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In our Obsession to Combat Childhood Obesity

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Child eating disorders on the rise

By Cindy Harb, Special to CNN
updated 6:59 AM EDT, Wed August 22, 2012

Fat is the new ugly on the playground

A study conducted by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality showed that hospitalizations for eating disorders in children under 12 increased by 119% between 1999 and 2006. More recent numbers are unavailable, but experts say the problem isn't getting any better.

Children will come in to her office already showing signs of malnutrition, dietician Page Love says. They often have low energy levels and low iron counts and are reporting hair loss because of their extreme weight loss.

Most, like Smith, do not recognize that their restrictive habits are actually an eating disorder that could ultimately be fatal.

Dina Zeckhausen is a psychologist and founder of the Eating Disorder Information Network. She sees kids in third and fourth grade who are already worried about being fat.

"There is so much emphasis on obesity," Zeckhausen said, "that there's a danger that we are going to produce a lot of anxieties in kids around weight."

Zeckhausen says that starting overweight kids on diets can trigger an obsession with food that could lead to an eating disorder.

by on Jan. 26, 2013 at 7:55 AM
Replies (21-30):
Veni.Vidi.Vici.
by on Jan. 26, 2013 at 10:58 AM


Food Stamp Use Linked To Weight Gain, Study Finds

Aug. 12, 2009 — The U.S. Food Stamp Program may help contribute to obesity among its users, according to a new nationwide study that followed participants for 14 years.


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Researchers found that the average user of food stamps had a Body Mass Index (BMI) 1.15 points higher than non-users. The link between food stamps and higher weight was almost entirely based on women users, who averaged 1.24 points higher BMI than those not in the program, the study found. For an average American woman, this would mean an increase in weight of 5.8 pounds.

The study also found that people’s BMI increased faster when they were on food stamps than when they were not, and increased more the longer they were in the program.

“We can’t prove that the Food Stamp Program causes weight gain, but this study suggests a strong linkage,” said Jay Zagorsky, co-author of the study and a research scientist at Ohio State University’s Center for Human Resource Research.

“While food stamps may help fight hunger, they may have the unintended consequence of encouraging weight gain among women.”

Based on these findings, the Food Stamp Program may have a significant impact on America’s obesity rate. In 2008 about 28 million people, or almost 1 in 11 residents, received benefits from the program in a given month.

Zagorsky conducted the study with Patricia Smith of the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Their study appears in the current issue of the journal Economics and Human Biology.

The researchers used data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, which has questioned the same group of randomly selected Americans since 1979. The NLSY is conducted by Ohio State’s Center for Human Resource Research.

In this study, Zagorsky and Smith compared nearly 4,000 survey participants who used food stamps with almost 6,000 survey participants who did not. They looked at BMI and food stamp use among the participants from 1989 to 2002.

BMI is one of the most widely used measurements for obesity. The BMI approximates body mass using a mathematical ratio of weight and height.

Obesity has been linked to poverty, so the researchers took into account income and a variety of other factors – including race and education -- that may have also affected the weight of survey participants, outside of the use of food stamps.

In addition, the study compared people who lived in the same counties, to take into account that there may be local factors that affect obesity rates.

Even after the various controls, the link between food stamp use and higher weight remained clear, especially for women.

While female food stamp users in general had an average BMI that was 1.24 points higher than those not in the program, white women’s BMI was 1.96 points higher, while black women’s BMI was 1.1 points higher.

Male food stamp users, both white and black, did not have significantly higher BMIs than those not in the program.

Additional evidence of food stamps’ role in weight gain came when the researchers looked at how people’s BMI changed before, during and after they were on food stamps.

Results showed BMI increased over all three periods, but increased the most when participants were on food stamps.

The average food stamp users saw their BMI go up 0.4 points per year when they were in the program, compared to 0.07 points per year before and 0.2 points per year after they no longer received the benefits.

In addition, the study found the longer participants received food stamps, the higher their BMI.

“Every way we looked at the data, it was clear that the use of food stamps was associated with weight gain,” Zagorsky said.

From the data they have, the researchers can’t tell for sure why food stamps seem to lead to unhealthy eating practices, Zagorsky said. But there are clues.

Government statistics showed that the average recipient received $81 in food stamps per month in 2002, the last year examined in this study.

“That figure was shocking to me.” Zagorsky said. “I think it would be very difficult for a shopper to regularly buy healthy, nutritious food on that budget.”

That’s because calorie-dense, high-fat, processed foods tend to be less expensive than more healthy choices.

Zagorsky said policymakers should aim at changing the types of food that program participants purchase.

Those on food stamps could be required to take a course on nutrition. In addition, recipients who purchase fresh fruit and vegetables and other low-fat products could be given more benefits or receive discounts on these products, he said.

“Modifying the Food Stamp Program to include economic incentives to eat healthier might be an important tool for fighting obesity,” Zagorsky said.

rfurlongg
by on Jan. 26, 2013 at 10:58 AM
What commercials? Perhaps the focus should be on those advertisers and not the public discussion of positive health choices.
I saw the title of the other thread and purposely avoided it.


Quoting brookiecookie87:

 Tv. They have commercials now that use fat shaming.

And people are even suggesting we use it:

http://www.cafemom.com/group/99198/forums/read/17961456/Fat_shaming_may_curb_obesity_bioethicist_says


Quoting rfurlongg:

Where are people using shame on a mass scale? Honest question. We do not watch tv. Certainly at my children's school the focus is on health and not shaming.



Quoting brookiecookie87:


The Solution is pretty simple. Educate kids about healthy foods and give them activities to do.

The problem we are seeing is because people want to use shame. When you use shame to try and fight the problem you will get teenagers (Maybe even kids) who develop eating disorders



Quoting rfurlongg:

Teaching healthy eating habits starts early. However, for those children that do become obese at young ages how do we as a society help them loose weight without instigating further health issues? The article presents a problem, but no solution.








Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Veni.Vidi.Vici.
by on Jan. 26, 2013 at 10:59 AM


Food Stamps and Obesity: What Do We Know?

by Michele Ver Ploeg and Katherine Ralston

Economic Information Bulletin No. (EIB-34) 37 pp, March 2008

  Results from reviewed studies indicate that for most participants in the Food Stamp Program—children, nonelderly men, and the elderly—use of food stamp benefits does not result in an increase in either Body Mass Index (BMI) or the likelihood of being overweight or obese. However, for nonelderly women, who account for 28 percent of the food stamp caseload, some evidence suggests that participation in the Food Stamp Program may increase BMI and the probability of obesity. Different results for age and sex subgroups remain unexplained. Further, because food stamp benefits are issued to households, not individuals, mixed results across age and sex subgroups make it difficult to target policy alternatives to address potential weight gain among some participants while not affecting others in the household.

lga1965
by on Jan. 26, 2013 at 11:01 AM

 It is so sad that children start out being overfed and are fat by the time they are in school. They are usually made fun of. I remember only a couple of kids in grade school when I was a kid in the 50's who were overweight, not obese. They were teased. Not bullied, but teased. Obesity is a new thing , growing in leaps and bounds,in the last 20 years....and more kids are being teased and bullied. It is sad that so many families are not acquainted with healthy cooking and eating. And too many offer second helpings and think that kids need to "clean their plates". Then they object to suggestions that the kids are overweight and say that "they are still cute kids even if they are fat". Screwed up way to live.

brookiecookie87
by Platinum Member on Jan. 26, 2013 at 11:02 AM

I imagine you can youtube it. I remember seeing one where there was a chubby girl sitting in a chair while the skinny kids were playing outside and it talked about how she can't play because she couldn't keep up..

And there was another one that targted the parent showing two chubby kids eating food talking about how much their parents can eat. And that one day they will be able to eat twice as much (As the parent walks up with a try of fast food).

I actually avoided the other topic as well.

Quoting rfurlongg:

What commercials? Perhaps the focus should be on those advertisers and not the public discussion of positive health choices.
I saw the title of the other thread and purposely avoided it.


Quoting brookiecookie87:

 Tv. They have commercials now that use fat shaming.

And people are even suggesting we use it:

http://www.cafemom.com/group/99198/forums/read/17961456/Fat_shaming_may_curb_obesity_bioethicist_says


Quoting rfurlongg:

Where are people using shame on a mass scale? Honest question. We do not watch tv. Certainly at my children's school the focus is on health and not shaming.



Quoting brookiecookie87:


The Solution is pretty simple. Educate kids about healthy foods and give them activities to do.

The problem we are seeing is because people want to use shame. When you use shame to try and fight the problem you will get teenagers (Maybe even kids) who develop eating disorders



Quoting rfurlongg:

Teaching healthy eating habits starts early. However, for those children that do become obese at young ages how do we as a society help them loose weight without instigating further health issues? The article presents a problem, but no solution.










Join us on the 99% Moms group!
The Ninety-Nine Percent Moms   

If they enforced bank regulations like they do park rules, we wouldn't be in this mess

Veni.Vidi.Vici.
by on Jan. 26, 2013 at 11:04 AM
1 mom liked this

Thin Wallets, Thick Waistlines: New USDA Effort Targets Link between Obesity and Food Stamps

Could added incentives and other changes to the federal food stamp program trim rampant obesity rates among low-income groups?

While obesity rates have risen to about 30 percent of the U.S. population—carrying with it an epidemic of diabetes—food stamp enrollment has also exploded. About one in eight Americans now rely on the assistance, according to data just released from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), up from one in 50 people in the 1970s.

The full monthly SNAP allocation, now averaging $124 per person nationwide, is provided at the beginning of each month. Research published in 2000 concluded that the bulk of participants also do their grocery shopping once monthly, shortly after the benefit is credited. (Wal-Mart reports a spike in sales at 12:01 A.M., as soon as federal assistance funds hit SNAP accounts.)

Another study from 2004 found a corresponding decrease of 10 to 15 percent in food consumption over the course of the month, suggesting some recipients may eat well for the first couple weeks after they've shopped and then run low on food near month's end. This kind of "binge–starvation" cycle has been linked to changes in metabolism, insulin resistance and, ultimately, increases in BMI.

--snip--

Obesity risk also weighs heavily on the choices people make on their shopping trips—and the choices made available by retailers. In many urban neighborhoods the most convenient places to shop are corner stores, such as the bodega down the street from the Bronx farmers market. Inside this store, past the rack of Little Debbie brownies, is a cash register framed by salt, fat and sugar. On the left are plastic compartments filled with Charleston Chews and Starbursts; on the right, Mike and Ike's and Planter's Peanuts. Double Bubble sits atop a cooler filled with caffeinated Monster drinks, alongside a cold case of ice cream. All of it can be purchased with food stamps.

Although often proposed, the idea of narrowing the list of foods eligible for purchase with SNAP funds has been stymied due to fears that fewer eligible people would participate, the prices of healthy foods could rise or marketers would simply repackage a candy bar to look like a granola bar. Similar concerns arise over adding taxes or fees to unhealthy foods. Focusing on positive reinforcement, such as financial incentives, "dodges that trouble," Wilde says.

The USDA's Economic Research Service recently found that a targeted 20 percent price reduction for fruits and vegetables would raise the average SNAP participant's daily consumption of these foods by about a quarter of a cup. A New Zealand study published in December highlighted an 11 percent increase in the purchase of a wider range of healthy foods when a 12.5 percent discount was applied. This positive effect even remained significant six months after those discounts were removed.

--snip--


"There's a lot of innovation going on in farmers markets and various other programs within municipalities," Wilde says. "But it would be even better to see fruit and vegetable promotions through all retail channels." Depending on the outcome of the pilot study, a SNAP revamp could bring such pervasive changes by the end of 2013.

yourspecialkid
by Platinum Member on Jan. 26, 2013 at 11:04 AM
2 moms liked this

 I can see how this is happening.  I think the focus needs to be moved from "obesity" to just healthy living...giving our bodies what they need.

Kids aren't born eating Happy Meals...they eat them because we go through the drive through.  They will just as happily eat the homemade chicken and veggie soup if that is what they are used to having on the table.

Kids are naturally active...it is the adults that purchase the electronics that make them couch potatoes.

The solution to this is the same as it is with so many other things....take responsibility at the outset and don't be afraid to just say no.

 

yourspecialkid
by Platinum Member on Jan. 26, 2013 at 11:07 AM

 

Quoting Veni.Vidi.Vici.:

Thin Wallets, Thick Waistlines: New USDA Effort Targets Link between Obesity and Food Stamps

Could added incentives and other changes to the federal food stamp program trim rampant obesity rates among low-income groups?

While obesity rates have risen to about 30 percent of the U.S. population—carrying with it an epidemic of diabetes—food stamp enrollment has also exploded. About one in eight Americans now rely on the assistance, according to data just released from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), up from one in 50 people in the 1970s.

The full monthly SNAP allocation, now averaging $124 per person nationwide, is provided at the beginning of each month. Research published in 2000 concluded that the bulk of participants also do their grocery shopping once monthly, shortly after the benefit is credited. (Wal-Mart reports a spike in sales at 12:01 A.M., as soon as federal assistance funds hit SNAP accounts.)

Another study from 2004 found a corresponding decrease of 10 to 15 percent in food consumption over the course of the month, suggesting some recipients may eat well for the first couple weeks after they've shopped and then run low on food near month's end. This kind of "binge–starvation" cycle has been linked to changes in metabolism, insulin resistance and, ultimately, increases in BMI.

--snip--

Obesity risk also weighs heavily on the choices people make on their shopping trips—and the choices made available by retailers. In many urban neighborhoods the most convenient places to shop are corner stores, such as the bodega down the street from the Bronx farmers market. Inside this store, past the rack of Little Debbie brownies, is a cash register framed by salt, fat and sugar. On the left are plastic compartments filled with Charleston Chews and Starbursts; on the right, Mike and Ike's and Planter's Peanuts. Double Bubble sits atop a cooler filled with caffeinated Monster drinks, alongside a cold case of ice cream. All of it can be purchased with food stamps.

Although often proposed, the idea of narrowing the list of foods eligible for purchase with SNAP funds has been stymied due to fears that fewer eligible people would participate, the prices of healthy foods could rise or marketers would simply repackage a candy bar to look like a granola bar. Similar concerns arise over adding taxes or fees to unhealthy foods. Focusing on positive reinforcement, such as financial incentives, "dodges that trouble," Wilde says.

The USDA's Economic Research Service recently found that a targeted 20 percent price reduction for fruits and vegetables would raise the average SNAP participant's daily consumption of these foods by about a quarter of a cup. A New Zealand study published in December highlighted an 11 percent increase in the purchase of a wider range of healthy foods when a 12.5 percent discount was applied. This positive effect even remained significant six months after those discounts were removed.

--snip--


"There's a lot of innovation going on in farmers markets and various other programs within municipalities," Wilde says. "But it would be even better to see fruit and vegetable promotions through all retail channels." Depending on the outcome of the pilot study, a SNAP revamp could bring such pervasive changes by the end of 2013.

 I agree with this.  It isn't pc to do so though.  Anytime such a thing is suggested people start with the "well doesn't my kid deserve a twinkie every now and then."  The problem is that it isn't every now and then....just ask any grocery store checker.

 

Veni.Vidi.Vici.
by on Jan. 26, 2013 at 11:13 AM


Quoting lga1965:

 It is so sad that children start out being overfed and are fat by the time they are in school. They are usually made fun of. I remember only a couple of kids in grade school when I was a kid in the 50's who were overweight, not obese. They were teased. Not bullied, but teased. Obesity is a new thing , growing in leaps and bounds,in the last 20 years....and more kids are being teased and bullied. It is sad that so many families are not acquainted with healthy cooking and eating. And too many offer second helpings and think that kids need to "clean their plates". Then they object to suggestions that the kids are overweight and say that "they are still cute kids even if they are fat". Screwed up way to live.

My mother was a kid in the 50's ad she was thin because she didn't get nutritional foods and meals. She managed to gain 50+ lbs with all of her pregnancies and lose it. Now that she's in her 60's she's plump but hardly fat.

Before the late 70's there were far less hormones in meats, less chance of eating fruits and veggies that were genetically modified and more likely that children were actively playing for hours outdoors.


lga1965
by on Jan. 26, 2013 at 11:20 AM
1 mom liked this

 

Quoting Veni.Vidi.Vici.:


Quoting lga1965:

 It is so sad that children start out being overfed and are fat by the time they are in school. They are usually made fun of. I remember only a couple of kids in grade school when I was a kid in the 50's who were overweight, not obese. They were teased. Not bullied, but teased. Obesity is a new thing , growing in leaps and bounds,in the last 20 years....and more kids are being teased and bullied. It is sad that so many families are not acquainted with healthy cooking and eating. And too many offer second helpings and think that kids need to "clean their plates". Then they object to suggestions that the kids are overweight and say that "they are still cute kids even if they are fat". Screwed up way to live.

My mother was a kid in the 50's ad she was thin because she didn't get nutritional foods and meals. She managed to gain 50+ lbs with all of her pregnancies and lose it. Now that she's in her 60's she's plump but hardly fat.

Before the late 70's there were far less hormones in meats, less chance of eating fruits and veggies that were genetically modified and more likely that children were actively playing for hours outdoors.

 That's true. The fact is though that portions are larger, moms are feeding more at each meals and the snacks are unhealthy and eaten way too often . Then the obese kids are too unhealthy to even want to go out and play and burn off the calories. This results in too much time sitting or lying in front of the TV or with the X-box,etc. Ugh.

And I am also afraid of the Genetically modified foods issue....there is evidence that even flour that is bought to bake with at home comes from GM wheat. WHat next,huh?

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