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Thread: Uh Oh. 33% of Kids Do This Every Day

  1. #1
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    Uh Oh. 33% of Kids Do This Every Day

    This is Alarming!


    On any given day, nearly one-third of American children ages 4 to 19 eat fast food, a habit that is responsible for packing on about six extra pounds per child each year, reports The Associated Press of a new nationwide study of 6,212 youngsters from researchers at Children's Hospital Boston.

    Surprised? Don't be. Just turn on the TV and you'll see why. Billions of dollars are spent annually on fast-food advertising directed at kids. Those ads are working. Lead study author Dr. David Ludwig, director of the obesity program at Children's Hospital Boston, told AP there is a fivefold increase in fast-food consumption by kids since 1970. Who eats the most? Rich kids. Boys. Older children. Blacks. Children living in the South. The lowest levels of fast-food consumption were found in kids living in the West and rural areas, as well as Hispanics. Children ages 4 to 8 eat the least, but even so more than 20 percent of kids in this age bracket reported eating fast food
    on any given day.

    Kids who eat a lot of fast food have this in common: In addition to eating 187 more calories on average per day, they consumed more fats, sugars, and carbohydrates and fewer fruits and non-starchy vegetables than youngsters who didn't eat fast food, notes AP. The nationally-representative study of more than 6,000 children was based on government surveys from 1994 to 1996 and 1998. The study findings were published in the January issue of Pediatrics.

  2. #2
    Rooting for the Kerrs!
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    When you say fast food, do you mean things like McDonalds? Ugh, I can't imagine eating that every day. I wouldn't even want to. I only eat at fast food places occasionally.

  3. #3
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    and once again the advertisting/fast food get blamed, not the parents

    Tell me again, why is it a fast food chains fault that parents care squat about what their kids eat????

  4. #4
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    Toni, in the ideal world, parents would sit the children around the table every day, and kids would not be eating junk food. However, we don't live in a perfect world, and the question becomes what do we as a society do to fight this problem. Unfortunately, it is impossible to magically change every parent in the country. So we look for other solutions.

    Consider Sweden, for example: it bans most forms of advertising to kids. Kids don't have the critical thinking that adults are supposed to have to sort out fact from fiction. Also, even in the McDonalds there has been a move to introduce more health-consious food (sort of); I hope this is also advertised extensively. Finally, I think a big public health campaign is needed on this issue. We have succeeded in largely marginalizing smoking; I don't see why we can't do the same with all those fatty foods.

  5. #5
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    I'm not saying that I live in a perfect world... but I know that I never got everything I wanted, and not just because of our money issues... It just wasn't right. I didn't get junk food money in my pocket just because I wanted to get munchies...

    Mom stocked the food pantry up with lots of good food, junk and healthy, and while I was a "latch key kid" I never had a weight problem... granted I was lucky and mom quit working when I was in 4th grade.

  6. #6
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    Toni, once again I am not saying it's impossible. I was a latch key kid as well, and my mom always worked. When I came home, there was a soup left for me in a thermos, an entree in a jar wrapped in some blankets to keep it warm, and a glass of fruit punch or something for desert. With my pocket money, I would usually get a glass of juice after my dance class. By the time I turned 9 or 10, mom would just leave the food for me to warm up myself (this was pre-mircowave days).

    All I was saying is that as a society, we have to fight a problem at hand. Besides, if everyone had mome like mine, we would pretty much be living in a perfect world.:D

  7. #7
    Custom Title heyang's Avatar
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    I think Toni's just being an advocate of personal responsibility. There a lot of things that people blame others for, especially in this litigious society in the US.

    I was reading about a car acciden that killed 7 teenagers. The kids ranged from age 13 to 18. None had a driver's license. The kids 'borrowed' a car and were out joyriding. The car also had a donut instead of a regular tire on. A police officer saw them and turned on his lights. The driver chose to speed up. After a short pursuit, the police officer radioed ahead and backed off. When he rounded the road, the kids had landed in a ditch. Some of the people in the community (including one of the parents) are saying that the police officer should be held partly responsible for the death of these kids. I hope this 'parent' is guilt tripping for allowing his child to be out after midnight, with older kids committing a felony.

    Anyway, back on topic. It's not just fast food. Sure, it's not the healthiest, but it's ok in moderation. No one needs to eat a full-size value meal, let alone a super sized one. I usually eat at one of these restaurants at least once a week, but I only buy a happy meal - no mayo and unsweetend iced tea. I donate the toys to my cousin's wife who uses them to reward her 3rd graders for reading extra books. If you go to any chain restaurant (i.e. Houlihan's, TGI Friday's, Applebee's, etc), most dishes consist of at least 2 - 3 servings. People complain when they go to a pricey restaurant because there isn't enough on the plate and they're still hungry - well, those are true single servings; the extra costs are service, ambience and quality of ingredients. Americans have to learn to respect the concept of serving sizes and not just eat whatever's put in front of them.

    Also, we need to get off our butts and move around a bit more. LOL - I've been sitting on my butt all evening; skipping aerobics class tonight because of my cold (a gift from my nephew and niece)

  8. #8
    Skating Diva Kara Bear's Avatar
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    I need a Big Mac

  9. #9
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    I agree with Toni - it does start at home and the parents do have to take control and "set a good example" for their children. It's no good for parents to deny their children junk food or dinner at a fast food place and then set the wrong example by doing it themselves. Part of the problem is the stress we live under daily. I think modern day mom has to work and therefore probably finds it more convenient at times to pop by McDonalds' or Wendy's with the kids for a quick meal (or even throw something frozen in the microwave). I notice most parents stop at Wendy's or McDonald's when they are out shopping.

    When I was growing up there were fewer fast food outlets and my mom always set the table every night and we ate dinner as a family at the table (just like in "Leave it to Beaver")! I think this custom is sadly lacking as well today. It was a rare treat to stop at the A&W for a root beer. We really thought we were living!!!

    There definitely is a lot more advertising today as well and children constantly are reminded that these places are "fun." It's up to the parents though to direct their children and provide them with nutritional food. Children need guidance even when it comes to their daily diet.

    We have many people here in Canada who have immigrated from countries where these products are not as readily available and I have noticed they seem to have little control when it comes to what they feed their children. I see them in the grocery stores loading up their shopping carts with junk food. It's quite sad. With all the good food that is available here in Canada people are robbing themselves and their children of good nutrition!

    Anyway, just thought this was a good article to share. Thanks for the response.

    Last edited by Ladskater; 01-07-2004 at 11:23 PM.

  10. #10
    Mrs. Roman Kostomarov icedancingnut31's Avatar
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    Ewww I hate fast food! Unless its Brueggers or Au Bon Pain

  11. #11
    Da' Spellin' Homegirl Grgranny's Avatar
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    If I had asked to eat something when I got home from school I would have been whipped with the razor strop.

  12. #12
    cranky girl guinevere's Avatar
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    In general I agree with what a lot of people are saying on this thread. I almost never eat fast food anymore. Well, Taco Del Mar is fast food, and there's one next to my office, so I do eat 'fast food' burritos sometimes, but traditional burger-focused fast food chains just aren't a part of my regular life these days.

    However...when I was young, I lived for Burger King. I was a really picky eater, and didn't like eating 'real' food. I didn't even like hamburgers that were cooked at home! My family still makes fun of me because I always ordered the same thing: a PLAIN hamburger (back in the days when getting a burger with no ketchup, mustard, relish and pickle on it took 15 minutes!), french fries and a shake. The fries got dipped in the shake. My dad would try to bribe me NOT to do that - he clearly didn't have a good grasp of reverse psychology. Even now, the thought of a hot greasy fry in a cold shake sounds good to me. :D

    guinevere

  13. #13
    Keeper of La Khok's Tutus Doggygirl's Avatar
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    A difficult subject....

    I am a big advocate in general of personal responsibility. On so many fronts I watch people play the "blame game" where everything is always someone else's fault. What tends to happen next is that blamers cry for more legislation (by lawsuits sometimes). I'm not saying all legislation or lawsuits are bad by any stretch. However over-legislation results in reduced freedoms. I get concerned sometimes that by placing blame rather than taking resposibility, we slowly slowly give up freedom that our country was founded upon.

    Parents need to take responsibility for their children. What their children eat is just one small example. The abundance we enjoy in this country needs to come with some personal resbonsibility and restraint. Just because there is a fast food joint on every corner doesn't mean we have to feed ourselves and our families there every day. Just because the grocery shelves have lots of chips and candy and sodas on them doesn't mean we have to drink sodas or eat chips non stop every day.

    In the days before prevalence of affordable convenience foods and microwave ovens, we still had two parent working families. (I grew up in one) Somehow, as a family we always managed to make home cooked meals from whole, real foods. A trip to McDonald's, or sodas and candy in the house were truly special occassion things - not every day type things. Sure - we did what we could to get our hands on junk food at school as we got older, but that didn't change the healthier food that was the only option most of the time at home.

    In any case, I sure don't want my food choices legislated and that's where this will probably head if we don't each take charge of our eating choices. The food companies can't be successful selling us (advertising included) nutritionally void junk / convenience food if we're not buying it.

    Just my 2 cents...

    DG

  14. #14
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    Re: A difficult subject....

    Originally posted by Doggygirl
    I am a big advocate in general of personal responsibility. On so many fronts I watch people play the "blame game" where everything is always someone else's fault. What tends to happen next is that blamers cry for more legislation (by lawsuits sometimes). I'm not saying all legislation or lawsuits are bad by any stretch. However over-legislation results in reduced freedoms. I get concerned sometimes that by placing blame rather than taking resposibility, we slowly slowly give up freedom that our country was founded upon.

    Parents need to take responsibility for their children. What their children eat is just one small example. The abundance we enjoy in this country needs to come with some personal resbonsibility and restraint. Just because there is a fast food joint on every corner doesn't mean we have to feed ourselves and our families there every day. Just because the grocery shelves have lots of chips and candy and sodas on them doesn't mean we have to drink sodas or eat chips non stop every day.

    In the days before prevalence of affordable convenience foods and microwave ovens, we still had two parent working families. (I grew up in one) Somehow, as a family we always managed to make home cooked meals from whole, real foods. A trip to McDonald's, or sodas and candy in the house were truly special occassion things - not every day type things. Sure - we did what we could to get our hands on junk food at school as we got older, but that didn't change the healthier food that was the only option most of the time at home.

    In any case, I sure don't want my food choices legislated and that's where this will probably head if we don't each take charge of our eating choices. The food companies can't be successful selling us (advertising included) nutritionally void junk / convenience food if we're not buying it.

    Just my 2 cents...

    DG
    Very well said, DG! I agree totally.

  15. #15
    Zhenya looks sexiest in a dress *wink*
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    This is off topic but as long as we are talking about nasty American facts.. You know what's an even scarier statistic? The average person spends 2 MONTHS of a year watching televiosion. I have officially limited myself to Golden Girls and skating..and the occasional game show.

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