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Agree that parents don't have to buy it, but I think it's important to SERIOUSLY consider the impact that advertising has on the choice. So much advertising is seriously misleading (i.e. all natural doesn't really mean all natural, multi grain doesn't = healthy, just more than one grain). We can't just make this about saying yes/no at the counter. These are REALLY different times from 30 years ago with every aspect of obesity. I'm going to get off of the couch that I am sitting on to type this note and go jog...
It's also important to consider that processed fatty and sugary (corn syrup) laden foods are easier to cook - or heat-up as it may be - and cheap in comparison to fresh meat and vegetables. Whether you can't afford to feed a family of 4 with locally grown, hormon free meats, are just too busy to cook, only buy what you have a coupon for, or just love fast food, eating processed is just bad for you. This coupled with lack of exercise is a recipe for obesity.
You can't lay this at the feet of fast food advertising as they are simply trying to sell a product. If so, you should also blame the coupon circulars in your Sunday paper. Do you think most of the items you get coupons for are actually good for you?
We are a food obsessed society. Not only is obesity on the rise to the detriment of our health but recent reports have eating disorders being steadily on the rise in all age groups, races and now affecting both sexes. The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended standardized screening of kids for eating disorders.
Everyone is deluded by the thinking that thin is healthy, but anorexia nervosa has a low success rate even with treatment and is downright deadly.
While I won't disagree that things such as fast food does indeed contribute to the US's obesity problem, other countries with much lessor obesity rates don't necessarily have an abundance of healthy food eaters; its more so that Americans see most of there daily excercise being walking from their door to the car, and maybe around a store for a bit coupled with eating way more then is necessary at each meal.
I wonder what health care costs due to weight-related issues will look like it 50 years. I also wonder if we are going to see a gradual decline in life expectancy as my generation (gen X) and the ones afterward get older. Added bonus: maybe we won't have to worry about fully funded social security in 50 years. Fewer and fewer people will be making it to retirement age.
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