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Old 03-06-2006, 11:43 PM   #16
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Re: Study: Childhood Obesity Has Become A Global Epidemic

Quote:
Originally posted by yolland


what about the impacts in terms of food advertising and disinclination to pursue physical activity instead?
Great point. Exercise is great, but if you're scarfing down doughnuts, you're not going to make much headway in the heath department. Advertising is a killer. We've got a thing here now in Canada that's tantamount to food-porn. If you go through many Tim Horton's drive throughs, there's a large display screen showing oozing doughnuts, fatty this and fatty that.

It's interesting also to look at the marketing of a company like McDonald's. Now that everyone knows the food will kill you, they've geared many of the commercials towards the "family experience" of heading out for a McMeal. It's crafty, because it tugs at the heartstrings, while practically ignoring the product being advertised.

Maybe we should have a fat tax of some kind. It's a big (pardon the pun) problem that has to be addressed. The huge corporations should also be taken to task.
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Old 03-06-2006, 11:59 PM   #17
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Why is it that people always blame the corporations for these problems, it is as if people are all gaumless children who don't have any free will of their own. Price, demand and convenience are the reason that fast food gets such wide distribution and the corporations should not be punished for this.

I think that the idea of a fat tax as a punitive measure against those who are supplying products that in excess are bad for your health is repugnant. Statism is not the solution, individuals should have the freedom to put whatever they want to in their bodies, including delicious foods with lots of saturated fats but these same individuals should have their decisions costed in their private health insurance prices.

Different times today to be sure, but laying the blame for obesity on outside factors like junk food advertising (how many people that look at nutritional information eat to excess ), the education system or video games is just annoying.

Broader issues like the family unit (who is cooking meals and how often?), perceptions of violent crime (a reason for kids to not go outside and play) and the ammount of pure protein that we are getting should be considered.
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Old 03-07-2006, 07:28 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by randhail
Wealth actually has a negative correlation with obesity:

http://www.nyccah.org/media/harlem.pdf


It's a long, long read but basically the point is that poor people lack access to healthier foods because of cost.

Edit: Contrary to that, from WebMD:

Here are the income-obesity statistics for 1971-1974:

Less than $25,000: 22.5% obese
$25,000-$40,000: 16.1% obese
$40,000-$60,000: 14.5% obese
More than $60,000: 9.7% obese

Here are the results for 2001-2002:

Less than $25,000: 32.5% obese
$25,000-$40,000: 31.3% obese
$40,000-$60,000: 30.3% obese
More than $60,000: 26.8% obese

Here's how much obesity increased in each category:

Less than $25,000: increase of 144%
$25,000-$40,000: increase of 194%
$40,000-$60,000: increase of 209%
More than $60,000: increase of 276%

what was once a big gap is shrinking fast and will disappear soon.
Thank you for this. That was my point exactly. Who can afford to shop at the Whole Foods stores?
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Old 03-07-2006, 07:33 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer

Different times today to be sure, but laying the blame for obesity on outside factors like junk food advertising (how many people that look at nutritional information eat to excess ), the education system or video games is just annoying.
So what do you think about cigarette ads? They have been banned because they made smoking attractive. Do you think they had any influence on our society to smoke? Over time, they were banned and replaced with non-smoking ads. When I grew up, ashtrays were common in everyone's homes. Now people who smoke are made to feel outcast and have a lot of rules to follow.

I believe the ads for junk food and video games are a huge factor.
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Old 03-07-2006, 08:51 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bono's shades
When I was a kid we only had ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS on TV and no video games and no computers/Internet. There was a lot less to keep us inside, so instead we went outside to play.

Aw, crap, I just started a sentence with "When I was a kid." I have officially become my parents.
This is a bit off topic I suppose, but I find it kind of funny that you use 'only' in your first sentence. When I was a kid in semi-rural New Zealand (and I'm 19 now), we had just two TV stations, Channel One and TV 2. TV 3, the other free-to-air station, wasn't available in my area and I thought the people who had all three stations were really living the high life. I am still astonished by how Australia has five! national free-to-air stations. I just moved out of a household with pay-TV (some 40 or so channels) and in the two years I lived there, I never watched more than 4 or 5 of those channels because I didn't have a clue what to do with all of them! I'm still of the mentality that it was a real treat to go to someone's house and watch half an hour of TV 3!

A bit more on topic, I'm a bit surprised by the way food is handled in American schools. Maybe I've gotten a misperception, but it sounds like the majority of students purchase their lunch daily from the school canteen. Back when I was a little boy, my primary school of 550 students didn't even have its own canteen! Everyone brought their own morning tea and lunch. I can still remember when the decision was made to permit us to submit orders in the morning to our teacher that would be taken to the canteen at the neighbouring college ('high school' for the Americans here) and lunches would be delivered to us. This was a huge treat! A few times a year, my mother would let me order a treat for lunch from the college canteen. The same was true for most other students.

And at my private Australian high school, despite the apparent wealth of many of the students, very few bought food daily from the canteen. Some would have a specific day or two a week on which they bought lunch, and I found use of the canteen was more prolific at this level (partly because they provided warm lunches like lasagne, along with fresh salads as opposed to salads gone limp from 4-5 hours in a schoolbag). Personally, I can't remember when I didn't have Marmite and cheese sandwiches (sometimes with lettuce) for lunch. I probably had that for all my 13 years of school.

Oh, and one thing my Kiwi primary school did that I hated at the time but now think was a really good idea was its fitness programme. On dry mornings that weren't too cold, our teacher would take us out and we had to run a lap or two of the school. If it were wet or too cold, we'd go into the school hall and do aerobics. And during our lunch hour, lots of kids played rugby, cricket, netball, or soccer, and if they weren't playing a sport, they were playing in the adventure playground or climbing trees. In fact, I remember one teacher who'd take us out one afternoon a week to play soccer with 2+ balls. That was always great fun. Has the world of my childhood swiftly ceased to exist or something?

(OK, new law: keep Axver off Interference past 11pm because I ramble!)
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Old 03-07-2006, 09:13 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by BostonAnne
I believe the ads for junk food and video games are a huge factor.
You touch on a point that others have raised as well. I find it interesting how in other threads, the media is absolved for promoting violence and sexual promiscuity. But with fat kids, the media is responsible for weight gain.

The media makes many things attractive. And our society has the disposable income to acquire these attractive items.

Advertising for junk food just gives parents another opportunity to say no (or at least explain the negative impact of the food in question).

It is hard to equate with cigarette ads given the number of ways the government both promotes and restricts tobacco use.
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Old 03-07-2006, 09:18 AM   #22
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Maybe I shouldn't admit having seen most of it lol, but did anyone see the series Jamie Oliver's School Dinners?

In documentary format, he basically tackled this issue head-on in transforming school menus in one school disctrict in the UK from junk to healthy, affordable, freshly-made meals every day. The goal was to demonstrate that it can be done and lobby government to support more widespread change.

Very eye-opening and touched on every issue brought up in this thread.

It was a great demonstration that everyone is part of the problem, everyone is part of the difficult solutions. But it can be done. You just need a hard-headed, focused leader with vision whose ego won't let him fail.
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Old 03-07-2006, 10:52 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader


You touch on a point that others have raised as well. I find it interesting how in other threads, the media is absolved for promoting violence and sexual promiscuity. But with fat kids, the media is responsible for weight gain.


i think you're conflating two different things under the umbrella of "media" -- there's advertising, and there's programming. "media" is an easy term to condemn everything that comes through a television, movie screen, or computer monitor, but it's an extraordiarily complex thing, so it is helpful to make distinctions.

advertising exists solely to move product, and as such it seeks to create a far more direct connection between what you, the subject, are lacking and what you need, the product, in order to make up for this. as Yolland said, the point of advertising is to make people feel as if they are missing out on something wonderful if they do not have whatever product.

and you'll note that there's no advertising for violence ("kids! kick the shit out of the other kids in the sandbox!") or sexual promiscuity ("kids! have sex! it will make you popular!").

programming, by contrast, is far more complex, and i would argue that most shows that depict violence and sex, at least those intended for teenagers, do so in a complex way, presenting not only different options but consequences as well. no matter what, putting violence or sex on television does glamorize it to some extent, however, as opposed to advertising, it's simply a more complex thing and subject to more than a single interpretation.

finally, there are strict standards as to what can and what cannot be depicted on children's television. you'll never see Pokemon having promiscuous sex (have to watch "drawn together" for that), nor will you see bloody violence on any superhero shows. even shows imported from Japan are sanitized and toned down for US audiences. there are standards in place that regulate what is and what is not acceptable children's programming; why should the same standards not be in place for advertising that occurs in between children's programs?
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Old 03-07-2006, 11:02 AM   #24
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Programing is not done for altruistic purposes. It is done as part of a commercial enterprise.

Advertsing is also filled with sexual and violent images.

Also, we are looking at this through the filter of parental responsibility. I can't imagine that there should be a shift of responsibility during 30 second intervals for commercials.
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Old 03-07-2006, 11:19 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
Programing is not done for altruistic purposes. It is done as part of a commercial enterprise.

Advertsing is also filled with sexual and violent images.

Also, we are looking at this through the filter of parental responsibility. I can't imagine that there should be a shift of responsibility during 30 second intervals for commercials.


yes, it is part of a commercial enterprise, but programming is vastly different from advertising.

though we could argue that PBS children's programming is done precisely for altruistic purposes -- Sesame Street, etc.

you further prove my point with advertising using sexual and violent images -- they are only there to titilate, to ramp up the excitement, and to make an object more desireable.

i'm just saying that commercials during kids programming should be subject to the same rules and regulations as the shows themselves are.

this is why my kids are going to be watching PBS and lots of DVDs.
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Old 03-07-2006, 11:41 AM   #26
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I watch TV once every blue moon, so I really don't know what's on. But you're right, TV shows are there for commercial purposes, not altruism. They can influence behavior patterns and the makers really don't care what those behavior patterns are. They want a nice big paycheck at the end of it all.
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Old 03-07-2006, 04:12 PM   #27
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Advertising wouldn't exist if it didn't work. Why are kids allowed to spend so much time in front of the TV, being exposed to advertising? If no one bought junk food for their kids' lunches, big corporations would find other markets. This is a perfect example of the fundamental attribution error: say someone is really fit, they'll obviously attribute this to their own dilligence with exercise and diet. Now say there's an 8 year old kid that's 30 pounts overweight. Whose fault is it now? The environment - advertising, availability of junk foods, etc. Yeah, right.

I think parents are responsible for the health of their children, period. I realize that maybe even the majority of children who suffer from this issue are from low-income families who can't afford healthier food so their kids have to eat the nasty stuff from the school cafeteria. If their kids' health is important to them, they should be joining the PTA, school board, whatever and raising these objections.
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Old 03-07-2006, 07:41 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by VertigoGal
I know that from elementary school up through high school, the food offered at public schools is really bad for you. There's always a "healthy" option but it's usually one lonely soggy PB&J in the corner.

This is precisely part of the problem. Who can honestly say a peanut butter and jam sandwich is healthy? I'm not directing this at you, vertigogal. Peanut butter isn not healthy, and neither is jam. A healthy sandwich is one made from fresh and real fillings. And it doesn't even need to be bought from subway at an inflated cost compared to making one yourself.

Anyone who says healthy food is more expensive than crap processed garbage, has either no imagination, doesn't no how to cook, or is unaware of how and what to purchase in a supermarket and fruit n veg shop.

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Old 03-07-2006, 07:48 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally posted by Axver
A bit more on topic, I'm a bit surprised by the way food is handled in American schools. Maybe I've gotten a misperception, but it sounds like the majority of students purchase their lunch daily from the school canteen.
The lunches are not generally "purchased," rather it is part of a subsidized food plan that is included in the cost of schooling, or for a nominal added cost. Some schools do have out-of-pocket options as well but that is not the majority of cases we're talking about here.

And physical education classes are standard in American public elementary schools too--however, it isn't sufficient to make up for a sedentary lifestyle at all other times.
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Old 03-07-2006, 09:59 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem

Anyone who says healthy food is more expensive than crap processed garbage, has either no imagination, doesn't no how to cook, or is unaware of how and what to purchase in a supermarket and fruit n veg shop.

Axver
Mac n cheese - 75 cents
pasta boxes - One dollar
spaghetti sauce - one dollar


1 fresh cucumber 1.00
broccoli 1.50
package of strawberries 3.00
head of lettuce 2.00

The processed stuff has fillers in it and is cheap. white bread - 1.00 per loaf
100% whole wheat bread - 2.50 per loaf

Please teach me what you know Angela! (and don't insult me )
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