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School Children Are Now Too Fat to Fit In Class Chairs

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the we're-gonna-need-a-bigger-pizza-boat dept.

Australia 84

A recent survey of 750 Australian schools has revealed that on average children have grown too large for their chairs and desks. From the article: "The Education Department said schools were running healthy eating programs. 'The department takes the issue of childhood obesity seriously and works with a number of agencies to address the issue,' a spokesman said. 'We have a number of initiatives to support school communities as well as promote healthy eating.' He said parents needed to enforce the message about healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle at home."

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I'm lovin it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34053050)

'News for Nerds'? 'Stuff that matters'?

Re:I'm lovin it! (2, Funny)

Andy_w715 (612829) | more than 3 years ago | (#34053142)

More like Double Stuff.

Size Matters. (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34058148)

News for Nerds, Size does Matter!

Seriously, as someone who has kept relatively healthy over the years it astonishes me how some people let themselves go. I'm not talking about the guy who weighs 200-300 lbs that can still walk up stairs without collapse but people in their 20's and 30's on obesity scooters [diet-blog.com] and toilets for people who weigh up to 2000 lbs [bigjohntoiletseat.com] .

Re:Size Matters. (1)

pearl298 (1585049) | more than 3 years ago | (#34076284)

One of the problems with obesity is that like rape it has a large chorus of "blame the victim" from the totally clueless!
I used to weight 450 lb and it took a massive effort (including WL surgery) to ge tme down to 200lb again!
DO NOT blame the victims, it is an easy excuse which solves NOTHING!

Re:Size Matters. (1)

MakinBacon (1476701) | more than 3 years ago | (#34081722)

When I was obese, it was that kind of "blame the victim" attitude that drove me to stop eating hamburgers and start running on the treadmill every day,

Re:Size Matters. (1)

pearl298 (1585049) | more than 3 years ago | (#34106598)

It took THAT much effort to stay down at 450lb! "Blame the victim" did NOT help!

Re:Size Matters. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34128384)

You were not "the victim," you were the perpetrator.

Re:Size Matters. (1)

pearl298 (1585049) | more than 3 years ago | (#34131300)

You classify yourself by that statement.

Re:Size Matters. (1)

pearl298 (1585049) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133182)

Remember the biblical "Woman taken in the very act of adultery"? Likely SHE was 12 years old and reaped by a much older and (based on the culture of the times). WHERE WAS THE MAN? Can you say "scarlet letter?" How about WW I veterans who were "guilty" of "cowardice" after 4 years in the trenches? "BLAME THE VICTIM" sure does make things look much nicer. *I* am not to blame, so *I* can just ignore the problem because it is only the "lessre races" who are "at fault". SOME of us call this RACIST!

Re:Size Matters. (1)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | more than 3 years ago | (#34129544)

Except that rape is forced upon the victim. No one forced you to scarf down Twinkies until you were too fat to stand up.

If you have some kind of medical condition that makes it extremely hard for you to maintain a healthy weight, that's one thing. But the fact is that the vast majority of obesity isn't caused by some medical condition, but by people eating too much and being too lazy to exercise.

Re:Size Matters. (1)

pearl298 (1585049) | more than 3 years ago | (#34131294)

I haven't eaten a "Twinkie" or anything of the sort in 40 years! Yes I AM forced to eat, like it or not. At the time I lived on a sailboat and typically walked 4-5 mile/day for as long as I was able.

What? (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34053182)

What, all of them?

No, just some of them. And when I was that young, we had kids too fat for the desks, too.

And that article even admits they were teaching class for 5th and 6th grades in desks made for 3rd graders.

Re:What? (1)

teachknowlegy (1003477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061594)

If they would stop taking the lowest bidder for everything the desks wouldn't be built to the specs of the lowest average kid, either. A desk "suitable for 3rd graders" is really about the size of the average kindergarten kid. My kid is a beanstalk, but very very tall, and though a beanstalk he has bulging biceps (for a kid). He doesn't fit in a third grade desk.

Re:What? (1)

FoolishOwl (1698506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34074000)

And that article even admits they were teaching class for 5th and 6th grades in desks made for 3rd graders.

I'm very thin, and was noted as very thin as a child, yet I found the seats I had to sit in uncomfortably small. Come to think of it, one of the things I liked about visits to school computer labs was that they had adult-sized cushioned chairs, so they were comfortable.

The school buses we rode in had seats that, supposedly, accommodated three children each; seating was enforced on that basis. Even for very small children, the seats had space for, perhaps, two and a half children. For older kids, with the seats full (as they inevitably were), this meant that the kids in the aisle sides of the seats would have just part of one thigh on the seat, and would be leaning against each other across the aisle, completely blocking the aisles. The crowding meant that riding the bus was physically painful, and getting off the bus meant literally walking over other children's thighs. It often occurred to me that as a child, that in the event of a traffic accident, many of the children riding the bus would be trampled to death in a panic when trying to exit the bus.

In the US at least, and it sounds as if this is the case in Australia as well, decades of shorting public school budgets have resulted in institutionalized cruelty to children through the establishment of standards that are literally insane.

Uhhum.. for some of us this is old news. (1)

xmuskrat (613243) | more than 3 years ago | (#34053206)

Glad they are fixing the real problem by ordering some chunky desks.

Re:Uhhum.. for some of us this is old news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34053316)

You mean "husky"

Re:Uhhum.. for some of us this is old news. (1)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 3 years ago | (#34054160)

I'm not husky, I'm big boned.

Re:Uhhum.. for some of us this is old news. (1)

MachDelta (704883) | more than 3 years ago | (#34054210)

"You're big-assed! Dinosaurs are big-boned! Put the fork down."

(Credit belonging to Mr. Denis Leary)

Re:Uhhum.. for some of us this is old news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34056256)

You've got a lot of big meat on that big bone.

Re:Uhhum.. for some of us this is old news. (1)

Keith111 (1862190) | more than 3 years ago | (#34054678)

Yeah, Australia is much better off spending time and money on more important things than helping students feel more comfortable in classrooms. Important things like illegalizing porn with small breasts.

Re:Uhhum.. for some of us this is old news. (1)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34060350)

The Australian government has a job for you.

Re:Uhhum.. for some of us this is old news. (1)

VolciMaster (821873) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061740)

For some reason, all classroom desk/chair combos seem to be designed for some hypothetically-average 6th grader. Even the ones in college. New chair/desk combos are definitely needed ... the obesity problem is another issue, but 6'2" 200lb people just don't fit well in a chairdesk designed for 5'5" 130lb folks!

a modest proposal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34053268)

Using the ones that can no longer learn because they can't fit into desks could be sent to market as feed for livestock.

these students need support! (1)

xmuskrat (613243) | more than 3 years ago | (#34053272)

"We have a number of initiatives to support school communities". Looks like they'll need some more if they want to support these students weighty dilemma.

Re:these students need support! (1)

Beorytis (1014777) | more than 3 years ago | (#34053890)

"We have a number of initiatives to support school communities"

We have started by contacting the local chapter of the Structural Engineers Association.

Not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34053356)

In America companies are allowed to market foods as "lean", "fat free", "diet", "full of vitamins" and "healthy" even though these foods are actually full of calories and nothing like healthy. It's also impossible to buy cereal without lots of sugar or HFCS in it at many malls (i.e. everywhere I've looked) - if you want a normal breakfast cereal without crap in it, you have to go to some specialty shop (I haven't found any in my area), or you have to make it yourself. From my experience here, you have to actively go out of your way to not end up obese while living in the US.

Re:Not surprising (1)

ALeavitt (636946) | more than 3 years ago | (#34053646)

Have you considered buying your groceries at a grocery store?

Re:Not surprising (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 3 years ago | (#34053752)

Who ate all the pies?
Who ate all the pies?
You fat bastard!
You fat bastard!
You ate all the pies!

Re:Not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34053774)

Are you confusing carbohydrates with sugar? Of course cereal will be high in carbohydrates; by definition they're made from grain. Look at the sugar part of the nutrition chart.

Re:Not surprising (1)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 3 years ago | (#34053784)

You're not looking hard enough.

Cheap crap that makes them money and makes you sick will be pushed in front of your face.

Healthy stuff that doesn't make anyone a ton of money will be hidden behind the crap.

Go shop at Trader Joe's or Wild By Nature or Whole Foods or a farmer's market.
Hint: If there is a McDonald's under the same roof you are in the wrong place.

Re:Not surprising (1)

nabsltd (1313397) | more than 3 years ago | (#34054712)

Um, there are a lot of quite successful selling breakfast cereals that are just fine as far as "healthy" goes. For example, Wheat Chex [about.com] .

Sure, it's not uber-whole-grain-all-natural-extra-fiber, but there's nothing wrong with it. And, you can get store-brand equivalents that are cheaper and pretty much exactly the same.

Re:Not surprising (2, Insightful)

babblefrog (1013127) | more than 3 years ago | (#34057074)

Nothing wrong with it? That is the nutritional equivalent of two tablespoons of sugar, with a tiny bit of incomplete protein mixed in. How is that in any way healthy?

Re:Not surprising (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34057288)

Doing a bit of quick research I found:

Considerations

Wheat Chex contain 5 g of sugar per serving, which is equivalent to about 1.2 tsp. The American Heart Association recommends consuming just 6 tsp. of added sugar daily if you are a woman and 9 if you are a man. The sugars in Wheat Chex come from sugar, which is the second ingredient, and molasses, which is the fourth ingredient. The wheat variety of Chex is not gluten-free. The corn, rice, honey-nut, chocolate and cinnamon versions are, however.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/277650-wheat-chex-cereal-nutrition-information/#ixzz13h64D000 [livestrong.com]

here. [livestrong.com] That's 5g per 38g serving. I'd bet that a lot of people eating it because it's a "healthy option" put a bit of sugar on the top as well. Where I live we have cereals packed with sugar all the way over to cereals with plain old wheat [cerealpartners.co.uk] and nothing added at all.

Of course, I don't believe that the US has no popular options for a plain, boring, tamper free cereal but you really do have to read the labels, whatever you buy.

Re:Not surprising (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 3 years ago | (#34060244)

Wheat Chex contain 5 g of sugar per serving, which is equivalent to about 1.2 tsp.

That math seems so wrong, since 5 grams is less than 1/5 (specifically, 0.176) of a ounce. I can't believe that a singe ounce of sugar is 6.8 tsp, or more than 2 tablespoons.

However, I've been wrong before...

Re:Not surprising (1)

nabsltd (1313397) | more than 3 years ago | (#34073752)

That math seems so wrong, since 5 grams is less than 1/5 (specifically, 0.176) of a ounce. I can't believe that a singe ounce of sugar is 6.8 tsp, or more than 2 tablespoons.

However, I've been wrong before...

Because I was curious, I measured, and 1 tablespoon of ordinary sugar weighs about 12 grams.

Re:Not surprising (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 3 years ago | (#34073840)

Which is 1/2 ounce, and also means that a tsp = 4g.

I bow to physical reality...

Re:Not surprising (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 3 years ago | (#34054904)

Healthy stuff that doesn't make anyone a ton of money will be hidden behind the crap. Go shop at Trader Joe's or Wild By Nature or Whole Foods ...

Doesn't make anyone but Trader Joe's or Wild By Nature or Whole Foods a ton of money, you mean.

Re:Not surprising (1)

stephathome (1862868) | more than 3 years ago | (#34055100)

I don't know if the situation is the same as in the United States, but it could be a matter of accessibility. Not everyone has even a regular grocery store close enough to them. A convenience store may be it. That often means they have a very poor selection of healthy foods available, and it's cheaper to buy the unhealthy stuff. Just what are you supposed to do if you don't have a car, the bus doesn't pass near a grocery store, and it's too many miles to walk while carrying groceries home. I know that happens in inner cities in the United States. Not sure about Australia.

That said, lots of kids could use to get outside more to just play.

Re:Not surprising (1)

Faerunner (1077423) | more than 3 years ago | (#34124566)

The accessibility issue is why I'm volunteering here (in Pittsburgh) with a nonprofit agency that includes an urban ag initiative. I work at the "farm" (a reclaimed baseball field) every week, and there's a farmer's market that's paired with the local food bank for greater selection than we can produce (trucked in from local farmers), and the ability to take food stamps and WIC. The project is still in its infancy and doesn't get many customers, but we're in an area where the nearest "grocery store" that isn't a corner booze and cig place is at least 5 miles away down the highway; not a good walk by any means, so we're hoping word spreads that there are veggies to be had closer to home.

We're in a "food desert", and the people here show it. Surprisingly, there are no gardens except the ones started by the ag project (I suspect people here are so worn down they think a garden would be too much effort). When we moved into our home here the yard was full of snack wrappers (twinkies, chocolate chip "granola" bars) that I assume were tossed by the prior resident's kids, but there wasn't a single orange peel or apple core on the lot. In one of our cupboards we found a crumpled McDonald's bag. The kitchen was coated with grease (literally - I had to soak the cupboard doors and shelves in industrial de-greaser!), and I had to clean the phone number for Pizza Hut off the wall in the living room.

If any of this surprises you, you don't realize how poorly most Americans eat, especially when they are living in an area that is both low-income and far from any walkable grocery stores. Pizza hut costs more than I'd ever pay for regular meals, but if they deliver and the other choices are walking five miles to the nearest store (and doing so while trying to find free childcare and/or taking your kids with you!) or paying for a bus and then trying to budget and squeeze your shopping bags into a bus seat, getting home and spending another half hour in the kitchen cooking... sure, that's the healthy option, but how many people have the opportunity and motivation to choose it?

I doubt Australia faces the exact same issues as the urban US, but I'm sure their problems are similar enough, when it comes to the reasons behind child obesity.

Then again, if the desks are really too small is it fair to call the kids fat? I suspect these desks are still being made to fit the 1940's "average", when people were still building basements for 5'4" tall adults (I hate old house basements!). Maybe the measurements need to be adjusted for today's average healthy build and if the "fat" kids -still- don't fit, then we can start blaming their size.

Re:Not surprising (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#34057782)

If by "healthy" you mean the crap that's marketed as "organic", then you have the situation completely reversed. Marking your food "organic" is the newest way to make ass-loads of money without making any significant changes to the way you do business.

Donations (3, Funny)

jitterman (987991) | more than 3 years ago | (#34053614)

We should send some of our used desks from American schools to them, now that our larger ones have arrived.

Breaking News! (2, Funny)

human-cyborg (450395) | more than 3 years ago | (#34053766)

Previous story: Aussie Kids Foil Finger Scanner With Gummi Bears
This story: [Australian] School Children Are Now Too Fat to Fit In Class Chairs
Coming up: Australian Kids Fingers Too Fat to Fit In Class Scanners

Probably from all those Gummi Bears.

Re:Breaking News! (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 3 years ago | (#34054380)

Coming Up Later: Finger Print scanners make children fat.

Not just about food (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#34053820)

Physical activity (i.e. not just playing in computer/cellphone or watching tv) is an important factor... and they are in te right place to promote or enforce them.

Re:Not just about food (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 3 years ago | (#34070062)

Perhaps, however excess caloric intake is the overwhelming contributor. It is very easy to consume several times the number of calories your body requires for healthy function using the readily available food stuffs in western culture countries. It is also natural to think that hungry means "calories required" rather than "I ate the wrong thing, my stomach digested it too quickly and so it's telling me it's empty." It is also very natural to want to alleviate the discomfort of an empty stomach.

If you don't believe/understand what I'm saying, try this experiment. Drink a can of cola (obviously not diet), note the number of calories contained within then go hop on a treadmill and see what it takes to burn that many calories off. I think you'll be very surprised. Now, consider the number of calories that exist in a typical meal eaten at McDonalds. Use your treadmill experiment to calculate the time it would take to burn that off. Reflect on what a typical western culture person would consume, all meals, all snacks, all beverages on any given week. Without much difficulty you would soon realize that you would have to have the training regimen of an Olympic athlete (think swimming, bicycling, etc. not curling) to keep your caloric intake in balance with calories burned.

need to bring back sugar (1)

Nyder (754090) | more than 3 years ago | (#34053822)

It seems, and this is my opinion, that high frucose corn syrup and other "sweeteners" they use these days are more the problem. We need to get back to putting sugar in our junk food.

While it's up to us to monitor what we and our kids (if it applies to you) eat, but it's pretty hard to avoid HFCS in stuff, since it's in almost everything that used to have sugar in it.

Of course, the companies that use it don't care, since it's cheaper then sugar, and since they are corporations and only care about squeezing every extra profit they can.

So, we need to not only monitor what we are eating, we need to hold the companies accountable for the crap they are using in their products also.

Of course, that will never happen until after the revolution...

Re:need to bring back sugar (1)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 3 years ago | (#34054020)

Sugar is as bad as HFCS. There's a lot of internet rage around HFCS but not a whole lot of solid evidence to support the assertion that it is much worse than sugar. Most of the raging incorrectly assumes HFCS == fructose and it simply isn't (at least for the most commonly used HFCS 55).

princeton study (1)

bluie- (1172769) | more than 3 years ago | (#34054898)

A Princeton study found some evidence. Here's an article about it:

http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S26/91/22K07/ [princeton.edu]

Re:princeton study (1)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 3 years ago | (#34055754)

That study is hardly the final word. This [sweetsurprise.com] study concludes that HFCS and sugar are equal when it comes to making you fat. It isn't the final word though either.

The big problem with HFCS is that it is so cheap, it gets added to everything. If every HFCS calorie was replaced with an equivalent sugar calorie, obesity would still be a raging epidemic.

Re:princeton study (1)

bluie- (1172769) | more than 3 years ago | (#34056130)

I remember hearing somewhere that the US subsidizes HFCS, making it artificially cheap. I wonder what would happen if that practice stopped? I also wonder what would happen if we took all that money and used it to subsidize healthy foods?

Re:princeton study (1)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 3 years ago | (#34057000)

Yep, corn is subsidized big time. And there are sugar import tariffs (I think). Double wammy.

Re:princeton study (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34060014)

Easy: HFCS would go up in price. Goods made from HFCS would also go up in price.

This trend would continue until it would became cheaper to use sugar instead, and then the price of sugar would begin to edge up and balance things out.

The bigger question is this: If junk food were more expensive (as described above), would people buy less of it?

Re:princeton study (1)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 3 years ago | (#34065582)

If junk food were more expensive (as described above), would people buy less of it?

Yes they would buy less. If the producers of the sugary food could make more money by raising their prices, they would.

Re:princeton study (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34070858)

Yes they would buy less. If the producers of the sugary food could make more money by raising their prices, they would.

I agree.

So, then: Should subsidies on HFCS be eliminated? If so: What is it, exactly, that keeps us from removing the subsidies that have an effect on HFCS?

Re:princeton study (1)

Celarnor (835542) | more than 3 years ago | (#34077904)

The US has a LOOOONG history of corn subsidies (originally designed to help struggling agricultural families from falling under and ruining US food prices). By now, of course, most of it goes to corporates that own huge tracts of farms. It's a very entrenched interest group. I imagine you've seen at least one of those "don't hate HFCS, it's just like sugar!!!111" commercials on TV.

Re:need to bring back sugar (1)

Temujin_12 (832986) | more than 3 years ago | (#34055248)

There's a lot of internet rage around HFCS but not a whole lot of solid evidence to support the assertion that it is much worse than sugar.

Wrong. Here you go:

Princeton researchers find that high-fructose corn syrup prompts considerably more weight gain [esciencenews.com]

Re:need to bring back sugar (2, Informative)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 3 years ago | (#34055552)

The Wikipedia page on HFCS summarizes the Princeton studies well:

The set of rats on HFCS 12 hrs/day gained 48 percent more weight than a set of rats on sucrose 12 hrs/day in young males over the short term, but less in adult females over the long term. They also reported that the rats on HFCS 24 hrs/day did not gain a statistically significant amount of weight when compared to the rats on sucrose or chow only. Additionally, no differences in blood-glucose levels were observed.

Another study was conducted for 6–7 months, and fat pads were removed from the rats and weighed. Fat pads for rats on HFCS 12 hrs/day weighed significantly more than rats on chow only, but weighed less, but not significantly so, than rats on sucrose. Fat pads for rats on HFCS 24 hrs/day did not have a statistically different weight than rats on chow only. The rats fed with 24h HFCS also had higher triglyceride (TG) levels than rats fed 12h sucrose or chow only, indicating signs of metabolic syndrome. TG levels were not tested for rats fed 24h sucrose, and other studies indicate that sucrose and HFCS have similar post-metabolic profiles. The study methodology has been criticized.

The study has some pretty big flaws and I really hope somebody repeats a more rigorous version of it.

Re:need to bring back sugar (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 3 years ago | (#34056244)

My complaint with the industries involved is that each wants to claim its product is less bad, and the other is worse.

Both are sugars, and need to be limited. But we, as individuals, need to pay attention to our diet and choose what is best for us. If you want to buy processed foods, ok, but know the ingredients. If you prefer to prepare your own, well, you'll know what's going in them.

I consciously choose to avoid fructose in all forms except fresh fruit. It isn't easy. I'm also trying to limit my intake of other sugars, and finally I'm preferring to drink real juices and such instead of 'diet' soda. My wife is convinced aspartame is evil, but I think it's just another ingredient that does me little good, if not some harm that is either annoying me or killing me very slowly.

Either way, simpler is better.

Re:need to bring back sugar (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 3 years ago | (#34054180)

TFA is about schools in Australia, where they generally use sugar rather than corn syrup.

Re:need to bring back sugar (1)

Jeffrey_Walsh VA (1335967) | more than 3 years ago | (#34055154)

Actually I have seen a trend of going back to cane sugar. I think there were some subsities in US agriculture that were making the HFCS cost less, but those may be going away.

Re:need to bring back sugar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34055418)

That won't happen as long as Congress keeps giving big corn subsidies to Monsanto.

Re:need to bring back sugar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34056816)

In the US it is cheaper than sugar due to our tariffs.

Re:need to bring back sugar (1)

atomicstrawberry (955148) | more than 3 years ago | (#34058138)

TFA is about Australia, and Australia doesn't use HFCS at all - we use sugar in everything that would have HFCS in the US. And we have the exact same obesity problems as the US does.

The problem is the prevalance of convenient, high-calorie processed foods, a lack of understanding of correct portion sizes, and lack of exercise.

SHHH! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34059536)

Stop it! Stop it right now!

Who are you to ruin the delusions of the 'enlightened'?

What are people going to do when they realize their conspiracy theoristesque nonsense is patently absurd?

Do you think they can handle the simple fact that their own lack of self control; their direct, personal choice to shovel food down their greasy gullets, is what makes them fat?

THE TRUTH?! THEY CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH! ...Nor can they handle personal responsibility. Welcome to the end game of civilization.

Re:SHHH! (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062418)

Hopefully one of them will jump at the opportunity of actually PANTENTING their absurdity, thus lowering the number of idiots spreading BS around the world.

One can dream...

Diet = way of life (1)

Temujin_12 (832986) | more than 3 years ago | (#34054838)

Half the battle with weight is realizing that dieting isn't something that is prescribed to be applied only for the duration while you're obese. Most people (often myself included) hear the word diet and immediately think of it as being something of a temporary nature. "Oh, I'm currently on a diet." "I need to diet for X." The cultural definition of "dieting" is, well, wrong. The word diet comes from the Greek word diaita which means "a way of life" or "a way of living".

Food dieting must be permanent, or else it is doomed to failure as soon as it is believed to be no longer necessary. The problem comes in by the fact that, due to the cultural misnomer of "dieting", diets are used and advertised as a temporary fix. "Diet for X period of time, then you'll be fine" and thus are by their nature/design not sustainable. Who can eat Jenny Craig food for the rest of their life (diaita)?

What is needed, and what doctors/scientists are realizing, is that the obesity epidemic requires an entirely different relationship with food for the rest of your life. You have to change your relationship with food in a way that is still enjoyable to you for it to be sustainable and healthy.

For my house, this means things like the following:
* Meals themselves are balanced. Less meat, decent-sized portions, more greens, etc.
* Junk food (chips, cookies, ice cream, soda, snacks, etc.) are treated as luxury items. We never go to the store and allow ourselves to say, "Oh, we're out of [JUNK_FOOD_ITEM]. Let's get some more." Instead was ask, "When was the last time we had X. It's been a while, so let's get some."
* We eat when we're hungry. In between meal snacks are at a minimum. And for our kids, we enforce the, "Well, if you're hungry you should have eaten more during the previous meal. You'll have to wait for the next meal."

There's a lot of good research in the last few years around obesity as we're understanding brains and genetics more that shows that it is better treated as an addiction rather than a disease (google David Kessler; former FDA commisioner).

Re:Diet = way of life (1)

Eivind (15695) | more than 3 years ago | (#34059994)

This is true, offcourse. But I think what many people say when they say "diet" is "weight reduction"

And *that* doesn't need to be a permanent thing. You need to eat a balanced and healthy diet for life.

But you only need to reduce weight for a period, until you're normal-weight.

Then again, if you'd not allowed yourself to become overweight in the first place, you'd not need weight-reduction either.

Simple Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34054856)

Take the children away from their parents, chop them up and sell them to starving countries. Also, prohibit the parents from ever having children again until they can prove that they're up to the task. Problem solved.

Luckily, they can still be shoved into a locker. (1)

pixelslinger (865443) | more than 3 years ago | (#34055536)

For now...

Fatties (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34057212)

Bwahahaha

Replace the chairs... (1)

undecim (1237470) | more than 3 years ago | (#34058458)

Replace the chairs with treadmills.

The floor... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34058548)

...Nice cold tile should cause them to shiver continuously, causing them to lose weight.

Case closed.

Not fitting in chairs != Fat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34058832)

In my case, it's simply a matter of being 6'1" and still growing, and the crappy little combination desk/chairs my school uses simplely aren't made for people of my height.

Re:Not fitting in chairs != Fat (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 3 years ago | (#34060912)

I did not find the school chars very uncomfortable but they did not really fit. The only problem I had with size was with the bus seats, so little leg room, it was actually painful.

and this is the schools business? (1)

uninformedLuddite (1334899) | more than 3 years ago | (#34059856)

or is it an abrogation of parental responsibility?

Re:and this is the schools business? (1)

RazorSharp (1418697) | more than 3 years ago | (#34070664)

or is it an abrogation of parental responsibility?

I would say the school is at least partially responsible. We don't expect parents to educate their children on any other subjects, so why would they teach proper health? Lets face it, there are a lot of bad/ignorant parents in the world. Public schools exist so individuals have opportunities regardless of the morons they're raise by.

Re:and this is the schools business? (1)

uninformedLuddite (1334899) | more than 3 years ago | (#34071494)

You obviously haven't been reading your Gatto have you?

I don't get it (1)

weicco (645927) | more than 3 years ago | (#34060192)

Please, someone help me out with this. From TFA

Paediatric dietician Susie Burrell said children who were overweight often didn't carry obvious fat but instead looked older than their age.

She said children risked weight problems or diseases such as diabetes and fatty liver.

So they aren't fat but risked weight problems. Where does the weight (and weight problems) comes from if they aren't fat?

And what the heck means "looking older than their age" and how's that a problem?!

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34064390)

They are bigger but maintaining proportions so they do not appear fat. Say, if the kid is 9 but looks 11, that's quite a bit of weight difference.

I don't know if that is the case, just trying to understand what the TFA is saying.

Re:I don't get it (1)

weicco (645927) | more than 3 years ago | (#34064748)

Well, yes, that could be explanation but still I'm not sure how that could be a problem.

This interests me because my son is 7 and couple of weeks ago somebody thought he was around 11 and 12. He's taller and heavier than average 7 year boys but he's not fat. He's just big like Eric Lindros. Should I be worried about this and what the heck I could do about it, saw him to half? :)

Maybe it just runs the family because I'm not a little guy myself. I'm 190cm tall and weight a little over 100kg. My brother is tall also, 200cm with socks on :)

Which Department of Education? (1)

kingturkey (930819) | more than 3 years ago | (#34060316)

Australia is a federation and education is a state power, so it would be rather useful to specify in the summary which Department of Education, given that there are 9 of them (one for each state and territory and the federal government). The article clearly states that it's the NSW Department.

Is it just me? (1)

coerciblegerm (1829798) | more than 3 years ago | (#34078078)

I can't help but wonder if this is related to the previous idle story about Australian schoolchildren defeating fingerprint readers with gummy bears. Perhaps the circumvention wasn't intentional, but merely residue off these fatties' fingers...

What is wrong with Obesity. (1)

harrytuttle777 (1720146) | more than 3 years ago | (#34115196)

I am not trying to be intentionally argumentative, but people worry much too much about weight. Us fatties will live the longest and have the best chance of surviving the upcoming global famine. People overeat because it is instinctual, and ensures the best chance of survival.

I know plenty of 'fit' people who are withing their BMI, yet can't seem to do a push up. Friggin David Letterman, had a quintuple bypass surgery, and he is skinny as f&*, and jogs all the time.

Everyone is going to die, so why worry. Just buy bigger chairs.

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