Study: Childhood Obesity Has Become A Global Epidemic - Page 3 - U2 Feedback

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Old 03-07-2006, 10:08 PM   #31
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As a college student who's paid for my own food (and everything) since age 17, my experience is that you CAN get healthy, or at least not UNhealthy, foods for a normal price, but we rarely get them because they spoil so quickly. I typically buy groceries once every two weeks. There's hardly any good raw fruits and veggies that last that long. I love berries, so I splurge on strawberries and raspberries even when they're not in season, but they have to all be eaten within two days.

And like yolland pointed out, MOST healthy foods cost more. I can get white bread for $0.69 but wheat will cost $1.50 or more. I can get frozen berries for $0.99, but a fresh pack of strawberries is about $3 or $2 when in-season. 8 measly oz. of raspberries are nearly $4! Meanwhile, I can get a whole Tuna helper dinner for $1.50 or Mac 'n cheese for $0.50 or less, Campbell's soups for $0.69.

And as for cooking, like my housemates and I say everynight, maybe we'll have time to cook when we're not full time students working 2-4 jobs a piece, not including our internships/practicums.
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Old 03-07-2006, 10:48 PM   #32
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LivLuv is right on.

It may be easier to cook cheaper, nutritious meals when you are cooking for a family of 4, 5, etc. But when you are a single person or a student, it's really expensive to go buy 1 cucumber, 2 oranges, a head of Romaine, a squash, etc. These things spoil quickly so unless you'll be hauling ass to the grocery store to buy fruit and veggies every couple of days, it's really not feasible. And you come back from class or from the library at 7 pm, you haven't eaten since noon, nobody will sit there and make a veggie lasagna when you can have mac 'n cheese in less than 10 minutes. It's not just cost, I think a lot of people choose these meals with fillers because of convenience.

I lived overseas in a poor country when I was a child and don't really remember that many overweight kids. I think the main difference wasn't necessarily a reduced caloric load at lunch (because I remember a lot of pasta and rice, etc which is carb heavy), but snacks. Most kids these days come home from school and essentially eat non-stop until they go to bed. Chips, cookies, microwaveable popcorn, pop, crackers and so on. Food with no nutritional value and while it looks like 2 Oreos can't do too much damage, when you combine them with 4 Ritz cheddar sandwiches, 5 Teddy Grahams dipped in chocolate, 3 fruit gushers or fruit roll ups, it all adds up.
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Old 03-07-2006, 10:58 PM   #33
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Originally posted by anitram
And you come back from class or from the library at 7 pm, you haven't eaten since noon, nobody will sit there and make a veggie lasagna when you can have mac 'n cheese in less than 10 minutes. It's not just cost, I think a lot of people choose these meals with fillers because of convenience.
Like tonight, for example, I was in class all day until 9 frickin pm and then Phil was late getting me. I'm tired and stressed and all I want right now is to microwave a few frozen eggrolls and veg in front of the TV for just a few minutes before the nightly workout and then trying to get to sleep at a good time b/c I'm working 8-5 tomorrow, during which I get 1/2 hr unpaid break. Cooking? What's that? It's not that it's inconvenient, it's IMPOSSIBLE.

As for kids, I don't ever remember my dad's cooking being all that healthy (my mom doesn't cook). What I remember is that we didn't have options of what to eat and we spent all of our waking hours outdoors.
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Old 03-07-2006, 11:38 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally posted by BostonAnne


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 )
I wouldn't insult you, Anne!

I actually haven't done the maths on this example, but I'll work it out as I type, lol. A burger meal at McDonalds is um...$6? I think that's right. Now. If you buy:

6 pk hamburger buns = $2
500gm heart foundation mince = $6-$8
1kg bag of cholesterol free oven chips = $2.70
1.25L diet coke/diet pepsi = $1.80

total = $14.00 approx.
But you can make at least 4 healthy McProtest Healthy Meals! Which works out $3.50-$4.00 each. Maths was never my forte, but we can see in this one example. Now this is if someone insists on eating a burger with chips and a soft drink (which I think is unneccesary, the chips are not needed with a burger - we over eat thinking this practice is ok). The chips can be grilled on an oven grill plate and have no fat except for what they come in. I do these chips myself occasionally and it is my version of healthy junk food. Much nicer than take-away or very processed food, I reckon! Of course the meat can be cooked in olive oil, and the bun is most likely going to be free of the hideous preservatives you can find hidden in buns not bought with a nurtritional table on them.

Needless, I strongly disagree with anitram and livluv that cooking for a family is cheaper or easier. If you guys dont have time or energy now, dont think you will with 2 or more kids to chase after. If you think it is a different maths game with multiple people to feed in one sitting, then again it is not true. I could feed my family with the above for half the cost of take-away, but that food lasts only one meal. You could do exactly the same and freeze the meat and keep the buns and have it last 4 days. Probably not appetising 4 nights in a row, but still. If you are so exceptionally busy that cooking is the last thing you can manage at the end of a day, then may I suggest casseroles or stirfries?

500gm chuck steak
500 gm carrots, potato, peas, any old veges you like
beef stock/hot pot (etc) mix
-Divide by however much you eat, freeze, and you have dinner for a week. Cheap. No cooking, no excess fat or processed food.

Rice. Cheap as. A godsend to busy people, poor people, and health concious people.

I could go on and on, but I cant even remember the point I was trying to make so I'll shut it.
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Old 03-07-2006, 11:43 PM   #35
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I think that just cutting out soda alone could help a lot of kids. The amount of soda people drink has sky rocketed. When I was a kid the only time I got to have soda was during lunch on the weekend or if we went out to eat, now it seems like a lot of kids drink nothing but soda. It's not unusal for people to drink 3 or more sodas per day and each can of soda has like 150? calories, no nutritional value, and isn't even filling.
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Old 03-07-2006, 11:43 PM   #36
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Oh, and Anne, I got given this book recently (which I'm going to give to my moderately intellectually disabled sister-in-law) on 3 ingredient recipes. They are all healthy except for the desserts. They are also exceptionally cheap to buy the ingredients for, and many you can plump up with things you already have in the kitchen.

And I remembered, with what you listed as examples like mac n cheese etc, you can get cheap quick things like noodles, rice based meals, pasta and stuff, for as cheap. It might take longer to prepare, but I fully believe it's possible!
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Old 03-07-2006, 11:53 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
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 have to respectfully disagree. I made the mistake in an earlier thread of blaming the parents too much for their children's risque clothing choices, music, etc. After thinking about it a bit, I realized that parents can act as a buffer, but it's difficult, because they're under constant attack from so many forces. This is kind of similar. The kinds of foods we eat are choices that we make as individuals, yes, but they're also plotted at great length in the boardrooms of multinational corporations. These companies have a massive and unprecedented ability to infiltrate every sense and emotion known to humanity.

Sure, it's free will. So is taking cocaine. But, if that drug were available legally on every street corner after a hard day at the office, would it simply rest on the individual's shoulders to walk on by?
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Old 03-08-2006, 12:16 AM   #38
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Originally posted by Angela Harlem


I wouldn't insult you, Anne!

I actually haven't done the maths on this example, but I'll work it out as I type, lol. A burger meal at McDonalds is um...$6? I think that's right. Now. If you buy:

6 pk hamburger buns = $2
500gm heart foundation mince = $6-$8
1kg bag of cholesterol free oven chips = $2.70
1.25L diet coke/diet pepsi = $1.80

total = $14.00 approx.
But you can make at least 4 healthy McProtest Healthy Meals! Which works out $3.50-$4.00 each. Maths was never my forte, but we can see in this one example. Now this is if someone insists on eating a burger with chips and a soft drink (which I think is unneccesary, the chips are not needed with a burger - we over eat thinking this practice is ok). The chips can be grilled on an oven grill plate and have no fat except for what they come in. I do these chips myself occasionally and it is my version of healthy junk food. Much nicer than take-away or very processed food, I reckon! Of course the meat can be cooked in olive oil, and the bun is most likely going to be free of the hideous preservatives you can find hidden in buns not bought with a nurtritional table on them.

Needless, I strongly disagree with anitram and livluv that cooking for a family is cheaper or easier. If you guys dont have time or energy now, dont think you will with 2 or more kids to chase after. If you think it is a different maths game with multiple people to feed in one sitting, then again it is not true. I could feed my family with the above for half the cost of take-away, but that food lasts only one meal. You could do exactly the same and freeze the meat and keep the buns and have it last 4 days. Probably not appetising 4 nights in a row, but still. If you are so exceptionally busy that cooking is the last thing you can manage at the end of a day, then may I suggest casseroles or stirfries?

500gm chuck steak
500 gm carrots, potato, peas, any old veges you like
beef stock/hot pot (etc) mix
-Divide by however much you eat, freeze, and you have dinner for a week. Cheap. No cooking, no excess fat or processed food.

Rice. Cheap as. A godsend to busy people, poor people, and health concious people.
But this just proves the point. Why pay $14 to make healthy burgers when you can feed 6 people with a $1.99 box of Mac 'n cheese? Or three packs of Ramen for a total of $1.50. Or a Tuna Helper meal for $1.50 plus the can of tuna for $1. And as for family life being as busy as college, that also proves my point, that if college students can't find time to cook for themselves, how would they expect to have time to go shopping for healthy foods and cook it in a way that's healthy for their families every day? And $6 for a burger at McD's...no way! Also, aren't buns and rice full of carbs and doesn't boiling veggies (for the stew) ruin it's nutritional value? Anyway, our point about cooking for several being cheaper is that we're making two assumptions 1) that food is being bought for say 3-6 people and 2) the food is being bought about once a week. In college, you have a single person buying food once every 2-4 weeks. Lettuce and other greens, berries, tomatoes, even milk don't last that long. Like I said I can at the moment get 2lb of strawberries for $3 but the most I can eat in a day before getting sick is 1/4 lb and they all go bad after 2-3 days.
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Old 03-08-2006, 12:49 AM   #39
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Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic


But this just proves the point. Why pay $14 to make healthy burgers when you can feed 6 people with a $1.99 box of Mac 'n cheese? Or three packs of Ramen for a total of $1.50. Or a Tuna Helper meal for $1.50 plus the can of tuna for $1. And as for family life being as busy as college, that also proves my point, that if college students can't find time to cook for themselves, how would they expect to have time to go shopping for healthy foods and cook it in a way that's healthy for their families every day? And $6 for a burger at McD's...no way! Also, aren't buns and rice full of carbs and doesn't boiling veggies (for the stew) ruin it's nutritional value? Anyway, our point about cooking for several being cheaper is that we're making two assumptions 1) that food is being bought for say 3-6 people and 2) the food is being bought about once a week. In college, you have a single person buying food once every 2-4 weeks. Lettuce and other greens, berries, tomatoes, even milk don't last that long. Like I said I can at the moment get 2lb of strawberries for $3 but the most I can eat in a day before getting sick is 1/4 lb and they all go bad after 2-3 days.
Er, no. It doesn't prove any point. Let me explain it further. If you want to compare healthy home cooked burgers to macaroni and cheese instead of a McDonalds burger meal equivilent, then let me throw in a $0.30 apple and win this one. I compared home cooked burgers to take-away burgers. Not one thing to something entirely unrelated. Your mac n cheese, though. You could buy a $1.99 box, or you could buy a $0.50 packet of pasta and make the cheese sauce with ingredients you already have in the cupboard. OR you could decide to do it healthier and skip the mac cheese entirely. I have no idea what a tuna helper meal is, but with a can of tuna, it is at least healthy.
As for having time, you have less I have found in my experience as a student and then being a housewife who works or doesn't still work when you are doing the family thing. Or maybe I was just a bad student, who knows, lol. One thing I knew though, I wanted to eat well and I wanted my family to, so I changed habits and made decisions to eat good food that is easy to cook. You just adjust life to fit it in. One thing I wanted to add is your comments about the stew or casserole. Veges for starters, go into them raw or snap frozen, never boiled first. And I personally never boil anything. I steam it which is the healthiest way I am aware of to eat vegetables without eating them raw. So I dont lose any nutrition. If someone did boil them before casseroling, then yeah, they'd lose the value.

Look, I could go on and on. But even shopping irregularly is something you can overcome. You might need to be dedicated and willing to find a market for your fresh food, or a willingness to alter your diet to get longer shelf life items which are still healthy and cheap, but it can be done.
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Old 03-08-2006, 01:06 AM   #40
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Er, no. It doesn't prove any point. Let me explain it further. If you want to compare healthy home cooked burgers to macaroni and cheese instead of a McDonalds burger meal equivilent, then let me throw in a $0.30 apple and win this one. I compared home cooked burgers to take-away burgers. Not one thing to something entirely unrelated.
OK, but we weren't talking about fast food bought per meal. I guess I'm just getting more and more confused.

I'm sure there are plenty of ways to cook healthy meals and plenty of places to buy the food, but that doesn't have any effect on the rate that food spoils. Not to mention, many foods aren't even available certain times of the year or if they are, are outrageously expensive and are half rotten by the time they get shelved. If I want food cheap and not in bulk or prepackaged, we have a local farmers market, but because it snows 8 months of the year, it's hardly ever open.

Not that this has much to do with fat kids and the shitty sludge they serve in school cafeterias...
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Old 03-08-2006, 01:06 AM   #41
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sorry if I sounded rude in the above reply, btw. Just trying to feed one child and talk on the phone to a real estate agent whilst arguing with another child on yoghurt.

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Old 03-08-2006, 01:08 AM   #42
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Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic


OK, but we weren't talking about fast food bought per meal. I guess I'm just getting more and more confused.

I'm sure there are plenty of ways to cook healthy meals and plenty of places to buy the food, but that doesn't have any effect on the rate that food spoils. Not to mention, many foods aren't even available certain times of the year or if they are, are outrageously expensive and are half rotten by the time they get shelved. If I want food cheap and not in bulk or prepackaged, we have a local farmers market, but because it snows 8 months of the year, it's hardly ever open.

Not that this has much to do with fat kids and the shitty sludge they serve in school cafeterias...

frozen fruit and veggies are cheaper and often better tasting than fresh. Doesn't help with salad though and I love salad
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Old 03-08-2006, 01:11 AM   #43
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Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic


OK, but we weren't talking about fast food bought per meal. I guess I'm just getting more and more confused.

I'm sure there are plenty of ways to cook healthy meals and plenty of places to buy the food, but that doesn't have any effect on the rate that food spoils. Not to mention, many foods aren't even available certain times of the year or if they are, are outrageously expensive and are half rotten by the time they get shelved. If I want food cheap and not in bulk or prepackaged, we have a local farmers market, but because it snows 8 months of the year, it's hardly ever open.

Not that this has much to do with fat kids and the shitty sludge they serve in school cafeterias...
Yoghurt crisis sorted.

This did get way off topic of crap served in schools. Though I cant comment on that either as back when I was a young tacker the food was healthy. Dunno about now though. It's probably garbage, hence our increasing obesity rates in this country too.
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Old 03-08-2006, 01:11 AM   #44
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Good advice Angela. And I agree with you that cooking for a family is not easier, except perhaps in the sense that--if you're lucky--you *might* have a little bit more to spend on food by that stage in your life than you had as the proverbial "starving" student.

When I was in college and grad school I ate a lot of brown rice; lentil, garbanzo and soy beans; canned fish (not tuna--too much mercury); mushrooms; broccoli; and dark greens (which last up to a week if you rinse and dry them the day you bring them home, then store them in either a plastic bag lined with paper towels, or even better, one of those reusable special bags for this purpose that you can buy cheaply at healthfood stores). Pasta, bread, and fruit I ate more occasionally. It wasn't the most varied diet, but it was highly nutritious and cheap. Often I'd make several nights' worth of food on my day off (when I had a day off!) in my old bought-secondhand crockpot, then freeze it for microwaving or a quick stove reheat later. Or I'd bake a large casserole and freeze portions of that. Stir-fries are also very quick, and don't need a lot of ingredients to taste good if you have the right condiments on hand. These may not be the most optimal cooking methods nutritionally but the result is still better for you than ramen noodles.

I suspect part of the problem for a lot of young people is that they've never really been taught to cook, and thus are kind of stumped about how to make a variety of good-tasting meals out of a small range of ingredients. All my siblings, male or female, and I were required to help my mother with everything from shopping to chopping to canning tomatoes to flavoring stews with the herbs she grew on the windowsill when we grew up. So we learned a lot about what to do in the kitchen. I think it also helped that she cooked from a consistent flavor palette (Greek) which gave us a firm grasp of how to flavor things, even if that was expanded on later in life (I also learned a lot from living with an Indian family when I studied abroad, and to this day we buy our spices in bulk at an Asian market because it's cheaper). We are making sure that our kids learn these same things--being able to cook for yourself is a basic life skill.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are admittedly not cheap, particularly for those of us who lives in more northerly climes. I guess the best strategy is to focus your spending on the most nutritious ones, like broccoli, mushrooms, dark greens and berries (berries freeze well too, BTW). And for 3 seasons of the year, you can often find these cheaper at farmers' markets or one of the new community supported agriculture (CSA) co-ops springing up around the US (see http://www.localharvest.org/csa/ for a directory).
Quote:
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I lived overseas in a poor country when I was a child and don't really remember that many overweight kids. I think the main difference wasn't necessarily a reduced caloric load at lunch (because I remember a lot of pasta and rice, etc which is carb heavy), but snacks. Most kids these days come home from school and essentially eat non-stop until they go to bed.
I agree with this too. We did always eat *one* afternoon snack when I was growing up, and our kids eat one too, but that's low-calorie, high-nutrient stuff like fruit and veggie sticks, maybe with a few nuts or dried fruits if they're really doing something active. The kids from New Orleans who stayed with us ate a LOT more snacks than that (despite being less active), and their snacks were mostly chip/cracker/cookie type things. Again, this is where I think advertising can hurt (even though it's still ultimately the parents' responsibility), because it just makes them want more, more, more of all the wrong things, rather than simply accepting what your parents offer you without a second thought.
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Old 03-08-2006, 01:14 AM   #45
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sorry if I sounded rude in the above reply, btw. Just trying to feed one child and talk on the phone to a real estate agent whilst arguing with another child on yoghurt.

It's fine. I agree that people in general (myself included) need to make better choices. All I'm saying is that when you're ONLY buying food for ONE person and you only get paid once every two weeks at best, buying healthy stuff is a waste of money because it all spoils within the first five days. I've tried several times with the same results. The only thing that keeps around here are grapefruits, which my fiance and housemate can't have because of their medications. Also, we have more house conflicts over fridge space than anything else so we can't buy a lot of fruits and veggies.

And I agree children can make it worse. The three month old I take care of refuses to drink from a bottle anymore and I don't have the goods if you get my drift, so most of the time I'm trying to keep her as quiet as possible and am lucky to even get a piece of candy in for breakfast.
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