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Overweight kids in Australia...
Old 12-14-2005, 11:22 PM   #1
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Overweight kids in Australia...

IT's a cool 75F as I write this by my pool side cabana. May have to change into long pants soon, oh how I've adjusted to balmy Thailand...

Back to my topic, a few evenings ago I saw a program on Australia Broadcasting Company (ABC) about overweight kids in Australia. ABC interviewed parents, representatives from fast food restaurants and the Aussie Health Minister. It was interesting because this is becomming a common topic in the developed world (poor kids in the third world don't seem to have this problem as of this writing- wonder why...)

Anyway, one Aussie parent was slamming that ubiquitious American institution, McD's, soft drink producers and supermarkets for having "an abundance of unhealthy foods available to children." She was at a loss as to stop Junior from putting fattening snacks in the shopping cart...

Obese children were also interviewed and, in general, they cited boredom and constant snacking while watching TV as major contributors to their weight. Exercise (physical play) seemed to be an unfamiliar activety.

The Health Minister pretty much dismissed the complaints, in the vein of "No one can force you to eat something you don't want and parents are responsible for their kid's health, welfare, tec.

The parents were livid with the HM's response

It was an interesting because on my travel's around Thailand, I'm noticing more "well nourished" kids. Basically the Thais spoil their kids rotten, especially little boys.

As a kid, I can remember a few times when I put some (unauthorized) chips or Coke into the shopping cart. My Mom made me put them back; if the Old Man was in attendance, things were a bit more intense . Funny, but my parents had no qualms about saying no-and I knew enough to not put the issue.

Kids are after all our future and we certainly want them to live well and have happy, meaningful lives. It does baffle me a bit that what used to be considered a treat (a cold coke, some chips or a burger) is now considered by some as Big Business's secret plot to addict kids to junk food.


Naa, it's all pretty simple-just tell the little urchins NO!

Lance

PS-I'm heading down to 7-11 now and buy some drum sticks (ice cream) before they are added to the "controlled substance" list.

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Re: Overweight kids in Australia...
Old 12-15-2005, 07:42 AM   #2
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Re: Overweight kids in Australia...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lancelot
Anyway, one Aussie parent was slamming that ubiquitious American institution, McD's, soft drink producers and supermarkets for having "an abundance of unhealthy foods available to children." She was at a loss as to stop Junior from putting fattening snacks in the shopping cart...
Umm...tell the kid to put it back?

Quote:
Obese children were also interviewed and, in general, they cited boredom and constant snacking while watching TV as major contributors to their weight. Exercise (physical play) seemed to be an unfamiliar activety.
And why are the kids bored and watching TV?

Quote:
The Health Minister pretty much dismissed the complaints, in the vein of "No one can force you to eat something you don't want and parents are responsible for their kid's health, welfare, etc...

The parents were livid with the HM's response*
Naturally. *Parents are people too -- they don't like hearing the truth and taking responsibility for their own actions (or inaction)

Quote:
As a kid, I can remember a few times when I put some (unauthorized) chips or Coke into the shopping cart. My Mom made me put them back; if the Old Man was in attendance, things were a bit more intense* . Funny, but my parents had no qualms about saying no-and I knew enough to not push the issue.
Same here. *I might have been allowed to put something sweet in the cart at times, but then my mother would ration it out slowly over the following week (sometimes, horror of horrors, using the treat I put in the cart as my school lunch desert, thereby denying me two snacks a day -- talk about "child abuse")

Quote:
It does baffle me a bit that what used to be considered a treat (a cold coke, some chips or a burger) is now considered by some as Big Business's secret plot to addict kids to junk food.
It really all comes down to parenting, and taking responsibility as a parent for your child's welfare. *Yes, Big Business advertises junk food as "fun", expensive toys as "cool", and Disney as the "magic kingdom", but isn't up to parents to teach their children that such things are just advertising, and for the most part, basically untrue?

Quote:
Naa, it's all pretty simple-just tell the little urchins NO!
A simple answer for a simple question...
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Re: Overweight kids in Australia...
Old 12-15-2005, 08:25 AM   #3
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Re: Overweight kids in Australia...

The health minister was right. It is the parent's responsibility to teach the kids what and how to eat. I haven't done any scientific study but I have noticed that fat kids usually have fat parents. And don't tell me about genes. I come from a family of fat people (obese is more like it) and I just will not allow myself to take that road. I shall now step off of my soap box.
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Re: Overweight kids in Australia...
Old 12-15-2005, 10:50 AM   #4
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Re: Overweight kids in Australia...

Parents today are so over protective...

My mom would kick us out the door in the morning and not let us back in the house... we would play outside until lunch and then get kicked outside again...

Parents today will not let they young-uns out because they will be kidnapped or some such bad thing... even though the possibility is low and it happened way back when.. just not reported as much..
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Re: Overweight kids in Australia...
Old 12-15-2005, 01:08 PM   #5
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Re: Overweight kids in Australia...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud
Parents today are so over protective...

My mom would kick us out the door in the morning and not let us back in the house... we would play outside until lunch and then get kicked outside again...

Parents today will not let they young-uns out because they will be kidnapped or some such bad thing... even though the possibility is low and it happened way back when.. just not reported as much..
But you see, your Mom and mine were actually home to feed us lunch and dinner.* And we were playing so hard, I had to be threatened to get me to come inside.* These days, many Moms are out making a buck so they can buy the new Xbox, SUV, 4500Sq Ft mcmansion, etc.* Meanwhile, their kid goes outside, leaving the computer and the tv, only when threatened.* And you wonder why they're fat?
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Re: Overweight kids in Australia...
Old 12-15-2005, 01:40 PM   #6
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Re: Overweight kids in Australia...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle43
But you see, your Mom and mine were actually home to feed us lunch and dinner.* And we were playing so hard, I had to be threatened to get me to come inside.* These days, many Moms are out making a buck so they can buy the new Xbox, SUV, 4500Sq Ft mcmansion, etc.* Meanwhile, their kid goes outside, leaving the computer and the tv, only when threatened.* And you wonder why they're fat?
Actually, it was not quite like I said... when in elementry school my mom was going to night school to get her teaching degree... this was the weekends I was talking about.. after school we all came home and just did whatever we could.. or my dad took us to his business for slave labor... this was crap
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Re: Overweight kids in Australia...
Old 12-15-2005, 02:15 PM   #7
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Re: Overweight kids in Australia...

As has been stated on this forum before---
Everyone* should be required to pass a test before becoming parents.
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Re: Overweight kids in Australia...
Old 12-15-2005, 02:59 PM   #8
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Re: Overweight kids in Australia...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPatrick
As has been stated on this forum before---
Everyone* should be required to pass a test before becoming parents.
That would infringe on one's Constitutional rights...notwithstanding the fact that it would make sense.

Perhaps another way to approach it is to hold parents responsible for the health of their children (as they actually are under the law).
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Re: Overweight kids in Australia...
Old 12-15-2005, 04:30 PM   #9
 
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Re: Overweight kids in Australia...

Quote:
...we were playing so hard, I had to be threatened to get me to come inside. These days, many Moms are out making a buck so they can buy the new Xbox, SUV, 4500Sq Ft mcmansion, etc. Meanwhile, their kid goes outside, leaving the computer and the tv, only when threatened.
Well put -- you've nailed it precisely.
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Re: Overweight kids in Australia...
Old 12-15-2005, 06:26 PM   #10
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Re: Overweight kids in Australia...

I teach 5th grade at an elementary school in Southern California.* We're required by federal law to give a physical fitness test each year. This test includes a one mile run, push-ups, situps, trunk lift and a shoulder stretch. In addition to this, we're also required to get the height and weight of each child. It still amazes me how many overweight children there are today. I would say that 25% of the children in my classroom are overweight.

School districts have recognized that child obesity is a serious and growing problem. Type II Diabetes is much more prevalant in young children today. We've had workshops on this issue, and there seems to be no easy answer as to why there has been an increase in overweight children.* We recently brainstormed the problem and came to no conclusions. I personally don't think it's a good idea for fast food chains to allow an unlimited amount of refills on soft drinks.* The saturated fat in the hamburgers and french fries is bad enough.* Parents are busy these days, but I think there should be a limit on how many times per week they should allow their children to eat fast food. Fast food is cheap, but that's no reason to allow kids to become overweight. What happened to the good old days when dinner was cooked in the kitchen and the family sat down at the table together and shared the day's experiences? Unfortunately, I believe that it has* become socially acceptable for children to be fat.

The emphasis on test scores is not helping anything either. I've always told my students and parents that p.e. is the most important subject. How can one expect to perform at an optimum level in the classroom if one is not physically fit?* I jog for one mile early each morning with the students in my classroom in order to motivate them, set an example and* prepare them for the federal physical fitness test.* This also helps them to be more mentally alert and open to learning during classroom activities. In California, p.e. is the only subject that is mandated by law to be taught for a minimum amount of time.* That has been set at 200 minutes every 10 days. This breaks down to be about 20 minutes per day.* Probably very few elementary teachers are abiding by this law.* *We now have schools being threatened with takeover by the state, because of low test scores. Teachers are scared to death that their reading and math scores will be below standard, and thus are taking their students out for very little p.e (if at all on some days).*Emphasis on test scores, which results in* physical inactivity at school is certainly not helping the problem of childhood obesity.
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Re: Overweight kids in Australia...
Old 12-15-2005, 08:43 PM   #11
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Re: Overweight kids in Australia...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud
Parents today will not let they young-uns out because they will be kidnapped or some such bad thing... even though the possibility is low and it happened way back when.. just not reported as much..
Neither did it happen as much.

Ha
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Re: Overweight kids in Australia...
Old 12-15-2005, 09:35 PM   #12
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Re: Overweight kids in Australia...

We had a couple of buses from a nearby Indian Reserve that transported about* 120 grade 7&8 students to my school.

Both would stop at the Reserve variety store to pick up lunches before proceeding.

The favourite lunch, snack and recess fare would be giant bags of chips, 2 litre bottles of coke, and for dessert either chocolate bars, twinkies, or Jos. Louie's.

I'm sure the bus drivers got a cut from the store owner!

Even then, some of those students were enormous. When I see them today, I can hardly recognize them.

Native Canadians (and Americans) are prone to diabetes and those kids were doomed with that diet.

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Re: Overweight kids in Australia...
Old 12-15-2005, 10:18 PM   #13
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Re: Overweight kids in Australia...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zipper
The favourite lunch, snack and recess fare would be giant bags of chips, 2 litre bottles of coke, and for dessert either chocolate bars, twinkies, or Jos. Louie's.
Hey Zip,

Recess fare? Man, I'm out of date... Thinking back, I don't remember my friends or me snacking during recess. Running around like banchees and creating havoc, yes. But using valuable recess time to eat? Naaaaaaaaaaaaa.

But times change and I do see Thai school kids buying snacks from the vendors set up close to virtually all schools.

It's a bit sad when we in the developed world are virtually eating ourselves in to poor health.

But wait; there might yet be hope!

Remmeber some of the US obesity lawsuits against fast food restaurants in the US? Well, if the plaintiffs are successful, why not take it a step or two further? ER wanabees can sue GM, Ford, Honda (their advertizing involuntarily induced me to buy that expensive SUV; current and former employers (they did not properly educate me about fully funding my 401k) and the prospective list of defendants goes on. Finally, Big Business will be hung, drawn and quartered!!!

Think about it: ER millionairs, each and every one of us!

"Soon we'll all be drink'in that pink bub-a-lub and eating that rainbow stew!"

Lance

(But, if we're all retired, who will flip the burgers? YIKES! Here come that nasty immigration problem )
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Re: Overweight kids in Australia...
Old 12-16-2005, 05:22 AM   #14
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Re: Overweight kids in Australia...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zipper
We had a couple of buses from a nearby Indian Reserve that transported about 120 grade 7&8 students to my school.

Both would stop at the Reserve variety store to pick up lunches before proceeding.


This is another trend I've noticed. My kid plays football and soccer and after each game one parent is supposed to bring snacks and drinks. What's up with that? The kids play 24 minutes of football and they need cookies and sugar water to get them through the rest of the day? What kind of message does that send?
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Re: Overweight kids in Australia...
Old 12-16-2005, 05:44 AM   #15
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Re: Overweight kids in Australia...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zipper
We had a couple of buses from a nearby Indian Reserve that transported about* 120 grade 7&8 students to my school.

Both would stop at the Reserve variety store to pick up lunches before proceeding.

The favourite lunch, snack and recess fare would be giant bags of chips, 2 litre bottles of coke, and for dessert either chocolate bars, twinkies, or Jos. Louie's.

I'm sure the bus drivers got a cut from the store owner!

Even then, some of those students were enormous. When I see them today, I can hardly recognize them.

Native Canadians (and Americans) are prone to diabetes and those kids were doomed with that diet.

I've spent a fair amount of time on Indian (yep, non-PC)
reservations and have seen this up close and first hand.
OTOH, whenever I visit a convenience store almost anywhere, I see people
of all races walking out loaded up with "food"? that makes
what you get at McDonalds look very healthful.

JG
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Re: Overweight kids in Australia...
Old 12-16-2005, 06:02 AM   #16
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Re: Overweight kids in Australia...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dusk_to_dawn
This is another trend I've noticed.* My kid plays football and soccer and after each game one parent is supposed to bring snacks and drinks.* What's up with that?* The kids play 24 minutes of football and they need cookies and sugar water to get them through the rest of the day?* What kind of message does that send?
This attitude is a plague on health in general. Just look around, especially this time of year. Personally, I never had a weight problem. Still, I almost never eat sweet snacks, soft drinks, or desserts of any kind. In fact, I have
discovered I feel a lot better if I skip supper altogether, or at least
keep it very light. Two (2) meals a day and minimal snacks
would probably work well for me.

JG

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Re: Overweight kids in Australia...
Old 12-16-2005, 07:28 AM   #17
 
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Re: Overweight kids in Australia...

A few years ago the Economist had an article on Canada, they stated that Americans and Canadians were very similar except that Americans were fatter.

Unfortunatly that no longer holds true as we have fallen victim to Fast Food Restaurants and , in my days, I could find an outdoor rink and skate for hours playing Hockey, now the kids only get a few hours of rink time.

When we played Hockey, if your feet got cold, you tightened the laces so you cut off the circulation so it didn't hurt, today's little dears sit under Heat Lamps.

I am mid 60's, we never do Fast Food, I walk at least 3 miles a day, I still have more weight than i would like.
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Re: Overweight kids in Australia...
Old 12-16-2005, 08:34 AM   #18
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Re: Overweight kids in Australia...

Back in the olden days, yes, our mom made us go outside & play. We rode our bikes everywhere. We played tag and hide-and-seek, and football and kick the can. We also didn't sit in front of the TV all day. But then, we only had 2 channels, and one of them didn't come in so well. :

Whe we got our first computer game - "Pong" - we couldn't play it for hours and hours, for fear of messing up the TV screen.

CJ
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Re: Overweight kids in Australia...
Old 12-16-2005, 08:47 AM   #19
 
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Re: Overweight kids in Australia...

This is one reason I have money in the Vanguard health care fund.

There's no point in trying to solve this issue. You can't fight the TV, fast foods, and video game industries.
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