Sunday, April 25, 2010

Don't Blame School Lunch Lady

I read an interesting article in the newspaper today about childhood obesity. Did you know that 27% of all Americans ages 17-24 are too heavy to join the armed services, according to a new report by the retired officers.

Now that I have your attention, our kids spend about 180 days in school. Most kids have school lunch, and some eat breakfast there as well. If our kids eat 3 meals a day, for 365 days in the year, that is a total of 1,095 meals. If all our kids are eating is hot lunch all 180 days of school, then that leaves us with 915 that they eat at home. That means that the majority of our children's food is being fed to them at home. That leaves us as parents with a huge responsibility to feed our children healthy foods.

"The EarlyBird Diabetes Study looked at 226 British families and found that :

  • Obese mothers are 10 times more likely to have obese daughters
  • Obese fathers are 6 times more likely to have obese sons
  • There is no association between obese mothers and obese sons, obese fathers and obese daughters"

"A Greek study conducted by Harokopio University in Athens has confirmed the belief amongst health professionals that child obesity risk is much higher when parents themselves are overweight.

Over 2300 pre-school children, attending 105 nurseries around Greece, were recruited into the study during 2004. Researchers collected data on weight and height and used this to calculate body mass index (BMI). Children were then classified as ‘normal’, ‘at risk of overweight’ or ‘overweight’ depending upon their BMI. At the same time, parents were asked to complete questionnaires about their age, educational level and weight and height. Parental BMI was then estimated.

The results showed that 32% of the children were overweight, which is much higher than the 21% expected using international predictions.
Children with 1 obese parent were almost twice as likely to be overweight than children whose parents were of normal weight. Children with two obese parents were 2.4 times more likely to be overweight.

The authors concluded that parental BMI strongly influenced whether or not a child was overweight."

Our children typically eat what is given to them, and over time they will like the food that is most often fed to them. If you are making and eating healthy foods yourself, and you do not provide the junk food in your home, your children will learn to like the foods that are given to them. This is just my opinion as to why parents who are overweight tend to have children who are overweight. I do understand that genetics also has a role in being overweight, but considering that childhood obesity is on the rise, that tells us that we are doing something with our environment, not genetics.
So lets all start right now.

Let's get started today. I made a list of my TOP 5 worst foods. Look down the list and pick one thing that is currently in your house, and change it! One simple step.

  1. White Bread. We all need more fiber! - Do 100% whole wheat flour bread.
  2. Fruit Snacks. They are not fruit! - Try dried fruit or fresh fruit.
  3. Hot Dogs. They might as well be made of dogs! - try nitrate/nitrite free deli meats
  4. Trans Fats. Any thing that has the word "partially-hydrogenated . . . .". - most organic crackers/snacks are trans fat free
  5. High Fructose Corn Syrup. - If you cut out the amount of processed foods your family eats, this will go away on its own.
Good luck! Feel free to leave a comment on what your goal is, or what you have already done. We will help keep you motivated.


  1. What a good point! That's 83% of non-school meals that we provide at home. I remember the study showing if parents were obese, the HUGE increase in the chance of the child being obese. Every since I heard that a couple years ago, I've paid attention. LOOK AROUND; it's true. Think of who you know & where they're heading & use it to motivate you to feed your kids RIGHT. It's what they be used to eating for the rest of their lives! Thanks, Lisa. :)

  2. Great post Girl! Very interesting. However I still have "uneducated" questions about weight REALLY being genetic. ~KT