Childhood Obesity : A Primer for Parents

Having an obese child doesn’t make you a bad parent.

  • Uninformed : MAYBE
  • Bad : NO
  1. Processed food producers spend an ungodly amount of money learning what type of foods encourage overeating…and over-purchasing. Sugars, fats, processing techniques, flavor enhancing chemicals, etc.
  2. In addition to the bio-chemsitry, then spend big bucks on neuro-psychology to determine how your eyes and brain can be manipulated while you shop. Believe it or not, there is a lot of science behind product placement and purchasing decisions.
  3. Moving on to the science of manipulation, our food producers also spend huge amounts of money creating and delivering marketing campaigns aimed directly at your kids….knowing that if they get them while they’re young, they will have them for life. Creepy – YES…but also very effective.
  4. And if that wasn’t enough, they also spend a lot of money employing lobbyists to protect their interests within government, generate massive food subsidies and to block any legislation limiting their influence over our kids.

Put it all together and it’s not too surprising that our kids keep getting fatter and fatter.

Luckily, there are solutions.

  • Informed parents can make better food and activity choices for their kids.
  • Informed parents can tell their government that they don’t like advertising directed at their pre-pubescent children.
  • Informed parents can bring attention (thank you social media) to the political manipulation that makes a mockery of the Free Market.
  • Informed parents can talk to other parents and local government to improve access to healthy foods in their neighborhood.
  • Informed parents can take advantage of existing grants and support organizations to improve the walkability and “playability” of their neighborhoods

And how does a parent get informed?

Here’s a good place to start.

Other Resources


  1. Dear Sir/Madam,
    I would like to request your permission to use the picture of teh obese child watching TV and eating. I am a registered dietitian working at a Head Start program in Fairfax County, VA. I am working on a parent training about the effect of screen time in the live of our children. Thank you for considering my request.

  2. The permission isn’t mine to give – I found the image on Google and was never able to determine the original creator

  3. Very good stuff here, but an important ingredient left out. Parents need to be fully involved themselves. Be active, be models, if kids are surrounded with a world that doesn’t promote these habits, then we have a chance to beat this. I show how in my book, Family Fit: Find Your Balance in Life. See: http://tinyurl/ccoj857 Healthy Choice Publishers. Please add it to your resources. Dr. John Mayer

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