Tag Archives: fast food

Should Parents Lose Custody of Obese Children?

14 Jul

ABC News: Should Parents Lose Custody of Obese Children?

Is letting your child become obese a form of child abuse? That is the hot debate right now in an article I read on ABC News’ website. Children with extreme obesity are being removed from their parents’ house and put into foster care so they can lose weight. In the article, the children came from low-income families where the parent either couldn’t afford to buy healthier food or they worked several jobs and didn’t have the time to cook. It was very sad to read as the parents were obviously trying to do what was best for their families by providing for them in the best way that they could. One parent worked several jobs so they wouldn’t have to live in an unsafe area, but unfortunately, that resulted in fast food dinners for her 400 lb child.

I’m not sure where I stand on this debate. I see both sides and there are definite pros and cons to both sides, but separating a child from their parent when it’s not a clear case of physical or sexual abuse seems wrong. So often times parents who do hit or molest their children get to keep them. Yet a parent who can’t watch their kid’s diet, but is otherwise a good parent loses their child. At the same time, a 13 year old child who is 400 lbs is far from healthy and is definitely in grave danger of an early death and a slew of health problems.

Ideally what needs to happen is there needs to be nutrition and exercise programs available to families in low income areas. Kids need to have a place they can go to get healthy meals and a chance to work out when they have busy parents. However, with our national debt growing by the second and no end in sight, a government run program like this will never happen. I wish local communities could raise money for that type of thing.

There is such a push to try to eat healthier, but it is much more expensive. Why can’t the prices on fruits and veggies be reduced somehow? Everyone could still make a profit, but if a carton of strawberries is priced like a McDonald’s hamburger, maybe more people will eat it. Local gyms make quite a bit of money, especially if they are a big chain like 24 Hour Fitness. Can’t they offer free classes to overweight kids from low income areas?

I would think there are a lot more solutions out there beyond taking the kids away. And so the kids have success in losing weight in the foster homes, but what is to say what would happen to them when they return home to the same situation? Does that mean they are never allowed to go home? On some level it is abuse to let your child weigh hundreds of pounds more than they should, but there are ways to fix it without separating the parents from them.


Eat Fresh!

12 Mar

It was announced this week that Subway is now the largest fast food chain in America, beating out McDonald’s by nearly 1000 more locations. I was really happy about the news as I’m a big fan of Subway (but hey, I don’t care how “healthy” I am, I HEART McDonald’s fries), and with the obesity problem in America we need more Subways.

Granted, Subway isn’t perfect in that their deli meats contain a lot of sodium and some of the sandwiches on the menu are higher in fat and calories (meatball sub with cheese), but it is definitely the best option we have for fast food that is nutritious. My personal favorite is the turkey breast with American cheese and piled high with lettuce, spinach, green pepper, cucumber and banana peppers. My “cheat” is the cheese, though it only adds about 70 calories to the sandwich. I don’t get any condiments on it to make up for the cheese.

Jared became a phenomenon when he decided to eat nothing but Subway and lost so much weight. I don’t think that’s the best idea as variety is the spice of life, but I think more Americans need to start going in that direction for their meals instead of turning to McDonald’s or another burger joint for their food. The obesity rate is so high here, that something has to be done. So if it’s a small step of healthy restaurants starting to outnumber the unhealthy ones, it’s a step in the right direction.


The Real Deal on Fast Food

27 Jan

I saw an article online this week on ABC News.com about a woman suing Taco Bell for false advertising. Taco Bell was offering a 99 cent burrito filled with beef, cheese and other yummy goodness. The woman was suing, however, because it apparently wasn’t filled with beef. Well, it was filled with only 35% beef. The rest was fillers, binders and chemicals to simulate beef.

I eat Taco Bell about 3 times a year. Three times a year,  I get a serious craving for it, think it’s a good idea and usually spend the rest of the day regretting it. Now I know why. I knew their food quality was questionable. I mean seriously, how can you offer anything remotely good for you for only 99 cents? But I didn’t think it was quite that bad.

But, when we put foods like that into our bodies, is it any wonder that America has obesity problem? If Taco Bell is doing it, then so is everyone else in the fast food industry. And again, I think if you indulge once in a while, no big deal. Everyone has to have some junk food sometimes. But the people who have steady diets of this stuff, it’s scary. It’s so processed and full of chemicals.

I don’t think it stops at fast food either. I think the majority of the boxed and frozen foods at the grocery stores are in the same league. Things that are processed are no longer natural. They are pumped full of chemicals and excess salt to build up flavor.

You want to lose weight? Start shopping the perimeter of the grocery store. Don’t venture down the aisles if you can avoid it. Or if you do, have it be for things like spices or pasta—not boxed or frozen dinners. Buy real meats, produce and dairy products. If you’re switching over from a steady diet of processed or fast food and start this type of shopping, you’ll notice a difference right away.

You’ll probably not only lose weight, but start to feel better and have more energy too. A few weekends ago, I went to visit some family out of state. That family member doesn’t cook and didn’t have any groceries. As a result, we ate out the whole weekend. I felt so gross by the end of the weekend, and I was up several pounds. I craved a salad so badly I would have sold my kidney to get one.

Bottom line: indulge once in a while in something naughty. That’s not going to hurt you. But on a regular basis, remember all the scary things in fast food and processed food and try to make healthier choices.

I’m Not Completely Lovin’ It

24 Nov

Throughout my childhood and high school, fast food was a definite staple in my family’s life. My parents were overweight during that time, but I was one of those lucky people who could inhale anything and everything and not put on weight. Every Friday night we would run through a drive-thru for dinner.

Once I was in college, that began to taper off. Although at that point I was starting to have a weight problem and my parents still had it, we stopped eating it so much. I’d eat it with friends for lunch, but it was no longer a ritual. In the past several years since I lost weight (my parents did too), I rarely eat fast food now. As a family we make everything homemade and try to avoid processed foods. We sometimes get a pizza on a Friday night, but that’s about the extent of it now.

I’ll still get a craving for McDonald’s, because seriously those fries are the best, so I’ll grab it for lunch on occasion with my friends at work. But I never eat it for dinner anymore.

The other night our power went out. We were just getting ready to make dinner when it happened throughout the neighborhood. We waited an hour, but it didn’t come back on and we were starving. Plus it was freezing with the heat off. Since both my mom and I had showered and were in our pajamas with wet heads, we decided to run through a drive-thru as opposed to a restaurant. We hit McDonald’s because it was the closest thing.

A very interesting thing happened: none of us really liked it or felt at all satisfied. My dad pointed out that he and I eat far less calories at dinner at home than we had just consumed, but because it was healthy, unprocessed food we felt full. McDonald’s was just empty calories and a lot of them, but we were all three still hungry afterward. What was more interesting, both my dad and I were really craving salads. What had happened? 🙂

McDonald’s is as much a part of America as baseball and apple pie. I know it’s gross. I’ve seen the happy meal video where it doesn’t mold for 6 months on a table. I read Fast Food Nation. I read the caloric content of their food. I don’t care, sometimes it does taste really good. However, I’ve come to the conclusion I can never handle it for more than lunch, and I really have made a true lifestyle change. I wanted nothing more than a salad and a Subway turkey sandwich loaded with veggies. It was a true epiphany.

So I guess I’m only lovin’ it partially. I’d rather Eat Fresh.