Society forces us to get fat

Most Americans ignore truth about obesity, researchers say
Many Americans think that people's individual decisions — not societal factors — are to blame for the obesity epidemic, but this is an oversimplified view that could hinder progress toward obesity prevention, researchers argue in a new editorial.
As discussed yesterday, it's only peoples individual choices that shape their lifestyle. Obesity prevention is down to the individual. If they are unhappy with their weight then they have to make the efforts required to change their lifestyle. It is certainly not the role of government to get involved.
Although what we eat and how much we exercise certainly play roles in causing obesity, much evidence suggests that changes over the past three decades in our work schedules, schools and food and beverage availability are the driving factors of the epidemic, according to a recent report from the Institute of Medicine.
Again discussed in yesterdays post, food and beverage availability is down to market forces. The food and drink that the local population want to consume will be made available. No business will offer for sale a product that nobody wants to buy. If they did they would not be in business for very long.
However, in a 2011 survey, just 18 percent of Americans said that environmental factors, such as the ubiquity of junk food, were the biggest causes of childhood obesity. In contrast, 64 percent said individual habits, such as overeating and watching too much TV, were to blame.And in a separate poll, the majority of Americans said the parents of obese children are the most responsible for childhood obesity.
It seems that 64 percent of Americans have got their heads on straight then. Nobody is forced to go into a McDonalds or KFC and buy junk food. People do it because it is what they choose to do.
This gap between public opinion and science-based evidence needs to be overcome in order to better combat obesity, according to the editorial.
Easily done then, just follow the tobacco control template. The gap between public opinion and junk science based evidence has certainly been overcome where passive smoking is concerned.
"Even for parents and individuals that are most dedicated to trying to address weight problems, the deck is stacked against them," said Colleen Barry, an associate professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Because? And you know this is going to be good...
Parents want their kids to eat healthful foods and exercise, but "there are forces that make it hard for parents to do it," Barry said, including marketing of unhealthy foods to children, the availability of junk foods at schools, and the lack of safe areas for children to exercise.
Let's break this nonsense down into manageable *ahem* bites:
"there are forces that make it hard for parents to do it,"
You know what? Parenting is difficult. You are taking a tiny human that is no more than a feral animal and shaping it to learn, grow and become a member of a civilised, evolved and interactive society. It is no easy task and every prospective parent should be aware of that before making the choice to procreate.

Children are stupid by definition. They want things that they think are best for them in the short term. They have no cognitive reasoning abilities and cannot conceive of future consequences of actions today.

That's why a parent must make the choices for them. Firm and often use of the word 'no' is the key here. It's no good for a parent to abdicate responsibility for raising their children to the state.
marketing of unhealthy foods to children
Unhealthy foods are not marketed to children. Children have no money, and that is all businesses are interested in. Products are advertised to adults but sometimes through children who will employ an element of pester power to get something they want. It's up to the parent to decide if and how often they allow their children to eat junk food.

Like I say, children have no money. If a parent allows their child to get fat from eating McDonalds every day then they are an inadequate parent. Part of the parenting responsibility is making decisions and sticking to them, for the benefit of the child and in the face of all the pestering, sulks and tantrums they may face.

Tantrums do not last for ever. Children pick up rules and boundaries quite quickly if they are imposed.
 availability of junk foods at schools
Now I haven't been in a school for many years and I am no Jamie Oliver, but considering what was on offer at our school, junk foods in this case, probably just refers to chips.

You may have little control over what you child eats at school, however there are things you can do about it.
1) Teach your child (At school age they are old enough to understand) that eating crap every day is not good for them. If you have already brought them up on a varied diet then this shouldn't be too difficult.
2) Take the packed lunch option.
and the lack of safe areas for children to exercise
Children do not exercise, they play out. The lack of safe areas for children to play out has been created by none other than the government who is now complaining that children are too fat.

The government told us that there is a paedophile on every street corner. Now parents are afraid to let their children out.

The government told us that even in safe places with no peados, the safety of children must be heavily regulated so there is no risk of harm, and now no risk of enjoyment either.

Getting dirty, cutting your knees and even breaking an arm falling out of a tree is part of growing up. It's part of learning about your environment and enjoying a well rounded childhood.

Children have plenty of safe areas to exercise. It's called the outdoors, we just have to let them go there.
In order to make meaningful changes in the obesity epidemic, better communication strategies are needed to help the public understand the influence of the environment on obesity, Barry said.
If this doesn't happen, the public may be less supportive of policies that attempt to change this obesity-conducive environment, Barry said. For instance, the recent NYC proposal to limit the sale of large-size drinks in the city was not well received by some.
It wasn't well received because it was bollocks. When you enact bollocks as public policy you are likely to get a less than favourable reaction from the public.

The 'large sized drinks' banned in New York are less then an English pint. That's not making sensible policy, it's simply taking away personal choice, infantalising the population.
To persuade people to embrace the idea that the obesity epidemic has roots in the environment, the message should come not just from public health agencies, but from trusted sources, such as churches, community groups and friends, Barry said.
However, changes in our environments, and in public views, won't happen overnight, Barry said. She pointed out that tobacco control, which ultimately resulted in smoking bans in many public places and restrictions on tobacco marketing, was a slow process.
Who was it that said there is no slippery slope?


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