Parents Are The Key In The Battle Against Childhood Obesity
Posted Mar 17 2013 5:00am
From Your Health Journal…..”I had to promote an article I recently found on the Toronto Star web site written by Patrick Luciani entitled Parents Are The Key In The Battle Against Childhood Obesity. It is a very important article for you (as a parent) to read, so please visit the Toronto Star web site (link provided below) to read the complete article. We have read here on many accounts how the government may be trying to regulate soft drinks and implement what they call a ‘fat tax’ on various items. A recent report suggests that that obesity costs society billions of dollars in rising health costs, and will only get worse if we do nothing. There is something truly upsetting seeing children who are obviously overweight and struggling with a range of health problems. So, if the government intervenes, they feel they may be able to reduce obesity, thus reduce health care costs in the future. But, the article in the Toronto Star suggest that parents be held accountable for their children’s weight, and this can make the difference needed to reduce health care, and most importantly, produce healthier children. I encourage you all to visit the Star’s web site to read this well written and informative article.”
From the article…..
Government regulations are no substitute for effective parenting.
What are we to make of a recent report entitled No Time To Wait prepared by the Ontario’s Healthy Kids Panel released last week? It has nice pictures of happy healthy kids along with the appropriate number of visible minority adults smiling and cooking with their kids. As with all these reports about health, it makes endless recommendations for government to solve rising childhood obesity numbers.
The report argues that obesity costs society billions of dollars in rising health costs, and will only get worse if we do nothing. There is something truly upsetting seeing children who are obviously overweight and struggling with a range of health problems. And because of this need the report lists about 35 recommendations for government action, from more prenatal care and breastfeeding, to banning low-nutrient foods and sugary drinks to children under 12.
It also wants the Ontario government to provide incentives (read more money) to food growers to “support community-based food distribution programs” and all restaurants to list calories on all menu items — a program that didn’t work in New York City, and won’t work here in reducing obesity levels. And of course it calls for more spending, about $80 million annually to reduce childhood obesity levels.
To its credit, the report doesn’t recommend new taxes on selected food products and sugary drinks probably because the committee couldn’t agree on which foods to tax and whether those taxes would do much good.
On this point, most economists are in agreement. A wise decision, especially in light of Denmark’s disastrous experiment with a similar fat tax as consumers found endless ways to avoid it. After only 18 months, the Danes chucked the whole mess. But there are other problems with the report.
The charts in the report make it clear that childhood obesity rates have been rising for the past few decades, but the study doesn’t break down the data by income levels, ethnicity, education or whether there is a higher level of obesity among children from single parent families.