Fast Food, Fat Profits: Obesity in America

Fast Food, Fat Profits: Obesity in AmericaObesity in America has reached a crisis point. Two out of every three Americans are overweight, one out of every three is obese. One in three are expected to have diabetes by 2050.

Minorities have been even more profoundly affected. African-Americans have a 50 per cent higher prevalence of obesity and Hispanics 25 per cent higher when compared with whites.

How did the situation get so out of hand? Josh Rushing explores the world of cheap food for Americans living at the margins.

What opportunities do people have to eat healthy? Who is responsible for food deserts and processed food in American schools?

Watch the full documentary now

1.1k
8.75
12345678910
Ratings: 8.75/10 from 32 users.
  • dmxi

    the body always follows the soul .simple fact.

  • JezusVanNazareth

    @dmxi There is no such thing as a 'soul', at least not if you follow serious scientific standards... FACT

  • dmxi

    yes,correct if you follow scientific standards but how should one describe one's inner voice that determines mindset & freewill ? was 'soul' a too religious noun which upset you ?sorry,won't happen again sir!!!!!

  • Robyn318

    No matter what you say about this matter it is going to be highly controversial. Some say it is choice or availability and others will say ignorance and still others affordability. But I see it as a failure of Government to perform the function for which it was sanctioned.

    A country can be seen as a form of business where through division of labor, services are performed, goods are produced, safety, health & security is assured, profits are made and everyone involved benefits…provided that is everyone does their part with the best interest of the country and its citizens at the forefront. As the country grows, so does the government; new agencies are created to oversee concerns and problems that occur as a natural result of it.

    In any well run business, there is a delicate balance between quality, production and safety; and if any one of them is given too much authority over the other two, the business, in the long term, will suffer. We see the same thing happening in this country, where production (profits) trumps safety and quality. The USDA and the Food & Drug Administration have given more authority to corporate profit than to food quality and food safety; the result being highly processed, highly refined and often overcooked foods that have almost no nutritive value.

    There is an epidemic in this country of degenerative joint disorders, cardiovascular disease, liver, kidney and intestinal disorders, hypertension, attention deficit disorders and food allergies that all can be traced back to a high fat, high calorie, high salt diet that is also low in vitamins, mineral and essential enzymes: Which is exactly what is being offered by Corporate America and approved (often by default) by those government agencies that were intended to protect against this sort of thing.

    As a result of this imbalance the country is suffering, just as a business would, because the obese and malady-ridden population that is now the majority, is less productive and more prone to absenteeism. And currently, because of this diet related health epidemic, small business and even some larger ones, cannot afford to pay for employee health insurance. Until this disservice to the American people is addressed by the appropriate government agencies, I don’t see an end to this downward health spiral.

  • JezusVanNazareth

    You are a fine person! Thank you for your eloquent response, and i'll be the first to admit on my part, that I am oversensitive on these kinds of issues. The mind-body connection is mysterious and our knowledge of it far too little.....but in time, we will perhaps find out more ;) Enjoy your day/night!

  • dmxi

    i can only return your kind words,sir .

  • http://www.facebook.com/william.shadley William Harold Shadley

    So then maybe instead of professing such certain things like there is NO SOUL, FACT... You should kep an ACTUAL open mind, and understand that science CANNOT answer everything for us, and we MUST have language to describe ideas which DO EXIST, we can ALL experience the fact that WE ARE EXPERIENCING, FEELING, AWARE of things that we cannot actually OBSERVE, MEASURE, OR REPRODUCE. Chill your evangelical atheism out just a little bit to realize that you're being dogmatic in washing away and dismissing ANYTHING YOU CANT CUT OPEN IN A LAB, when you can clearly understand these simple notions. Give it a rest.

  • JezusVanNazareth

    I already had given it a rest, and dmxi and I had a pleasant exchange of words, with poise and courteousness. Both of which I can not seem to find in your loud and fairly obnoxious statements.
    Your response is longer than my only two previous contributions combined. You have no business here, move along sir....

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZMK6YNWJACHQ5CRCJW5TNYFURI KsDevil

    The only way to fix the problem is to go around the problem with a working solution. The system has gotten people to become satisfied with what they have become accustomed to. No amount of suggestion will break that. Any solution has to provide all the thinking and the doing for the people to lead them in a better nutritious direction. It takes a lot of planning and action to perform such a task which is likely to experience resistance from the people who currently profit on the deal.

  • http://www.newiphone5.net/ iPhone 5

    ..thats the neverending story...fastfoods with so called "gurus" get rippped in four weeks, working together :)

  • robertallen1

    What does your ignorant, religious rant have to do with this documentary?

  • robertallen1

    Why wasn't someone currently representing the fast food industry interviewed? And if no such representative could be found, why wasn't it stated. This whole documentary is too amateurish, too one-sided and too narrow in its coverage to be effective. All in all, a poor job.

  • fhade

    Just don't eat once a week, that is even cheaper and even more healthy than healthy food.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/alronvitis norlavine

    @robertallen1
    I looked and looked and couldn't find a single mention of a religion nor anything referring to a religious belief. William Harold Shadley's response was rather a general philosophical one, in my humble opinion. Do you have a beeper that alerts you to the word 'soul'? I am surprised to see your 'evangelical atheism' in here nevertheless.

  • bionara

    On a bit of a tangent: I was recently in Washington DC, and noticed they have a number of 'garden spaces', ie small areas just outside buildings etc that are dedicated to growing organic food for the homeless (or for planting native plants/trees to attract native wildlife). Seemed a really good initiative!

  • sdvahl

    Yes, we should all be planting vegetables. I only have small balcony (no garden) so does anyone have any ideas of what nutritious vegetables I could grow easily (morning sun and lots of wind).

  • Achems_Razor

    @norlavine:

    Ha,Ha, need I say more? don't know what is wrong with robertallen1 he should be taking the initiative. Investing in at least a two carat. Eh?

  • robertallen1

    First of all, his response had as much place in the comment section on this documentary as what he was responding it.

    Second, what makes you think I'm an evangelical atheist? is another of our attempts at amateur analysis?

  • gardenhappy

    Religion and anti-religion is the exercise of people who do absolutely nothing to improve what actually exists in this world. Since I spend most of my time growing my own food, I yawn at the waste of time that occurred here in this discussion on soul/non-soul.

    What is relevant here is for everyone to read the book called "Wheat Belly," where selection over the centuries from wild wheat has produced a wheat the grows fat abdomens and ruins lives. Just look at any American over 40 and observe the wide girths. This wheat passes the blood/brain barrier and is addictive. Since not eating any wheat, I am going from 205 lb to now 155 lb since Oct 2011. I have more energy than when I was in my 20s.

    Evidence also shows that many inner city communities are now beginning to grow gardens on abandoned lots because there are no major grocery chains anywhere near and the convenience stores offering only beer and snack foods. Also time constraints force many economically-deprived families of the time to do other than rush through a drive-through fast-food window.

    It has nothing to do with the hint of genetic superiority in the racist comments by some.

  • http://javedspeak.blogspot.com/ Javed060

    The problem is we consider ourselves very aware and intelligent, the truth is companies, all companies, with the help of media are misleading us. Most of the food available outside our homes is very costly and also unhealthy. But it has been made fashionable to eat pre-cooked food. So we are both poorer and sick. I think it would take another decade to understand this conspiracy.

  • over the edge

    while i agree that the fast food companies market this food very well and it is cheap and quick. i believe some of the blame lies with the people buying this crap. i spend a decent amount of time on the road and many of the people who work with that eat at these places i do not. a little willpower and planning goes a long way. packing a lunch and home cooked meals can be as inexpensive or less costly than fast food. we have become a society that lays blame anywhere but at our own feet. now before someone says many people have no choice i will point out that they showed closed grocery stores so people chose not to go there and the store went out of business. before we ask the government to regulate these chains why don't we first try to regulate ourselves.

  • robertallen1

    Good point or how about providing incentives for these fast food companies to supply more wholesome comestibles?

  • over the edge

    some chains have tried to avoid regulation (in Canada anyway) by offering salad, low cal (as compared to the norm) sandwiches. subway can be comparatively healthy if the right size and toppings and chosen. the problem is nobody (or very few) buys these items. so unless these incentives are massive i cannot see these companies changing in any meaningful way. i am all for educating people (many need it) and offering choices but we cannot force a choice on anybody. you have come across many people on this site and a lot act and believe in destructive and ignorant ways. i think we both have a terrible "batting average" of changing the thoughts and beliefs of lazy people who look for easy answers and all the evidence and knowledge will not change anything. i look at a lot of people who eat this crap the same way. on a final note i bar-tended all through high school and college ( still do very part time) and still see people order the fattest thing on the menu. two or three appetizers. a desert they all but have to force down and then a DIET COKE and think tat one thing makes it ok lol

  • robertallen1

    I believe it is more accurate to state that we can't force a choice and expect this tactic to produce the type of results we'd like--look at prohibition. However, sometimes I feel we have to, such as compulsory vaccination of school children--we can't allow some ignorant religees to imperil the health of their offspring--or for that matter, compulsory school attendance at an accredited school--again, we can't let some ignorant religees educate children in their own substandard way. All and all, it's a difficult issue with no clear cut answer, but incentivization seems a positive start.

  • over the edge

    good post and i agree totally.

  • dewflirt

    For home ec this term my 13 yo daughter has so far had to make curry with a jar of curry sauce, cheesy mash and cheese pasties with ready roll pastry. Why not teach them how to make pastry,it's not hard? We made some at home for her to take in. With most homes having both parents working full time meals are often hurried. Kids are less involved in the prep and a lot of food is now bought (at greater cost) pre peeled, chopped and oven ready. When I first left home at 15 I moved in with a friend of 19 and had to teach her how to scramble eggs. Her Mum had never let her help with dinner. If your going to eat microwave meals you might as well eat KFC.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/alronvitis norlavine

    Had no idea how comparatively inexpensive fast and fatty food was in the USA. No wonder there are so many depressed and obese Americans - it's the quality, not the quantity! In Australia it's the opposite, as 'fast' foods are quite expensive. The average low income earner couldn't afford burgers etc every day - more like once a fortnight perhaps. With bad food and no real and comprehensive health care to speak of for the average person, looks like the USA is set to become the richest third world country on the planet.

  • over the edge

    @dewflirt
    i applaud you cooking with your child (or children) and possibly giving her the skills (or at least the basics) to help lead to healthy food choices. and while i agree that her home ec class should have taught more "from scratch" meals i would count myself lucky if i wee you. many schools have cut home ec, phys ed (or at least limited it) and many if not all sports teams. now like most people i dislike paying taxes and i have no children but i would have no issues with higher taxes to either reinstate or expand these programs. i do agree with " With most homes having both parents working full time meals are often hurried" but i feel these meals are hurried out of laziness rather than lack of time. my mom (a single mom and in my mind a saint) worked two jobs, took us kids (5) to many of our sporting events and we still had a hot home cooked meal almost every night. she delegated the prep and as we got older the actual cooking (after teaching us) to the kids and we had to have a very good reason to miss sitting together and eating every day. but now the parents let the computer or tv raise them and many parents will cut corners to make time the latest episode of whatever show they want to watch.

  • robertallen1

    Thank you. Now, I learned something significant about the fast food situation in your neck of the woods--and in this respect, I think we in the United States can learn a lot from your country.

    Just one quesion, how does your government control the influx of fast food or fast food companies.

    P.S. There is nothing wrong with hamburgers, provided they are well made.

  • Alex Scott

    I work at basically minimum wage, my girlfriend works for minimum wage, we have an apartment, have internet, smoke, go to bars on a regular basis and were still able to buy healthy food. its not a question of money, its a question of self restraint. how you spend your money. obviously i can save some money going to fast food and be able to buy my self the new iPhone or a new iPod, PC, mac, whatever expensive thing i want to buy, but i don't because it is or what i though before watching the documentary, common sense not to eat fast food all the time.

  • dewflirt

    Evening edge, I'm in awe of your mum. Also reminded me of one of my dads little sayings, 'do it with love or don't do it at all' - usually when I moaned about making tea. Worked every time !

  • http://www.facebook.com/christoph.felberbauer Christoph Felberbauer

    good choice!

    you are on the right track ;)

    chris, vienna

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/alronvitis norlavine

    @robertallen1
    There are no regulations at the moment and we are number 11 on the worldwide 'takeaway consumers' list, but whole foods are definitely in the reach of everyone here. It would be less expensive here to buy groceries that could last a week than to go to MacDonalds and purchase 3-4 meals only. That weekly cost (including drinks and chips extra) would be approx AU$36. For this amount, one person could make 3 meals a day,for 7 days, which would include protein, veg and dairy. You can buy butter here for less than $1.40 for 250g so if it's fried that's required - no problem.

  • tomregit

    Believe me I'm no expert on this, but I do know that tomatoes take little space, are easy to grow, are healthy, and much better tasting when vine ripened on your own little balcony. You'll never want another supermarket/imported one.

  • robertallen1

    Fine, but how is junk food kept in check, by government regulation of prices?

    Also how does the Australian dollar compare with the American.

    Even if everything is not beer and skittles, I think you've done pretty well for a nation founded by convicts, especially in the area of wild life conservation.

  • tomregit

    My mother also raised three kids by herself. She worked full time and part time and my sister and I had a janitorial job cleaning a large office nightly that added to the family income. My mother had cancer and knew she was dying. In her last two years she insured her children could cook, clean, do laundry and ironing, and be self sufficient. I was aged nineteen, the eldest child, when she passed, and now I use those lessons every day. I jokingly say that I do "survival cooking", but I can entertain guests with a palatable meal. Something in our society has changed and these simple skills are no longer being learned by everyone.
    Let's go to McDonalds for lunch!

  • over the edge

    @dewflirt
    thank you for the kind words towards my mom (i am such a mommas boy lol). i know this is off topic a bit but i got to thinking. we fished a lot. had a couple of large gardens and picked wild berries when in season. the bread was always home made (i can still smell it cooking in the wood stove), no store bought cookies or snacks, no cable tv or video games. now many of these choices were forced by economics rather then health but looking back us kids were hardly ever sick and never felt poor. maybe convenience and instant gratification is more expensive then it appears at first glance? (that is as philosophical as i get i promise). sorry to ramble. keep cooking with your daughter i am sure she thinks of you as fondly as i think of my mom

  • over the edge

    @tomregit
    she sounds like a strong smart woman who gave her kids the skills needed you should be proud (and i am sure you are). a good parent(s) is the best advantage a child can have.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/alronvitis norlavine

    @robertallen1
    Availability of alternatives, by the people, for the people.By tradition, franchised junk food isn't really an accepted part of the culture.Choice is what it's all about. We are the govt here (for now anyway). I am guessing the govt isn't going to force any fast food franchises to lower their prices in the foreseeable future.
    Regulation of prices here mainly concerns alcohol, tobacco, energy and petrol consumption.
    I don't know the conversion rate but the US dollar is greater by at least 1/3 of the AU$ .
    Why not Google it yourself ?
    On wildlife conservation:Unfortunately, some of the 'wildlife' were human beings called Aborigines,they didn't fare so well. Kangaroos are still very high in numbers (fortunately) - may I suggest they're best served with mashed potato, green beans, juniper berry sauce and washed down with a fine red.

  • robertallen1

    Interesting about franchised junk food not being a part of your culture so that no problem is created by it. Another plus for your country.

    I thought all marsupials were endangered, yet you say kangaroos are plentiful. Could you enlighten me?

  • http://marrickvillian.blogspot.com/ Al Corrupt

    "Kangaroos are still very high in numbers (fortunately) - may I suggest they're best served with mashed potato, green beans, juniper berry sauce and washed down with a fine red."

    Yum!!

  • zaphodity

    I couldn't handle living in a place where junk food's the main option, I gotta have my own home cooked feeds man.

  • zaphodity

    Kangaroo tail soup ROCKS !...Don't even get me started on KOALAS !

  • zaphodity

    Australian dollar's worth more than the American dollar :)

  • robertallen1

    Thanks for the information.

  • zaphodity

    ...We WERE a nation of convicts, America has more people in prison than the population of Australia, highest rate of incarceration in the history of mankind. So who's the convict, convict lol.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/alronvitis norlavine

    @robertallen1
    Kangaroos are still plentiful here! One can see greys on the outskirts of Sydney coming out of bushland, mainly at night, crossing roads at high speed. There are signs to 'watch out' for them and motorists DO take notice.
    The red kangaroo is the relatively endangered one, smaller in numbers than the grey and mainly inhabiting the more remote 'red centre' of Australia.
    They have survived longer than any other species of marsupial on the planet,
    so I imagine it would take a major environmental or biological event to take them to the edge of extinction.

  • zaphodity

    ...It's bullshit..How much does 2 large pizzas, garlic bread, chicken wings and a lasagne cost ? about $30-35 delivered ? I could walk into a supermarket and spend $15 and make a feed that would give Jamie Oliver a boner.

  • robertallen1

    I hope you realize that I was only complimenting your country for being ahead of ours in a number of different areas.

    And you're right, we have more inmates than we know what to do with and as a result we've had to shorten their sentences. Something's wrong somewhere.

  • zaphodity

    You hit the nail right on the head mate, key word here is RESTRAINT !

  • zaphodity

    I used to live up north as a kid and have stood about 3m away from a Big Red male that stood up on its hinds and reared up. No ****, the thing was about 9 foot tall lol.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/alronvitis norlavine

    @Al Corrupt
    I draw the line at Kanga sausages though, it seems disrespectful.

  • robertallen1

    One of the things I find interesting about your country is the fauna which exist nowhere else in the world. Also, I understand that your bushlands are an archaeologist's dream.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/alronvitis norlavine

    @zaphodity
    Hey, the beauty of 'Koala Soup' is you get to cuddle them before you throw them into a pot of boiling water lol

  • zaphodity

    Imprisonment is big business in the U.S.A. and very profitable, specially with privately owned prisons. More inmates, more profits. Don't take this as an insult but it's part of the capitalist culture in the U.S. to try and make a buck out of anything, which is a good thing but can also come back to bite you on the butt.

  • zaphodity

    How's Cuddles your pet Koala zaphodity ?

    BELLLLCHHHH !

    ..Delicious...

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/alronvitis norlavine

    @robertallen1
    Yes to all of that.

  • robertallen1

    I think too much of myself to take the truth as an insult--and you're right, privately owned prisons are more evil than good and for the reason you named. Capitalism like democracy does not work well everyone and when misapplied can wreak a considerable amount of harm.

  • zaphodity

    Good way to be, some folks don't like to be told the truth.

  • Guest

    Orach is one of the best green to grow, doesn't go into seeds like spinach would, many different kinds of greens such as lettuce, kale, arugula(very tasty), also tomatoes, try the cherry tomatoes which rippens faster, and vine beans (makes a great privacy green wall around a balcony)
    Don't forget to water often...pots dry very quickly on sunny days.
    az

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UBCOOEEP46QO5A3TZDKRKLAYDA Bobs

    Instead of their burgers I'm gonna buy some their stocks!

  • http://permaculturecottage.wordpress.com/ Bealtaine Cottage

    Great documentary! Enlightening, not surprising...insidious how the big food corporations have so much control. I have read recently that US citizens have no clear food information regarding GM foodstuffs. Stuffs being the operative word!
    I'm in awe of norlavine...so cool with her comments...way to go!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-Takapuna/555320398 Peter Takapuna

    My nana went to disneyland in America and she when she came back to our country she said "I've never seen so many fat people in my life". Also, Food guy Justin is hot

  • tomregit

    We'll see what robert has to say about you and norlavine. Some say they have a "history". =;0)

  • robertallen1

    Here's what I have to say. The only times I ever ate junk food were when there was nothing else available. My problem is that I like the good stuff so much.

  • Eric Babcock

    I love how the miss information about calories and saturated fat are still rampant, even in documentaries such as this. The obesity, and cardiovascular problems we have today are derived from neither calories or saturated fat, but sugar, carbohydrates, starch. Essentially Bread, Sugar and Trans fat oils.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JNIWLD2N7KE6YWLCZBXZ5EC3RQ Yusiley S

    That is so true... it's that highly proceeded corn is in everything. :) A great documentary to watch would be "Food Matters." Now that is a doc that makes a lot of sense.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JNIWLD2N7KE6YWLCZBXZ5EC3RQ Yusiley S

    *sighs* The bottom line is people are going to eat what they want to eat and not just what they could afford. >_> These fast food eaters could eat healthy. They could order the side salad instead of the fries. They could have their burgers without all the extra sauce or bacon. They could find alternatives in the menu and still stick to that dollar per item value meal. I for one order the 6 piece nuggets with apple dippers (minus the sauce) at McDonald's and it's all under 300 calories.

    Also fast food isn't all that cheap. It's cheap in the sense that you don't need to prepare it or cook it, but it's not cheap in the sense of cost efficiency. For me, it's just a treat, not food. Real food can actually be cheaper than the candy and sodas shown in this documentary. To the lady who stated how she stretches her $5. I could do way better than her. With $5 I could have three healthy meals for about 3 to 4 days. I could buy the whole wheat Healthy Life bread for $3 and a pack of Winn Dixie turkey ham for $1.19. Plus I'll still have left over money to get a gallon of water that is $0.49. There are also soups that are $1.50 each. There are soups made by Healthy Heart that have no salt added at all. They have just 30mg of sodium per cup. Eating healthy is cheaper in the long run. People are just too lazy to prepare their own foods and want the government, and everyone else, to do everything for them (makes you wanna punch them ... HARD...in the face for being such overgrown children). >_> Liberty has a cost... it's called being responsible for yourself. Once you stop taking responsibility for yourself and your actions (allowing others to do everything for you), you are a SLAVE!

    I also find it amusing that those poor neighborhoods tend to have people who are whiling to pay over $150 for a pair of Nike snickers, but wouldn't bother spending $40 on foods that are good for them. The priorities of poor and low social economic people are messed up.

  • Abamovich

    That is so true!! I got onto the Atkins diet and have never eaten so much fat YET I've lost so much weight. All I do is replace sugar with sweetener, remove carbohydrate as much as possible and stick to protein, vegetables and I can even eat double cream and STILL lose weight, so how come? I don't know how this works but it astonishes me that it does. Remove the excessive carbohydrates, sugars and starch and it will be impossible NOT to lose weight.

  • Caitlyn_p.m.e

    The school I attend recently put in the "healthy choice" system in, and it's hardly changed. They still offer pizza, fries, pizza wraps, pop and other relatively unhealthy food options- but it's made more "healthy". The fries are baked. Everything is baked. The pops are now diet instead of normal pop. The cheese is mozzarella rather than processed. They are small changes, but overall, has it done anything? Sure it's cut back in small changes and I agree that it's a good start, but where is the fruit? The salad bars? The sad fact is, people at my school have noticed and they don't agree with it. They think the fries are too crunchy, and that diet pop just isn't the same. The veggies are way to pricey and the granola bars make them feel childish. Suddenly, the cause that the healthy act was suppose to endure, has backfired. Now most students eat out to the pizza store five minutes away, or would rather walk 15 minutes to McDonalds because it's "better". I appreciate the change the system has tried to make, but students aren't informed enough to truly appreciate the attempt. Not just that, but once students understand more, they can help point out the flaws in it and help progress it so that everyone can enjoy it without any issues.

  • http://twitter.com/MoolaMails MoolaMails

    Diet pop doesn't seem more healthy to me, it sounds even more deadly. Baking the fries is a good start but in order to be healthy they must make there food from scratch.

  • http://twitter.com/MoolaMails MoolaMails

    We are in a sad state of affairs. When I left highschool they had started serving Taco Bell and Pizza Hut as options in the cafeteria, needless to say I loved the Idea then, but now I think it is the worst thing I could imagine for my own kids. This is a good short documentary by the way which I viewed yesterday.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=518511003 Malcolm Campbell

    Little Caesars = $5 per item

  • truthdigging

    Funny how some people are against regulating and welfare but instead of government telling them what to do they get these bloated corporations calling the shots and getting big handouts and their ok with that. At least the government, when uncorrupted by corpocracy, looks after you and not their personal profits.
    I can't imagine the burden of having to travel long distances to shop in a proper food store. Hard to believe those kinds of neighbourhoods exist. I have 3 kids so a lot of time and money is spent shopping groceries. We have at least eight good food stores within a 2-3 km radius, half just a 10-15 min walk away (yes, walking. I don't even have a driver's licence and never will!). Here in Finland kids eat decent healthy free schoolmeals. You go to school to learn, so learning should extend to eating and nutrition as well. There are two food choices: meatdish or vegetarian. In daycare there is no choice except if you have allergies or there are religious reasons. The point is to introduce foods to kids, and it often takes many tries to develop a taste for something. Kids often take to foods easier in daycare than at home, as they are influenced by their peers. This has happened to all my kids. It is so helpful! Some parents lament that their kids are fat because they don't like vegetables and they just prefer junk food. Well, they would make a lot of poor choices if it was always up to them. It takes some effort to introduce some foods but if you honestly try it is surprising how they sometimes choose the carrot over the cookie.

  • sknb

    I just watched a doc on here called The Ghost in Your Genes, that talks about epigenetics. This is a field of genetics that show that people can change their own genetics and the genetics they pass on to their children based on environmental factors.

    The scientists showed that in mice exposed to BPA ( a kind of very common plastic found in bottled water and other things that 95% of Americans are estimated to have in their system) the epigenetics of the mice exposed to BPA were altered in a way that led their offspring to become obese and have diabetes and cancer.

    I think that it is important to talk about what effects environments have on people and their genes in relationship to how overweight they are.

    Also, I think an important way to avoid suffering in children is to stop the bullying of overweight and obese children.

    Vlatko, please, please, please find some docs like this with Spanish subtitles, my students NEED to be exposed to this kind of wonderful knowledge. You rock, thank you for all you do!

  • sknb

    I wish your attitude about these things were contagious here in the USA. To give you an example, I don't have a drivers license and never have and I CONSTANTLY get picked on for it. I'm 27. My whole family, my boyfriend, my boss, they all find it weird that I prefer to walk and take public transportation.

  • sknb

    I guarantee that if you tell your teachers that you want to show this documentary to your peers that they will take time out of class to do it. Go to the principle if the teachers resist. Do it anonymously if you are embarrassed.

    You can be the change you wish to see in the world - Gandhi

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lewis-Rose/100001433806222 Lewis Rose

    When are he going to learn that everyone we as people are going to do whatever we what to do and no amount of education will change it. Really should it?! Or should we mind our own business and only worry about ourselves and let others worry about themselves?

  • Renae1982

    Wow food desserts just would not happen in my country (New Zealand). It is actually criminal that there are no fresh fruit and vege shops and butchers on every block. The size of the takeaway meals is disgusting, I couldn't believe it, YUCK!!! The amount of artificial food that can be found in your stores is also quite literally disgusting. Your country really does need to do something about this and I bet it's effecting the mental health of your people. My son changes after having sweets and artificial food. We have a healthy food policy in most schools in NZ and I think it reflects with our education statistics. Food, nutrition is what keeps us alive at a cellular level, you start ******* with that and you **** with generations. America needs to do something about this, the rest of the world do not live like this.

  • http://twitter.com/MurphyPaz Murphy Paz

    Ha I don't think she can run at all, much less eat at the same time. This is pretty sad. I'm glad my parents educated my siblings and I early on about the fast food industries and the importance of organic fruits and veggies.

  • Chris Bezuidenhout

    Sugar is the big problem, all the food contains lots of sugar even the the bread products is sweet, I'm in the USA now for three weeks and could not find a bread or bun that taste like bread, it all taste like cake, SWEET. Have they never taste real bread?

  • toddy

    You are what you eat, but genetics will play a role.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Morgann-Leach/100000490518620 Morgann Leach

    It's actually all of the sugar and corn products put in food. I believe GMO's are actually a big part as well. They are substantially less nutritious than organic foods. Genetics may play a role in the SHAPE of your body but not in obesity. Obesity is caused by poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle. My entire family is either obese or close to it except me. I watch what I eat and enjoy an active lifestyle. My BMI is at a a healthy 20 or so. How is it that genetics effects everyone in my family except me?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Morgann-Leach/100000490518620 Morgann Leach

    Have you tried whole wheat or 9-grain wheat?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jessica-Anderson/100002184353397 Jessica Anderson

    is that bragging i hear? do you feel like you are on top of the food pyramid? do you wear your crown and carry a scepter?

  • Robyn318

    You said, "How is it that genetics effects everyone in my family except me? "

    Eating that extra 300 or 400 hundred calories every day over time adds up. I am in a constant battle with my weight as well. I have found that when I start to gain an extra 10 lbs I start craving food that is high in fat. You are aware of the situation and make that extra effort to refrain from overeating that the rest of your family may not do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/monique.pigeon Monique Pigeon

    I don't understand this whole, fast food is cheap thing. I get that, but I became a vegan, eat a ton of food, losing weight, and it cost me hardly any money. People, it can be done.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kalt-Thorne/100003454252652 Kalt Thorne

    Now, I'm no vegan, but I cook almost all of my meals these days. If I'm not cooking from scratch, I look very closely on the labels to see what is in it. I feel like the only person holding everyone up at the grocery because I'm the one standing in aisles determining calories/contents/etc and serving sizes.

    I have been on the other extreme, however. I used to eat fast food under the assumption that it was cheaper and faster. It certainly was the latter, but it was not the former at all. I can survive (contented and full, by the way) on $15 a week. If you eat all of your meals at a fast food place these days, you'll be lucky to spend that in one day.
    I only ate two meals a day back then and yet I had no idea I was taking in so many calories. I ate the 'meals' so I figured they were properly portioned... and yet my weight was getting crazy. I weighed over 200lbs at only 5'6, and before that I was always a skinny type! Today, I'm happy to say that I'm only 150lbs and my weight is still going down at a steady rate -just- by not eating fast food any more.

    I really think there's something in that food that makes you want to consume more and more- both in the sense of more fast food (like a craving) and a feeling of need to consume a greater quantity of food in general, too.

    All the sugar and crap in it makes you more and more hungry and you don't understand why you are no longer getting full like you used to. Breaking the habit was harder than quitting smoking, too. For a while, it was all I wanted and craved eating, but now I can't even stand smelling the garbage. I smell it passing by on my way uptown and it just smells... almost like disguised chemicals. There's something to the smell of it that now (over a year since I finally kicked the habit) I can pick up that I never could while I was eating it. It does NOT smell like real food at all!

    I honestly feel like there's something more malicious than just cheapness being done to this "food" that is being kept hush-hush. It's just like Big Tobacco of yesteryear and their cigarettes. no one wants to be the knife to the throat of such a booming business. Not while our economy crumbles around us.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JNIWLD2N7KE6YWLCZBXZ5EC3RQ Yusiley S

    So true. Eating at home is cheaper than eating out. ^_^ I also find it a great joy too because preparing the meal, even prepackaged is quite calming.

    I also agree that there is something in fast food that make you crave it. Ever since I became vegetarian and stop eating at fast food places, I don't crave it any more. I crave fruits & veggies...occasionally a piece of pie or cake at a bakery. I didn't lost weight but did replace fat with muscles. O_O Who knew that a vegetarian diet does that. Everyone talks about how the vegetarian diet actually causes the body to lose muscles not gain it...not so true as many UFC fighters who are either vegetarian or vegan have greater amount of muscles and even define muscles than those who are on a meat based diet. One just has to find what works. I found mines. :)

    You are not alone in the idea that food is being used to control people. I dislike the man, personally, but Alex Jones hit it well when it comes to the elite trying to control every aspect of the rest of the world. What greater way to dumb down and weaken a group by controlling how food is made,what are being made, what are distributed and how they are consumed. This isn't conspiracy any more too much facts and studies are showing this to be true.... The top 1% view us 99% as peasant and wish to run and rule us such as. Watch "Endgame", "The World According to Monsanto", the whole series of "Zeitgeist", "Mind Control; a Brave New World or Enhancing Human Performance". There are many others out there, some of which are new and I have yet to watch to recommend. I truly believe that some foods are made to weaken the mind and body. I know ever since I left eating meat I felt lighter and smarter... my brain works faster than before. I work better and longer and rarely get panic attacks or anxiety. I was an anxious mess... I could barely speak person to person, now I could talk without having to pause so many times. I also realize my grammar has improved more and I don't need to use the spell checker as much before because I now rely solely on my mind to do the work of double checking. I really believe there is something in the toxic over-processed foods... especially meat... that causes the brain to retard back to its more primitive estate and be completely numb to the point of making people easily controlled or manipulated. Its why there hasn't been any true or real movement since the 60s. People aren't marching or protesting against injustice as before... they're too tried, weak and dumb to do anything and if one looks at the statistics... the correlation between increase meat consumption and laziness does match very well. It scared me when I first started to read a bit on the dietary changes and the mentality of the country. Eating too much junk and animal protein as made us not just fat, but lazy and stupid too. Less likely to fight back against injustice and demand change for the better.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/HCYAKR477SBPVL3H2BJM2RHVGA ZoieJayne

    People rarely remember that that $1 cheeseburger isn't as cheap as they think when you calculate the ensuing health costs and medical bills attached to the making of that bad decisions. Actually, that apple IS cheaper. Better (cheaper AND longer lasting) than that? Grow your own. Just make sure to avoid the GMO/Monsanto greed circus like the plague! I applaud your veganism tho. I'm not that responsible yet! :P

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/HCYAKR477SBPVL3H2BJM2RHVGA ZoieJayne

    Not since the 50's! You have to make your own now. :P

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QAXHQTTABZJXAB3JP7A254MT7Y GodmanEnki

    A "dollar" is only "worth" 4 cents! Look at it from the VALUE standpoint. It isn't because they eat "fatty food" or that they "eat at McDonalds." It is THE AMOUNT......that they eat. You could eat "good-food," and IF you eat all damn-day....you'll STILL "get fat!"
    My sister was obese because she somehow found "comfort" in eating. I warned her over and over, to try and lose a little weight. Now, at 62, my sister is dead. And my now OVERWEIGHT-BROTHER, isn't far behind her.
    WHY did they get obese, and I did not? We all have the SAME "parents," and therefore, the SAME "genes." So WHY didn't I get fat? hummmm? Maybe it is because I don't have the same disease as them? The "DISEASE OF THE ELBOW." ( A disease that causes the elbow to BEND-TOWARDS the mouth, rather than to the work. A freind I handn't seen in years, I ran into at college. He "looked-like" he had a basketball under his t-shirt. He said to me, "Donnie, HOW do you stay in such good shape?" Rather than to give him a diagniosis of "Elow Diease" I told him simply, "BECAUSE I WORK FOR A LIVING!"

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QAXHQTTABZJXAB3JP7A254MT7Y GodmanEnki

    "Fast-food" doesn't contain HABBIT-FORMING "nicotine!" You "eat" because "you WANT TO eat." NOT "becauise it's habbit forming." duhhhh!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QAXHQTTABZJXAB3JP7A254MT7Y GodmanEnki

    you're still just a kid. Give you some time, and you'll be FAT again......

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QAXHQTTABZJXAB3JP7A254MT7Y GodmanEnki

    I am 62 YEARS old. I still wear the same size pants I wore in high school. I love cheescake, candy, pizza, and ahhh, cutchie, AND OTHER fattening THINGS. Yet, I remain "thin." WHY?????? I WORK FOR A LIVING, and CONTROL my intake. Not of "calleries" but of QUANTITIES!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QAXHQTTABZJXAB3JP7A254MT7Y GodmanEnki

    Mexicans are AS OBESE as ANY "ethnic-group." AND MAYBE, EVEN FATTER! Have a taco on me.......

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QAXHQTTABZJXAB3JP7A254MT7Y GodmanEnki

    you mean THEY'RE ok with fat.

  • HisPeaches

    you are ranting and it doesn't help anything

  • HisPeaches

    really?

  • HisPeaches

    people need to convince others of why their own point is legit, rather than knocking each other's points

  • eyecandy_babydoll

    Obesity rates increased dramatically from mid 1980's. Same time as highly subsidized crops like corn, soy, wheat, sugar (beets & cane) and other refined grains became more widely grown & cheaper to buy. Also vegetable oil consumption have increased hand-in-hand? since the 1980's.

    These crops are subsidized by who? Tax payers money via USDA. It is USDA who designates where the subsidies go. And what does the USDA food pyramid recommend we eat majority of? Wheat, corn, soy and other refined grains. Crap which cause obesity, cancer, heart disease in animals AND humans.

    So the government takes YOUR taxes to pay the growers to grow cheap crops so food companies can manufacture food products that make you fat. Even though a burger costs $1, the reality is that your taxes have already covered $15 of how much it actually costs to make one burger. Vegetables and fruits aren't as expensive if people realize the true value of food.

  • durga jagannadh

    I support eyecandy_babydoll thoughts.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VVDAB3DGEGBLD54KLT3YJFLYE4 E.tpeace World

    I love how you thought out of the box:)

  • prodigygirl

    I am very stuned that people don't even know how to make a raw salad!!!!! taxes should be aplied to pop, chips, junk food...

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/Q6FBKKUEYIFWKFGKYOSXP2B7FA George Alex

    You know why this hapens?? I tell you why , who is to blame rather than the stupid american whom knows that is bad for his health and still eat that garbage. Hope they will eat until they burst.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kalt-Thorne/100003454252652 Kalt Thorne

    A kid? I guess that depends on your perspective. I turned 27 in January and I'm happy to say that, since my last comment, I'm now vegan and 140lbs. I'm very healthy and have no plans of ever touching fast food again. It truly smells awful to me, I hate the feeling of grease, I only eat when I'm hungry, and it doesn't take much to fill me up and keep me full since I eat a diet rich in fiber and enjoy it far more than I ever did eating those dead, oily foods.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kalt-Thorne/100003454252652 Kalt Thorne

    Not everything that is habit-forming has an external chemical basis for its addiction. Case in point; the internet, online gaming, gambling, etc. These things are notoriously habit-forming (even -addicting-) as well, yet they aren't exactly crack-cocaine, either.

  • Kateye70

    That "steak the size of a deck of cards" is what *used* to be considered a portion for meat of any sort. Not any more.

  • La Plume

    I haven't watched the documentary yet. Just read your comment. For environmental reasons being vegan is certainly more sustainable for the planet than eating meat. Yet it's not really a viable solution unless you're taking complements as only animal substances will give you the B12 vitamin you need. I'm vegetarian btw, French and turning 27 next month so I guess I'm not constantly tempted by junk food as you are in the US although things are unfortunately starting to change here.

    I never had weight problem as a kid but I was always on the chubby side. I started middle school weighting 50kg for 150 cm and finished high school at 58kg for 158cm all the while NOT eating fast food or convenience food, NEVER taking soft drinks, NEVER touching alcohol, NEVER eating between meals and having a very healthy diet. I never tried any form of diet as well since there's countless testimonies about the dangers of starting even one.

    There's a lot of genetics going on and being mixed is definitely a disadvantage. It's only when I became vegetarian ans started to eat exclusively organic almost 6 years ago that I finally lost the extra weight, going down to 49kg. However maintaining such weight is still a struggle. I control close to everything eating up to 1000 calories a day at most although usually I eat around 700 to 800 calories a day.

    This is no easy way to live and to my friends I appear extremely strict. They're times when I relax, for instance on holidays when I go see my parents... However I can put on up to 4kgs in a matter of 3 weeks and mind you, this is no oily food, these are healthy meals prepared by my mom, vegetables, fruits, pasta and bread made by hand. Even the cakes are healthy, most of them are made up out of carrots, potatoes or bread fruits which gives most of the sugary taste of the cakes without needing to add lots of sugar.

    The body however is a wonderful machine. The faster you put on the weight, the faster you lose it once you're back home.

    I eat a slice of cake once every three months... This is very very strict so I won't blame people who have such a slow metabolism to restrain themselves. I may not feel hungry, but before loosing the feeling of being frustrated, it took me a lot of time to accept and I admit I sometimes envy people who just indulge and don't care about the consequences.

    Each and everyone his/her own body. The way I see your country from the outside, no wonder so many people are obese. How can kids learn to control the cravings when you're bombarded with advertisements at every corners of the street?!

    There're cultural habits which are "taught' through television which are completely nuts. Gosh.

    I remember as a kid, we could drink a tiny glass of pure juice every morning and that was it. As far as soft drinks went, it was only allowed when we had a party i.e 5 to 6 times a year AND we were only allowed to drink it ONCE we had finished to eat the meal itself meaning we almost drank nothing every time because obviously after the salads, and rice or vegetables, and meat and cakes there was no place left. Now seems to me Americans drink them at any moment of the day and that they consider it normal.

    If you're used to not drink sugary stuffs, your tongue becomes much more sensible to sugar. Milk even skim milk is naturally full of sugar. In fact, it is natural but still extremely sugary, and when I say that to people they look at me like I'm an alien.

    I don't really mind but as you said, before thinking about loosing weight people have to re-learn how things are supposed to taste.

  • pkunzip

    Luckily, fast food is f'ckn expensive in Norway. Thumbs up :P

  • bionara

    Sorry for the long reply. I actually grow things on my balcony! The best and perhaps easiest are tomatoes - one plant will give a great crop over 5 or 6 months. Just be sure to give them a big container and some plant food!

  • mycial

    You don't have energy after eating fast foods you have stomach cramps & instant diarrhea. I had to stop all fast foods now I eat a plant base diet, skin is clear abs are firm. Hair is shinny & it grows. All the vitamins I need is located in plants, maybe once everyone two months I may eat baked chicken but only if it hasn't been treated with hormones or pesticides. The vegetables I buy come from a farmers market. I don't trust the spraying our food with toxic chemicals.

  • Jess

    At least where i live (canada), fast food is NOT cheap at all! A mcdonalds meal is expensive, and it only feeds one person! You can purchase WAY more at the grocery store, but people always pull this "it is cheaper card", when really, it is NOT!

  • bleb

    awesome. lead by example

  • Malati Maligi

    In India fast food have not reached rural areas,In Urban areas fast food is popular in upper middle , and rich young population.

  • Dom Paraman

    I tend to agree . mcdonalds so called 'extra value' (Lol) meals cost around 6-7 pounds or slightly more if you do go supersize. thats supposedly food for one person (allthough you could easily feed 2 people with this if you split it) the same amount of money could also buy ... a kilo of potatoes (or chips if you feel unhealthy) four or five 'ready' meals. and countless veg. A Single cheeseburger is not even cheap these days £1.09 to which you could spend the same money on fresh food and get more. to say its cheap is just an excuse so they can build in smaller countries and expand their global empire.