1. My research interest is children, obesity and the environment, and things like this are always so eye-opening. It also reminds me of ongoing conversations I have with my mother – who is a dietician. She believes Americans are fat because they have no willpower. This may be true, but if we were able to create an environment that was less obesogenic, then we might be a bit closer to having an overall healthier society.


  2. While I agree there are lots of fattening foods out there, the fact of the matter is we as a society are lazy. It’s much easier to pick up pre-packaged foods full of chemicals than it is to prepare a low fat nutritious dinner or lunch. Also consider we are not as active as we used to be. Busy is used as an excuse a lot for eating out, but busy is different than being active.

    I don’t want food police to tell me what to eat or how much. Educating should or could help? You can lead a horse to water, but can’t make him drink.

    Sadly processed foods are the norm not the exception as they used to be. Individual responsibility is the bottom line. How to find the happy medium? I don’t know.

    I don’t think more intervention from the Government or other groups on the hazards of processed or fatty foods is the answer.

    Just playing the devil advocate. No to more regulating and yes to more individual responsibility.

    push away from the table, get up and go for a family walk.


  3. I don’t want to hijack this post, but while I understand Kim’s argument – it is one we in the public health field hear a lot in relation to all sorts of health issues – I do have to disagree to an extent.

    The main issue for me is protecting vulnerable groups like children and those living in poverty. Education is not always the answer when the only option for families is fatty processed foods. You can know what to eat, but not be able to gain access to it. The environment – and I don’t mean environment in an ecological sense, but rather the environment we live in – plays a key role in the foods we eat. Do people have easy access to healthy foods? Are they affordable? Do they have opportunities for physical activity? And, yes, are we educating people so they can make healthy choices?

    I am for regulation – I understand completely that others aren’t. The politics of food is complex – I don’t even want to get into the food system! – but something has to be done in this obesity crisis. And I don’t think that simply telling people to stop eating so much is going to work. For one thing, there is a lot of evidence that fatty, highly processed foods are not only bad for you, but also carry addictive properties. If we simply view the obesity epidemic as a problem of greediness, I think it will be difficult to actually solve the problem, because we can simply feel that by telling people to stop eating so much and to get off the couch we are doing something. My research has lead me to believe this is not the case.


  4. Michele Chaves July 22, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Just think about that meal…Mac & Cheese Quesadilla AND a hot dog AND a sugary drink AND a peanut butter cup. Just reading it makes me feel sick.

    Here’s what I wonder, why aren’t corporations thinking about what’s in the best interest of children instead of appealing to our most gluttonous tendencies? Who sits around the menu meetings at these restaurants and thinks these are responsible menus? Do they have no conscious at all? I always wonder about that…how do the people who make the decisions to create these menus (and products, and videos, and movies, etc. etc.) actually reconcile their decisions.

    I’m not one of those who is vehemently opposed to fast food, but moderation and careful choices are key. My kid is Autistic. She doesn’t like unpredictability. Fast food is predictable every time and she knows what she’s going to get and that she’ll like it. That helps us navigate things sometimes. But certainly, my kid isn’t getting the Friendly’s mega calorie meal either.


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