Not to mention youth football and baseball all require 9,000 supervising adults all nurturing failed pro sport dreams, and also not to mention the need for insurance and all that crap instead of kids just going to parks and playing and being alive in their world.  Which they don't because the sexual predators are lurking in every bush and the gang bangers are all waiting to sell them drugs... or so says the 24-hour news cycle.

    8. pylos26 profile image76
      pylos26posted 6 years ago

      well...if the news cycle says so...

    9. Joe Badtoe profile image61
      Joe Badtoeposted 6 years ago

      I showed my kids some vegetables

      I pointed out;

      George Bush
      Sarah Palin
      Christine O Donnell
      The Fox News Team
      Dick Cheney
      Karl Rove
      Donald Rumsfeld (a bit mouldy)

      They didn't like them at all.

    10. Amanda Severn profile image89
      Amanda Severnposted 6 years ago

      I read recently that obesity is not just affecting the human population. Apparently the cattle are 'beefing up' too. (Pardon the pun!) Is it possible that the hormones, anti-biotics etc that are given to cattle to optimise their growth, are now passing down the food chain and pumping up the recipients?

      1. Aya Katz profile image89
        Aya Katzposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        It may be that hormones and antibiotics have to do with it, but it could also be that even cattle are on a diet that is too richly packed with calories and are allowed too little exercise. Cattle that graze exercise more and eat food that is less calorie intensive than cattle who are fed grains in an enclosed environment.

      2. rebekahELLE profile image92
        rebekahELLEposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        yes, that is exactly true. the hormones are in the dairy food and the meat. 6 and 7 year old girls are developing breasts..  if I had babies and young children now, they would be eating organic and home grown food as much as possible. 
        even the poor chickens can barely stand up in order to make chicken nuggets...

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enwU5jIX … re=related

        if you've never watched Food, Inc. it is worth watching. you can watch the entire show on youtube.
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyagLY1N … re=related

        [warning if you've never seen it, disturbing.]

    11. richtwf profile image60
      richtwfposted 6 years ago

      It used to two in three and now three in every four - that's quite a sad statistic.

      Yes we can blame the government, the food industry and advertising but ultimately the buck stops with us and we only have ourselves to blame as individuals, if we choose to eat more than we need, eat more of the wrong types of food or choose to be more sedentary rather than lead a more active and healthier lifestyle.

      Final choice is ours: to eat or not to eat sensibly and to be more active or be less active physically.