1. You're so right. And I'm so guilty. I'm the grandmother who buys the Wendy's baconator – STILL – even now when Wendy's posts the calories on the drive up menu, even now when I have grown obese, even now when I cringe at my grand kids' double chins. Thanks for the scolding. I needed it. There's nothing more precious to me in the world than these children, and I am going to change. When they get home this afternoon, we're going to play basketball!

  2. I do not think the child should have been taken away from his mother. Clearly there are issues that need to be addressed but at least we know he was fed- better than some kids. The reality is the government is using her as an example when if they want to DO something to help this family they need to start with themselves. Most likely this child was on subsided meals at school. Reality is poverty in US = obesity. Nutrient poor foods with high calories. Why? Healthy food is harder to get and more expensive and they really don't know! Education is so often the missing link with obese children. This boy probably starts his day with a biscuit, sausage and chocolate milk at his school for breakfast followed by a hamburger, fries, cookies and more chocolate milk for lunch courtesy of the government. If kids get good food they eat it- but if they have junk food as their choice they will eat that instead. If he only had the choice of healthy meals at school a big part of the problem would be solved- 2 of 3 meals most days of the year. He would learn what is good and not good- something his mother never learned so she could not teach him And if he was required to go to PE everyday- not just once a week or never- he would be getting at least 5 days of physical activity. With test scores being the priority the overall well being of the kids is often lost. If they really want to help the obesity crisis they should start making some meaningful changes in schools it all starts with education.

  3. I have had the opportunity to speak to MOPs groups and share what is in our food. Food Inc is a good documentary for those who want some truth (it's a little on the new age side, but there are still some good facts.) Anyway, when I share about genetically modified foods, MSG, etc, I get the deer in the headlights look. Not many seem to know anything about what's in our food. I don't like to give the gov't the right to say "abuse", "neglect". I homeschool and they overstep their bounds all the time in the homeschool community. Do I think allowing your child to be obese is right, absolutely not…but letting the gov't step in isn't the answer either. I think we need to know the truth about all the junk they have tainted our food supply with and I think there needs to be a way to make healthier food more accessible. People who work hard…they are tired, they make minimum wage, so they buy what is "affordable". Or, they don't want to take the time to know what is good or not. I was the stupid mom until I got diagnosed with a potentially life threatening condition. I woke up and since then have changed a lot of things, I chose not to be another "sick" american! Thanks for your blog!

  4. Meredith: "If they really want to help the obesity crisis they should start making some meaningful changes in schools it all starts with education."

    I agree with you 100% on this statement. I was going to address that in my post, but felt this subject actually warranted a separate post. The lack of PE and the food offered in school lunches and as "rewards" and "treats" throughout the day is an area that greatly disturbs me.

    Although, the fact that the case workers tried to work with this mother for 20 months before removing the child from her home tells me that they must have taught her something about basic nutrition and the importance of exercise.

    Without knowing more about the case, it's really difficult to make assumptions about this boy's family and his economic situation.

    Thanks for your input, friend. 🙂

  5. Wow. A 200 pound 8 year old? I can't fathom it…

    However, I think the government gets involved in too much. They swoop in to save so many people, that our society had developed a "the government should fix this" mentality. It's time to take responsibility for our own actions.

    However, the flip side is, the child was suffering health damage by the living situation… so I am torn. I don't know the answer.

    However, we also can't blame fat kids on school food. If they eat a healthy breakfast and lunch then a school lunch will NOT make a kid fat.

    Lack of PE? Infuriates me. As a person who has lots of energy to burn and who has a daughter with the same tendencies I can't IMAGINE having to sit still as much as they do. However, the kids have so much info to cram in to such a short day, I don't know the answer there either…I just know that as a parent I must step up and make sure they MOVE so they don't just turn in to blobs of jelly watching TV.

    The only thing I DO know is parenting is a really big job. A tough job. I only pray I don't screw it up any more than I already think I am!

  6. I hold myself accountable for every aspect of my children's lives. No it's not always easy. Yes. I think parents should be held accountable for what their kids eat. How to do that and the role of the government? The answer isn't so simple but not fixing it isn't an option. It's an epidemic that has lifelong consequences.

    As a psychologist at an elem school for 1000+ students you would be shocked by the number of children that are obese and by the number of kids that can't even walk up a flight of stairs without stopping.

  7. This is such a difficult issue, Sandy, and I appreciate the way you've addressed it. So much education needs to be done, and you're doing a good job of doing that here. When I was growing up, we learned about food and nutrition from our moms who actually knew something about it. These days, lots of moms don't cook, so they know very little about nutrition. We really do owe it to our sons and daughters to educate them about these things.

    As to the 200 pound 3rd grader. Oh my. I heard that story, and really felt sad for him. His mom needs education, but I don't think it's helping the situation to have him removed from her home. I pray he gets the help he needs.

  8. Grandma again. I want to address the issue of the little boy being taken from his mother. I probably didn't mention it earlier because it makes my blood boil. It's heart wrenching and just wrong in this situation and dozens of others. I saw the underbelly of our system when my daughter tried to reach out as a foster parent. And as an early home school mom, I know exactly what ecoffey is talking about when she says our government oversteps its bound.

    And Meredith is right on. Food choices in the public schools are beyond awful. And what happened to PE? I was in school when JFK (I think) said we needed to be exercising, so even though I was embarrassed in those group shower stalls;)I had some kind of PE all the way through high school. And sadly her equation is correct. I too believe low income is a big factor in our obesity crisis. One of my own prayers – as I look at retirement – is that I would be able to go into the store and buy the salmon and the pomegranate juice and organic veggies I like and that I know are good for me. Instead, even now when I work part time, I browse the store for the "manager's specials" and other mark downs just to be able to feed myself let alone the grand kids when they visit. Of course, less Wendy's will help the budget! And my electric bill may go down too when I unplug the electronic devilish devices now and then. Ya think?

  9. Until this child has been given a full battery of tests to determine why he is obese, he should not be removed from his mother. If what I read is true, she also has an older child who is not obese. Why is there no mention of his father? Is the mother and, by default, the family living on welfare? Limited money frequently leads to buying the cheapest food. As you said in your last comment, we don't know enough about the situation and most likely the government overseers don't either.

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