Obese Children - Tragic Results of Modern America

Obese children - who would have believed it 50 years ago, or even 20 years ago?

During the fifties and sixties, overweight children were rare.

What has happened during the last 4 or 5 decades which has caused so many children, teens, and young adults become fat and mal-nourished at the same time?

I think a combination of factors including lack of exercise and all too convenient faddish foods has resulted in a tragic situation.

Some people think the answer is to sue McDonalds.

McDonalds has responded by including salads as part of the McMenu.

But how many McDonalds customers opt to dine on salads?

I don't know, but I suspect that very few salad-eaters go to McDonalds.

Habits are very hard to break - especially when young taste buds have been trained to relish very sweet, high-carb foods.

Many young parents were also the victims of highly advertised snacks, drinks and pseudo meals bought on the basis of convenience and taste.

Foods which look great, smell great, and taste fantastic couldn't possibly mean empty, fat-promoting calories, could they?

Who wouldn't love a steady diet of pizza, burgers, fries, chips, cheese puffs, pork rinds, fried chicken and tacos with carbonated beverages laced with caffeine?

I remember the first time I visited a fast-food place as a teenager during the late '50's. The burgers tasted great, and so did the greasy fries.

The shakes and malts were an amazing treat, too.

My wife's favorite combination was onion rings with a burger, and a hot fudge sunday for desert. Of course, she wasn't my wife then.

Back then, at least the shakes and malts were actually made from real ice cream and milk - but they were still fattening.

The thing that saved my generation was that we were very active compared to children today.

We were still able to ride bikes and walk to school - and the school curriculum still included physical education classes for everyone.

All during our childhoods, it was very uncommon for a child not to play outside.

Activities like kick-the-can, neighborhood football and basketball, jump rope along with serious hide-and-seek games where you had to run back to base when you were found, and if you beat the seeker, you were home free.

We rode bicycles everywhere.

There were trails up and down through irrigation canals, over sparsely traveled dirt roads and through vacant fields.

I grew up in four different locations - Colorado, Wyoming, and 2 in Southern California.

There was little or no fear of predators - so kids ran and played hard. We didn't have a TV until I was about 12 years old - and it was used very sparingly.

Playing outside was still preferable, probably for another 2 or 3 decades.

Video games were non-existent. For the most part, so were obese children.

Most children didn't have a chance to get fat. Obese children or were very unusual.

I can't remember seeing a single obese child or teenager during the years from 1950-1980.

There were a few who were somewhat overweight for short periods of time - but conditions didn't lend themselves for children to remain overweight.

Along with plenty of exercise, most children ate evening meals at home with their families.

Even meals out of a box were not common. If I occasionally ate at a friend's house, I could count on a good meal - maybe not as delicious as my mom's cooking.

But my taste buds were prejudiced.

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