Public schools to send home weight reports - page 4

What do you all think of this? I think it's a step in the right direction to address the public health crisis of overweight kids.... Read More

  1. by   Purple_Scrubs
    Animal1993, there is tons of nutritional info out there, for free. Look up the food guide pyramid on the web. Look at your local library. The resources are there for parents who take the initiative to find them. School budgets are already stretched and honestly there is no room for programs for parents who really should be able to obtain the information themselves if they have the desire.
  2. by   mama_d
    Quote from runninfool1009
    I tend to agree with KitKat. I think it's the right idea, but the wrong approach. The parents are presumably well aware of the problem, if their child is overweight, since they're the ones bringing the food home in the first place. I think that singling kids out (especially if they're overweight) is just going to make them feel worse. I believe they should be made aware of the negative consequences of obesity, but it needs to start with the parents being educated, not the kids being put on the spot. Just my
    Hopefully it would be done in a way so as not to put the kids on the spot.

    And I respectfully disagree with your assertion that "The parents are presumably well aware of the problem..." My step-daughter is off the charts for her weight, going by her height, and is obviously obese. However, my darling hubby and her mother have blinders on. It has only been after much discussion with my husband, spanning literally years, that he has begun to see that there may be a problem. I hear "She's just built like a soccer player" or "she's got a big frame". It doesn't matter, what does matter is that we have a nine year old who weighs almost as much as I do.

    Luckily she's at the age now where I can talk to her about portion sizes and healthy food choices. I had a conversation with her not long ago where I told her "You're getting to be old enough that I can talk to you about this...I love you and always will, no matter what you look like. But I'm very worried about your weight b/c it's not healthy and can make you sick and get a disease where you'll have to give yourself shots. I would really like it if we can talk about you making better choices, since you're old enough to do so now." I was sure to emphasize that I wasn't intending for her to forgo things she enjoys, just that I wanted to help her with portions and better choices, like water instead of soda. She now proudly tells me "I got water instead of Coke b/c I want to be healthier". I figure since her mother especially can't see what's going on, giving her some responsibility might work, and it has. It helps that my hubby's siblings are trying to lose weight as well, and are having conversations with her about portions and eating healthier. Her aunt struggled with being "the chubby kid" and is totally on my side.
  3. by   sam2979
    I think this is crazy! What if a family cant afford to put their child on a diet? Is the school going to pay for or give financial assistance to the family who has a fat kid? Is the state? Why single out a child and basically tell them they are fat? EDUCATE the child and the family of ALL, not just the "fat" ones. Buying healthly food is very expensive compared to junk food. My son is 12 and weighs 140 pounds. I reconize he has a weight issue, and I deal with it by educating my self and him without calling him out on it because he is very very self concious and sensitive to the issue. But for me to go to the grocery store and buy healthy food versus junk is costing my family a pretty penny. I have had to change the way we all eat, the way I cook the food, where we eat out at. I also have to find the balance between calorie intake and exercise. Healthy is for everyone, not just the "fat" kids!!!
  4. by   Purple_Scrubs
    Families can't afford NOT to feed their kids (and themselves) healthfully.

    Healthy food does not have to be expensive. Dry beans and rice are dirt cheap. Frozen veggies and fresh fruit for snacks are no more expensive than doritos and other packaged snacks. It is about priorities. To me that is just another excuse that we as Americans make. Google healthy eating on a budget, there is tons of advice out there.
  5. by   sam2979
    Quote from Purple_Scrubs
    Families can't afford NOT to feed their kids (and themselves) healthfully.

    Healthy food does not have to be expensive. Dry beans and rice are dirt cheap. Frozen veggies and fresh fruit for snacks are no more expensive than doritos and other packaged snacks. It is about priorities. To me that is just another excuse that we as Americans make. Google healthy eating on a budget, there is tons of advice out there.
    It is still expensive! To buy a bag of apples-$3.78. To buy a bag of family size doritos-$2.50. To buy pop tarts-$1.78. To buy a bag of oranges-$2.89. I have compared my grocery bills and reciepts. IT IS EXPENSIVE! Not an excuse. What kid is going to eat only rice and beans? What adult is? I have looked at the advice, and followed it. But some families may not have the same resources that I have. Im just saying to call out a kid as being fat is not right. To educate the child and family of the school children. I am fortunate that my family is financially able to change our diet to eating healthy. Not all are.
  6. by   animal1993
    Purple Scrubs-

    I am well aware of the fact that the information is out there, and I have plenty of initiative. However, looking at information alone isn't going to fix the problem. Again, I am only using myself as an example, but I feel as though the majority of overweight people would agree with me. When I say that I never learned to eat properly, I wasn't only referring to food choices. There is the issue of portion control, exercise, etc. You can give people all of the "information" that you want, but unless you educate them on how to use that information, it won't do them any good. (And, unfortunately, our children are the ones who ultimately suffer!)

    As far as school budgets are concerned, I would agree that most of them don't have the resources to properly address the obesity issue. So, my question is this: What good does it do to keep reminding parents of what they already know, if the schools aren't going to be able to effectively help them resolve the issue? I don't disagree with what these schools are trying to do, but I just don't see that their approach is going to change anything.
  7. by   Purple_Scrubs
    Sam2979, You are not looking at unit cost. The price per serving of apples and oranges is much less than processed snacks. You get 4 servings out of a box of pop tarts. The last bag of mixed fruit I got (apples/oranges) had 8 apples and 3 oranges. Sodas are one of the biggest culprits for childhood obesity, and water is much cheaper! As far as kids eating it, you are the parent. You have control over what comes into the home. Kids will eat what is there.

    Animal1993, I am well aware of the struggles, since I am overweight myself. Had my own mother (a nurse incidentally) taken the initiative to educate herself on nutrition rather than relying on others to do so, she may not now have type II diabetes and I might not be struggling to lost weight as I am now. I really don't understand your point on teaching people how to use the information. The information out there is very clear and most of it is at a 5th grade reading level. It discusses portions, exercise, food choices, etc. What else do you need to know?

    I also disagree that this approach is reminding parents of what they already know. Many, if not most, are in denial about this issue, as I mentioned in my previous post.

    You can probably tell that I am pretty passionate about this topic. So many of the kids in the school I serve are overweight, obese or at risk. The parents I see just do not care. They continue to give them chips, sweets, and sodas and they just get bigger and bigger each year. Most of the parents are themselves overweight. Most of them get very defensive (just like many of the responses to this thread) when the subject is brought up. They are not OPEN to education, they are full of EXCUSES (just like those I am seeing here).

    Like I said, I am overweight. I have lost 20+ lbs and still going. The #1 thing that I had to do was DROP THE EXCUSES. Until you do that, nothing is going to stick. I am not directing this to any one person, more to America in general. We need to take responsibility for ourselves and our children and stop blaming the obesity epidemic on everyone else. No, it is not easy. No one said it would be. But, if you want to make a change for yourself and your family, the information is out there to do so. The resources are there. Get out of line at McDonalds and go take a walk with your kids. Talk to them about eating right. Clean out the pantry and trash the junk foods. Set limits on TV/video games and get the kids outside to play. This is not rocket science. It is called PARENTING. Who said being a parent is easy?
    Last edit by Purple_Scrubs on Apr 15, '09
  8. by   Equinox_93
    It really doesn't cost more to eat healthy. You just have to learn how to shop. (Been there, done that and after alot of experimentation and price book comparisons- have figured it out LOL) I actually spend LESS eating healthy. I make whole turkeys, whole pork roasts, lots of eggs (I use egg whites like nobody's business), light tuna in water, plain brown rice bought in bulk at the co-op, grow my own veggies (the kids love learning about gardening and it's just a fun hobby) and buy other veggies and fruits locally from farmers markets etc. Or at the store off-season frozen (way cheaper than fresh)... It really can be inexpensive if you aren't buying the packaged "diet" foods and all that crap.

    Also, diets don't work. What is required for long term weight loss (and keeping it off) is a lifestyle change- not a "diet" which one 'goes on' for awhile until they reach their goal (and then gain it all back and then some because once their goal is obtained they go back to their old habits...)

    Quote from sam2979
    I think this is crazy! What if a family cant afford to put their child on a diet? Is the school going to pay for or give financial assistance to the family who has a fat kid? Is the state? Why single out a child and basically tell them they are fat? EDUCATE the child and the family of ALL, not just the "fat" ones. Buying healthly food is very expensive compared to junk food. My son is 12 and weighs 140 pounds. I reconize he has a weight issue, and I deal with it by educating my self and him without calling him out on it because he is very very self concious and sensitive to the issue. But for me to go to the grocery store and buy healthy food versus junk is costing my family a pretty penny. I have had to change the way we all eat, the way I cook the food, where we eat out at. I also have to find the balance between calorie intake and exercise. Healthy is for everyone, not just the "fat" kids!!!
  9. by   sam2979
    I am open minded here. LOL. I have made the decision to change our life style and the way we eat. My son and I walk EVERYDAY! He and I have both lost weight(even though I am not overweight). But I had to make the decision to change for him, to keep him healthy. It is more expensive for me because I have 3 kids who love apples! They eat all 8 in one day between them! Instead of chips for snacks, they eat fresh carrots and cucumbers with a little lemon on them. I CHOSE to make these changes, to exercise with them and to educate them. So it is a lifestyle change. But to some people, if they are not fully educated and understand about the serving sizes on packages, they look at the cost of the goods sold, not the serving size. EDUCATE ALL! If they listen and change, GREAT! If they dont......than what? I just dont think that children should be worried about their BMI. Parents should be. Kids deal with enough in school without having to be told by adults that they should lose weight. Than we will have a school full of bingers and purgers!
  10. by   animal1993
    Purple Scrubs-

    It sounds like you've really come a long way in beating your own battle with obesity. I definitely agree that being able to lose weight and live a healthier life is achieved when someone "drops the excuses". I personally don't offer any excuses. I know that the way I eat not only affects me, but my children as well. I'm glad that you have been able to overcome the effects of your own upbringing. I guess I just can't say that yet, even though I'm working on it every day.

    As I'm sure you already know, overeating is considered to be an eating disorder. Therefore, there is a "mental" aspect that people must overcome before they can actually address their poor eating habits. I would bet that most of the parents that you deal with do, in fact, care about the fact that their child is overweight. (Honestly, who wants their child to be fat?) However, they probably don't know how to go about dealing with it, and constantly having someone basically tell them that they're a horrible parent because they "don't care" about their child's health does nothing but put them on the defensive.

    I don't know what the answer to the obesity problem is. What I do know is that insulting people doesn't help.
  11. by   Purple_Scrubs
    i agree 100% about the emotional issues associated with overeating. the main thing that helped me start on my weight loss journey was going on an anti-depressant. without that, i think i would still be at my highest weight, if not higher. not everyone needs or should go on meds, but for me it is what helped. i had been living with depression most of my life and did not realize how much it affected me until i was no longer depressed! ok, ot so i'll stop!

    i don't know what the answer is either. i worry so much about the kiddos in my school (and everywhere). there have to be ways to educate without harming esteem for these kids. i do educate one-on-one when i have the opportunity and also in groups. the kids seem open to it, but the parents do not. i really don't know, but it makes me very sad for them and for our country's future.

    i can feel my bp rising, so i am going to bow out, but here are some resources for anyone interested:

    [font=arial (w1)]http://www.mypyramid.gov/index.html
    [font=arial (w1)]
    [font=arial (w1)]http://www.5aday.gov/
    [font=arial (w1)]
    [font=arial (w1)]http://www.healthierus.gov/
    [font=arial (w1)]
    [font=arial (w1)]http://extension.oregonstate.edu/fcd/nutrition/ewfl/module3/budget1.html
    [font=arial (w1)](planning a food budget)
    [font=arial (w1)]
    [font=arial (w1)]http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/publications/foodplans/miscpubs/foodplansrecipebook.pdf
    [font=arial (w1)](usda thrifty meal plan – very kid-friendly!)
    [font=arial (w1)]
  12. by   sam2979
    This is such a debateable subject. People wont change or accept healthy life style changes unless they want to. The only thing we can do is educate to the best of our ability as healthcare professionals and pray that we change someones views on obesity. I am afraid that most americans wont change until they have some disease associated with obesity. I just hope and pray that my children are healthy and keep up the healthy eating after they are grown up and that what I teach them about healthy living they pass on to their own children. Well I have to pop in the Bollyrobics DVD and get down with my 7 year old daughter who is on spring break........YEAH!
  13. by   BradleyRN
    Did it ever occur to the public school system that by removing physical education from their curriculum to save money, that they have in fact perpetuated and magnified the problem of childhood obesity? I saw on the news the other day a public school instituting a "pilot program" where kids get an hour a day of physical fitness. It turns out their scores in other classes went up. I was astonished to hear them use the term "pilot program", because throughout my school life, we had PE every year through to the 10th grade.
    Send the weight reports, but also start up this brand new idea of having physical education as well. :spin:

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