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White House Fingers PlayStation As Obesity Culprit 477

Posted by Soulskill
from the wipeout-xxxxl dept.
theodp writes "The winners of the childhood obesity infographic design contest sponsored by GOOD and First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative are in, and the overall winner calls out Sony's PlayStation as a major milestone on its timeline of childhood obesity (together with Coke, Pepsi, mall food courts, fructose and high sugar tariffs, TV, McDonald's, and other fast food). Somewhat ironically, the First Lady's other anti-childhood obesity efforts include a $60,000 video game contest."
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White House Fingers PlayStation As Obesity Culprit

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  • Hmmph. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @01:07PM (#33475784) Journal
    Calling out specific systems(without research: "did the NES/SNES keep more asses in more seats for longer than the Playstation" is a perfectly valid empirical question) seems counterproductive at best, libelous at worst.

    The basic fact that consuming more energy than you use makes you fat, though, seems too obvious to even bother arguing about anymore. This is conservation of energy, not subtle epidemiology.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      I agree with you, but it makes sense that the later-generation consoles would be more easily blamed as more and more parents became afraid to let their kids play outside unsupervised and decided it was okay to pass increasing amounts of parenting onto the systems. As somebody below you pointed out, the XBoxes should also share the blame.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        The Xboxes, our society giving more rights to criminals, gun control laws that embolden said criminals, lack of police power. There is enough blame to go around but it starts out with parents not wanting to at least keep an eye on their kids and send them outside.

        Yes, there is a lot of work to running a house, no one has to tell me this, but don't blame the XBox or Playstation or Wii when your kid gets fat from sitting in the house all day.

        • Re:Hmmph. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by sjames (1099) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @04:00PM (#33476942) Homepage

          You stopped tracing it back a bit too soon. Try an economic system that forces two parents to be full time employees outside of the home resulting in neighborhoods devoid of responsible adults in the afternoons so that kids aren't safe playing outside. Make part time employment and single income more viable and the problem can begin reversing itself. The 8 hour day was reasonable when the basic assumption was that a family had another adult that wasn't in the workforce at all.

          Given our current unemployment rate, it's obvious that society has no pressing need for people to put in that many hours. Salaries have plummeted compared to the GDP/capita.

          • Re:Hmmph. (Score:4, Interesting)

            by dcavanaugh (248349) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @09:06PM (#33478590) Homepage

            With all due respect to engineers and economists, I enter this discussion as someone who has very complicated taxes and has spent some time analyzing the system.

            You would be surprised how many dual-income families could drop to one job with negligible loss of real income. Why? The marginal tax rate on that second job is sky high. Ever hear of the "marriage penalty"? My wife CAN'T work because we would end up getting hammered with the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)! Personally, I would prefer she stay home and raise the kids. This is good, because the government doesn't offer us any choice.

            Many of the "luxuries" found in dual-income households are in fact necessities triggered by the second wage earner. By this, I mean things like another car, additional clothing, convenience foods, eating out, daycare, etc. Most of this gets paid for with after-tax income. There are many things that would either cost less or nothing at all if the wife stayed home. When dual-income couples buy a snazzy car or a huge TV, it's not really the second job that pays for the upgrade. We already know these second jobs don't bring in much after taxes and expenses. The second job merely enables a higher debt burden. Most of the true luxuries are purchased on credit.

            I can understand married women having a right to work, but I wonder how many of them realize they are working very hard for a salary that amounts to less than minimum wage! The marriage penalty is not something you see as a payroll deduction. It's a hidden cost that is only visible when filing a tax return -- and even then most people don't figure it out.

            I saw a TV show where Dateline NBC was helping some families determine if Mom could quit her job and stay home to raise the kids. They had some accountants analyzing the families' tax returns, checking accounts and credit card statements. In most cases, the couples were shocked at how little it would cost them to have Mom stay home. In one case, they found a family where the mother was earning NEGATIVE income from her job! She said to the accountant, "This is great news! Does this mean I can quit in a few months?" The accountant says, "You should quit TOMORROW. In fact, the sooner you quit the less money you will lose."

    • Re:Hmmph. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by blueg3 (192743) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @01:13PM (#33475830)

      To be fair, the basic laws behind statistical mechanics are equally simple, yet thermodynamic behaviors can be complex and non-obvious.

      The epidemiology is:
      Why are people using less energy?
      Why are people consuming more energy?
      What subtle biochemical and metabolic effects might be involved?

      There are a lot more subtle biochemical effects than one might initially suspect.

      • by foobsr (693224)

        To be fair, the basic laws behind statistical mechanics are equally simple, yet thermodynamic behaviors can be complex and non-obvious.

        The epidemiology is: Why are people using less energy? Why are people consuming more energy? What subtle biochemical and metabolic effects might be involved?

        There are a lot more subtle biochemical effects than one might initially suspect.

        I rather suspect that a sociological/psychological approach to the first two questions is more appropriate if you want a cure.

        CC.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by B4light (1144317)
        Can you give me the answers?
    • Ah, but it is epidemiology. Sure, we know why a given person gets fat. Too much energy in; too little energy out. But why is the population as a whole getting fatter? Is it a general trend towards sedentary lifestyles (i.e. energy out)? Is it a general trend towards higher calorie diets (i.e. energy in)? Is it a combination of the two? If these trends are behind the rise in obesity, what are the drivers behind these trends?

      I think you understate the complexity of the issue when you reduce it to a mer

      • Re:Hmmph. (Score:4, Informative)

        by poetmatt (793785) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @02:29PM (#33476360) Journal

        its not hard to tie together the prevalence of HFCS in foods and a major increase in obesity.

        good luck buying any convenience food without hfcs anymore.

      • by Yvan256 (722131)

        what are the drivers behind these trends?

        I guess it's your usual regular joes, driving their 18-wheelers and carrying high fructose corn syrup products from the manufacturers to the grocery stores.

    • Re:Hmmph. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by TheLink (130905) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @02:19PM (#33476272) Journal
      > The basic fact that consuming more energy than you use makes you fat
      > seems too obvious to even bother arguing about anymore.

      Obvious but wrong. Clearly it's not so simple. You like many other people miss out the amount excreted. Unless you consider excretion of calories to be using those calories, which would be stupid.

      I don't see many diet researchers measuring the amount of calories in the feces or other excretion. And there certainly are differences.

      Also people are now noticing the differences in digestive systems: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100526141845.htm

      Many obese people have bacteria and digestive systems that are more efficient and/or converts food into stuff that makes them fat.

      Some probably have cultivated those bacteria through poor diets (poor at least from a modern day "plenty of food" sedentary lifestyle perspective), others might just be unfortunate.

      So I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out that in some unfortunate people the food becomes changed by their bacteria so that they need to eat more or feel like eating more.

      For example:
      a) Say you need a minimum of 10 x A, 10 x B, and the food is 10 x A and 10 x B, but the bacteria keep converting half of the A to B, so you need to consume 20 x A and 20 x B, and end up with 10 x A and 30 x B. You meat the "A" requirement but you get fat and unhealthy.

      b) Alternatively your bacteria might just do better on a fattening diet and so they have evolved to make sure (by various means) that you feel like eating a fattening diet suitable for them. After all who's the boss? You (10 trillion cells) or the 100 trillion bacteria in your gut? If it's a democracy you lose ;).

      It's certainly not all due to bacteria either, but just pointing out it's not so simple when you get to the details :).

      FWIW, I'm not fat (puny and skinny actually), but I'm not one of those who place the blame for obesity completely on the obese. Or think they are lesser beings than I am (they most certainly are greater in some ways ;) ).
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I was once an astrophysicist, but then I underwent a career change to the molecular biology field, where I am now involved in the characterization of the proteomic mechanisms responsible for regulating skeletal muscle metabolism in response to available nutrition.

      I can assure you, the simple laws of thermodynamics do NOT adequately describe the metabolic complexities of biological systems. Of course there is a fundamental energy balance involved, but this does not imply that the human body will simply burn

  • wheres the story? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by metalmaster (1005171) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @01:08PM (#33475798)
    "lets throw in a gaming console amongst other big culprits that help fatten up kids" If your fat its because you didnt exercise enough as a kid and you probably ate shit. More so, its probably the fact that you ate shit. Oh, and your parents probably didnt push activity and exercise on you. "LETS BLAME SONY!" I call it a witch hunt
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by blueg3 (192743)

      I don't see where they're blaming Sony. They're calling out video games as a contributing factor in childhood obesity, which is probably true. Maybe instead of blaming Sony they could educate parents or something. I wonder how they might educate parents? I don't know, maybe some kind of graphic that shows the rise of childhood obesity and points out a lot of contributing factors that parents could work on avoiding? Something like that?

      • by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki&gmail,com> on Saturday September 04, 2010 @02:17PM (#33476248) Homepage

        Personally I blame, in no particular order. Government for telling people that the world is coming to an end, and keep your kids inside. I blame 'think of the children' idiots, for telling everyone that their kids are at risk from *random thing here*, and they should be coddled from birth until they leave. I blame psychologists for repeatedly saying the same things as the 'think of the children' idiots, along with telling parents that males should be quiet and demure. While prescribing drugs to keep them 'under control' aka ADHD.

        I blame the media for doing the same thing and reinforcing it. And I blame parents for not being well informed, and following what the media presented, and what the 'school psychologists' told them. Along with being told that games like cops n' robbers(or variations like cowboys n' indians), or war, or any supper-happy-stupid childhood games are bad for them because it 'reinforces negative stereotypes'.

        Pretty sure that covers it, I know I'm missing a few like school boards, and such. I don't however blame the kids, but I pity them. Because of all that, they never had a childhood where they could actually go out and enjoy themselves.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by msclrhd (1211086)

          The more I think about it, the more I think that civilisation is not going to end through war or asteroids or whatever else -- it is going to implode on ourselves because of all the scare stories we create.

          Hell, breathing and the metabolic process produce free electrons that destroy DNA and cause cancer, so breathing is bad for you and you mustn't do it! Exercising just speeds up the metabolic rate and damages your bones and other parts of the body. Therefore, exercising is bad for you! But if you don't exe

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Vintermann (400722)

          Government for telling people that the world is coming to an end, and keep your kids inside.

          I don't get it. Do the government own the entire media only where you live? Because newspaper headline scares outnumber government information campaigns about keeping your child indoors about ten to... zero.

  • Actually, it's all down to heavy consumption of wheat and grains, and starches too, high fructose corn syrup, and the demonization of saturated fat.

    • by blueg3 (192743) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @01:16PM (#33475854)

      Bread and grains have been an enormous component of staple diets for ages. Even today, in a lot of third-world countries, people eat primarily starch. It's only recently that this has contributed to widespread obesity. I'm going to have to say that it's not as simple as people eating grains and other starches.

      Maybe part of the problem is demonizing things that are the unpopular food item of the moment. Like saturated fat. Or starch.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by nattt (568106)

        And for vastly longer than "ages", grains were not part of our diet at all. The recently obesity epidemic has coincided with the (incorrect) assumption that eating fat makes you fat, that eating cholesterol is bad etc. What's the life expectancy of a 3rd world grain eater?

        Now that wheat consumption is linked to heart disease (whereas we now see saturated fat is not) and how starches and sugars interact with our metabolism through insulin, and low cholesterol is associated with increase cancer risk, you real

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Vintermann (400722)

          What's the life expectancy of a 3rd world grain eater?

          Depends on a lot of things. But they don't usually die of obesity-related diseases, despite your theory. Strange, that.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by wiredlogic (135348)

        Or salt.

        There's no reason why healthy people can't consume near limitless amounts of salt (up to the point of over saturation) without harm. Yet, it is demonized to the point that we're forced to make do with food that is sub-par to satisfy some ignorant fools. Our bodies run on salt. It's the second most important agent after water for keeping our biological machinery running. Properly functioning kidneys will get rid of any excess without any ill effects. Popular opinion, however, has come up with the fal

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ndlxs (230949)

      Actually, it's all down to heavy consumption of wheat and grains, and starches too, high fructose corn syrup, and the demonization of saturated fat.

      I have always thought that perhaps federal corn price supports have lead to overproduction of corn, thus artificially cheap high fructose corn syrup, thus artificially cheap sodas/crap foods, thus obesity.

      • by Niophant (1121801) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @01:26PM (#33475926)
        I'd throw subsidies for meat production into that ring as well. Subsidizing meat leads to overproduction of meat, which in turn leads to cheap processed low-quality meats, which is what fuels McDonald's and all the other fast food chains out there. I think the real irony is that the government is paying these companies (vicariously) to make us fat with one hand and then dishing out all these bucks to fight obesity on the other hand. If the government would just stop mucking up the system in the first place we would all be a lot healthier mentally and physically!
    • Capitalism has the answers to that. Let food prices rise, farming subsidies are Evil.

  • Huh (Score:5, Informative)

    by Cwix (1671282) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @01:11PM (#33475816)

    It barely even mentions the playstation. It seems to be more pissed off at soda then anything else.

  • Huge Idiot (Score:3, Insightful)

    by erroneus (253617) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @01:13PM (#33475826) Homepage

    Anyone who thinks it's not the food we eat here in the U.S. is completely missing what is going on. Carbohydrates are a nearly direct path to building body fat. Nearly everything on store shelves have breads, sugars and starches in them. Many other countries have successful laws and regulation against the types of foods we eat in the U.S. every day. It's as if other nations know and understand about nutrition and the U.S. somehow doesn't. Okay... so that doesn't seem too likely that our experts don't know about it while the rest of the world does. So what could it be?

    • Re:Huge Idiot (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DarkKnightRadick (268025) <the_spoon.geo@yahoo.com> on Saturday September 04, 2010 @01:20PM (#33475874) Homepage Journal

      Corporatism.

      • Let's not forget the importance the state of Iowa plays in American Presidential primary process. Being the first poll, each politician courts the state months or even years in advance. A few will skip the state, but most will make sure they do not vote against anything the voters there will be concerned with, and that includes corn.

    • So what could it be?

      Feel-good, pointless, politics as usual?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Vahokif (1292866)

      Do you know what the leading cause of obesity is?

      Eating too much.

      Blaming it on the food you eat isn't going to help anyone. You could lose weight eating only bacon, cholesterol notwithstanding, if you limit your intake. The only way to lose weight is to consciously make an effort to eat fewer calories than you burn.

      • people eat too much because government pushed the agenda of stabilizing food prices during Nixon actually and it carried on, and due to prices being fixed, the ingredients became worse and worse for human consumption, including the gov't not even mentioning that fiber needs to be in the food 'pyramid'. Watch this Sugar - the bitter truth. [youtube.com] An explanation on why people are obese.

        The answer is fructose, which is a form of alcohol without the buzz, and which is not regulated by the FDA because its bad effects

    • Because we are not going to accept the loss of independence created by a government nanny state. Regulating food is not a legitimate government function.

    • by Kozz (7764)

      See Michael Pollan's writings, such as "In Defense of Food": http://www.amazon.com/Defense-Food-Eaters-Manifesto/dp/0143114964/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_3 [amazon.com]

      I heard Pollan while listening to a podcast this past week. I like his guideline that you should avoid anything at the grocery store that your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food.

  • by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @01:13PM (#33475828)

    What about the cutting of recess at schools and short lunch times at some of them.

    Some schools even have a recess / lunch where you have to eat fast to get some recess time!

    also what is point of a 30min lunch when you have to use half of just waiting in line to get / pay for the food?

  • nonsense (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bobtree (105901) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @01:14PM (#33475832)

    Does reading books also cause obesity?

    America is sugar addicted and everything we eat has corn syrup and corn starch.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tyroney (645227)
      Yup. Being active might make you healthier, but I wish everyone would stop equating exercise with weight loss. I wouldn't focus entirely on corn, (though it's a big stupid problem here in the US,) regardless of content people simply eat too much for the kind of lifestyle we live. (lumberjacks have an excuse. I don't.)
    • It can but the difference here is that most Americans don't read so it's not an issue. The point of the graph isn't about being categorical; it's not saying that if you play on a PlayStation you'll be fat. It's saying if you spend most of you non-sleep time in front of a TV and not moving about while eating a ton of high calorie food, you will be fat. This is why they have numbers associated with each category.
  • Playstation? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TheLink (130905) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @01:14PM (#33475840) Journal
    Is there really a strong correlation between the playstation and obesity?

    I see a stronger correlation between the portion/serving sizes.

    When parents keep programming their children from young to finish everything on their plate and don't waste, think of the starving in Africa etc, they sure are going to find it difficult to not try to finish a super sized meal/drink.

    And the businesses are sure happy to sell larger sizes. You can more easily sell larger portions for higher revenue and profits. Only a few snobs like going to expensive restaurants to get very expensive food in tiny portions.

    As for "food preparation time", I eat out very often and thus spend nearly zero food preparation time and I'm not obese. It's just a matter of what you choose to eat and drink.

    Here's a tip, cut out the sugar water and fries. Only have them as a treat once in a long while. Do fast food establishments in the USA make it easy and convenient to just order water with their burgers? Or is it more expensive to do so than to order it with sugar water?
    • Value meal (Score:3, Informative)

      by tepples (727027)

      Do fast food establishments in the USA make it easy and convenient to just order water with their burgers? Or is it more expensive to do so than to order it with sugar water?

      The "value meal" gimmick at U.S. quick-service "workaurants" is roughly buy a burger and fries and get a free Coke.

      • by TheLink (130905)
        Yeah same here, but can you get free water instead of the free coke?

        If you still get the free coke, because of "parent programming" as I mentioned, you'd be tempted to finish it, on behalf of the starving kids in Africa. Even though your drinking it or not has zero effect on whether those kids starve or not (mass starvation is mostly due to bad politicians/leaders).

        Of course if people consume and spend more and only die soon after their most productive ages, then overall it is actually better for the countr
      • by TubeSteak (669689)

        The "value meal" gimmick at U.S. quick-service "workaurants" is roughly buy a burger and fries and get a free Coke.

        That Coke costs them roughly a nickle, and maybe a few more pennies if you include transport & the cup.
        You'd be hard pressed to find a higher margin item in the food industry than fountain sodas.
        It's almost impossible for them to give it away because it already costs them next to nothing.

    • by Blackhalo (572408)
      "Is there really a strong correlation between the playstation and obesity?" Based on my anecdotal observation, there is a hight correlation, with fast food, Wal*Mart and Fox News.
  • by DurendalMac (736637) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @01:16PM (#33475852)
    What about the fucking PARENTS, Michelle? I'd point at the parents as the single biggest reason for childhood obesity. It's supposed to be their job to make sure their kids remain healthy and active. Instead, a lot of them are just fine grabbing McDonald's and letting the kids stare at the TV for hours on end. It all boils down to people. Politicians just love pointing the finger at everything but people, because people vote. Playstations don't.
    • by blueg3 (192743)

      You didn't bother looking at the graphic or the Let's Move website, did you?

      • Agh, serves me right for hastily posting toward the top. Misleading summary, but the point still stands, and I find it really sad that some sort of campaign for this is necessary. Are parents really so stupid that they don't realize this?

        However, I also question the validity of many claims made by the winner. 7.5hrs average daily screentime for kids? How in the hell does that happen? You'd have to sit in front of the TV the moment you get home from school and go to bed past 10PM! And who the hell gives a
        • by Jeremi (14640)

          7.5hrs average daily screentime for kids? How in the hell does that happen? You'd have to sit in front of the TV the moment you get home from school and go to bed past 10PM!

          Don't forget weekends -- two days a week of watching 12 hours of TV can really boost your average.

          My kid is over 2 and the only soda he's had are little sips of non-caffeinated soft drinks that myself or my wife were having. We do not give him soda at home. He gets juice.

          Note that from an obesity perspective, fruit juice isn't much bett

        • I am going to be cynical here...

          "He gets juice:" Oh now that's MUCH better... Ever seen the calories in juice?

          http://www.hookedonjuice.com/ [hookedonjuice.com]

          The proper answer should have been... http://www.volvic.ch/ [volvic.ch]

          These volvic drinks have a slight taste of something, but very little calories... Or just plain water.

    • by ewe2 (47163)

      Make good food more affordable then, make time to prepare good food a priority. Don't blame the working poor for taking the easy way out in their 2-job-a-day lives to feed their families. I hear this particular justification from better off people all the time who have no idea how most people are getting by today. Next time, look at the checkout chick and ask yourself how they're feeding themselves on minimum wage. Then get off your sanctimonious high horse.

  • Other awards were given for Best Design [awesome.good.is] ('We also like how the chubby typeface is evocative of obesity') and Best Information [awesome.good.is] ('Bonus points for the great smaller serving of spaghetti').

    • Both of those are about as crappy as it gets. Looks like the graphics on a playschool "computer". Your tax dollars at work!

      • by Cwix (1671282)

        You're RIGHT!! The government should employ some top notch graphics artist and buy some new Macs to make sure the graphics are up to your standard. That's where I want MY tax dollars to go. /endsarcasm

        Id rather they just had the intern do it, its cheaper.

      • Oh, so many tax dollars...

        "Winners will be announced on July 20, featured on our homepage, the homepage of LetsMove.gov, the White House blog, and also printed in the next issue of GOOD. We’ll send GOOD and Let’s Move! T-shirts and a free subscription (or gift subscription) to the winners."

        That's some astonishingly lazy finger pointing. Where do you normally get the news spoon fed to you?

    • This makes me wonder if we could then start referring to overweight people as not fat, but "bold."

  • ... I started eating Wees, which are by far more dietetic than ps's.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 04, 2010 @01:30PM (#33475950)

    No soft drinks, no pre-packaged boxed snack foods (seldom cereal), no chips (well, chips and salsa occasionally). Seldom eat out at fried food joints (maybe once a week). Stick to wheat breads, fruits and vegetables, yogurt, meats, sushi and rice.

    Essentially if you cut out all the 'americanized' boxed and packaged foods that are mainstream, as well as soft drinks, your overall feeling of health increases rapidly. Did I also mention coffee and beer/wine are essential? And no, I don't miss ANY of that crap processed and preserved food I've cut out.

    If you listen to and feel out your body just a little, and think about the history of mans food consumption, its all pretty clear what the body CAN effectively use for food.

  • by Spazntwich (208070) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @01:32PM (#33475958)

    If pointing a few fat fingers at videogames is the best our fearful leaders can do to address the obesity epidemic, it's already over.

    America is laboriously waddling itself into an early grave rife with gout, diabetes, pancreatitis, and countless other chronic ailments that turn the phrase "quality of life" into a cruel joke.

    The problems come from every direction: Subconscious feeding instincts that don't translate well to calorie abundance, marketing honed to razor sharpness that capitalizes on these instincts, food designed to do the same, and a general lack of accountability from top to bottom all combine to create a horrifying socioeconomic problem that I don't see us pulling out of.

    Nobody cares. About themselves. About what the things they sell others do to those people.

    Just give everyone that wants it some meth. Keep the daily doses reasonable and people's brains would take longer to turn to mush from the drugs than their current sedentary lifestyles.

  • Nonsense (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LingNoi (1066278) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @01:35PM (#33475982)

    If kids spent all day reading books instead of playing games would they get equal blame? In both cases a kid is just sitting there doing nothing.

  • Less obesity and less national debt from underpaid idiots using credit to buy this crap for their kids.
  • But what about Dance Dance Revolution?

  • First off, starches will make you a lard-ass, young or not as many posters have mentioned. What goes hand-in-hand with this is that as our purchasing power decreases because of economy, lost job, shrinking value of the dollar, whatever, starches are the only affordable choice. You can feed your family for a month on rice and ramen, or have a few meals with meat and/or vegetables. It is almost a forced issue that in order to even survive many have to eat unhealthy amounts of starch.
  • That's why Japan, motherland of modern gaming, and Korea, land of professional gaming and gaming addiction, are the fattest countries in the world!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Obesity_country_comparison_-_path.svg [wikipedia.org]

    ...oh, wait.

    • Wow... the two countries that amaze me on that graph are
      1) Canada - I would have figured proximity to US and sharing of many US cultural (McDicks and similar food dishes... + the Quebec extreme calorie cultural dishes ... eg poutine, maple sugar shacks) values would cause Canada to have a obesity rate closer to the US.
      2) Mexico - Different language, very different culture, different food from the US... i would have thought their obesity rates to be much lower.

  • I am a late teenaged person, I eat only fast and junk food, don't exercise, and drink at least 3 cans of regular soda a day. I am underweight, and have several friends with similar operating scenarios. Please explain.
  • The main target in marketing and advertisements of fast food is children. Happy Meals, toys, clowns, cartoons, McDonald's PlayPlace, etc. - the list goes on.

    Marlboro can't market their harmful product to children anymore with Joe Camel, so why should McDonald's and others be able to?

  • (I'd post the lyrics themselves, but Tim Crist, a.k.a. "Worm Quartet" packs a lot of lyrics into one song.)

    On top of everything he sings/raps/screams about, another cause comes to mind and it's the parents' own damn fault for this, because they won't stop thinking about the childhood injuries. To prevent boo-boos at school, athletics programs get pared down to sub-Special-Olympics levels. Playgrounds get dismantled because someone could get hurt on them. Public ball fields and open spaces are either infeste

  • I must say I am quite surprised that they are blaming the PlayStation. I would have bet money that they'd blame the obesity epidemic on George W. Bush.
  • by Jodka (520060) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @02:42PM (#33476470)

    Michelle Obama has adapted a worthwhile initiative to reduce childhood obesity into a platform for broadcasting her snide disdain for the plebeian tastes of the common people. Her chart also indicts "The first successful shipping mall FOOD COURT [emphasis hers]". Mrs. Obama has deigned to enlighten the masses, disabusing us of our philistine taste in Playstations and food courts at the mall. Once imbued with her own degree of elegance and sophistication, we shall live as healthfully she, dining casually in bistros on the Spanish coast and in elegance upon the healthful hors d'oeuvres at White House receptions.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Exactly. I love watching all the hippies drink the local, sustainable Odwalla juice. . Soda contains less sugar than many types of juice by volume, and it is made from local filter tap water (less transportation weight). Ever notice how the left's social vices are only things that poor people do? SUV's are bad, don't worry about my trip to Europe. But, one trip to Europe per year is worse than owning a Hummer H3 for a year. Soda is bad for you, starbucks is good. Playstations cause a sedentary lifestyle, sc
  • The real culprits? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dcavanaugh (248349) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @03:35PM (#33476810) Homepage

    1. Corn. A lot of food is loaded with high-fructose corn syrup because it's cheap. Modern meat has a higher percentage of fat because subsidized corn is a cheap way to fatten livestock and increase the quantity of meat. The surplus fat ends up in all kinds of products as a cheap way to provide flavor that consumers have developed a preference for. And of course, corn products of all types end up in high-carb foods that are cheap and supported by relentless marketing. Corn doesn't just fatten livestock, it fattens humans too. Healthy food is more expensive than junk food. All of this happens because corn is sold for less than the cost of production (thanks to the government).

    2. Fear. When I was a kid, we would go to a nearby forest and play outside all day. Or we would play unsupervised baseball, football, etc. from dawn to dusk. Today, we don't let kids play without a boatload of supervision, protective equipment, etc. Therefore, outside play is infrequent. Walking through the woods is now out of the question, thanks to lenient sentencing of violent criminals and paranoia that we get from watching crime dramas on TV.

    3. Homework. Teachers are pressured into assigning homework far beyond what is needed to support academic progress. Administrators seem to think that keeping kids busy will keep them out of trouble (by keeping them seated and indoors, of course). This has a number of side effects, none of which help the kids.

  • by roman_mir (125474) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @04:16PM (#33477032) Homepage Journal

    and scientists finger the White house as the culprit of obesity: Sugar - the bitter truth. [youtube.com] An explanation on why people are obese.

    Short version:

    1. Nixon pushed to stabilize food prices to help him in elections, he succeeded in doing that to food.
    2. Various gov't programs included providing 'juices' to the poor.
    3. Fixed food prices caused corporations to start looking for other ways of taking care of price fluctuations, namely using cheaper and more cost effective ingredients.

    The food that causes obesity is...

    fructose.

    The video above explains that fructose is a form of alcohol without the buzz and how it does damage by not allowing the body to understand that it doesn't need to consume more food, while causing obesity, liver damage, and various other illnesses normally associated with alcoholism.

    BTW FDA doesn't control substances that even though harmful to you, do not cause acute poisoning, and fructose does not cause acute poisoning, it makes you sick over time.

    White house is the culprit.

  • by incognito84 (903401) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @08:05PM (#33478236)
    I was talking to my folks recently about whats going on in my hometown.

    I grew up on a dead end street where lots of kids live. Lots of kids still live there. There is hardly any through traffic. When I was a kid, we'd play games on the street pretty regularly. Anything from street hockey, to improvised soccer, to water gun fights... you name it.

    Recently a new generation of kids on that street started doing some of the same things. The police were called, parents fought and eventually it was decided that it was beyond inappropriate for the kids to play there. One of the main reasons that seemed to be cited was a large fear of child abductors and the fact that they couldn't always be supervised.

    So thanks to years and years of pampering and isolating our children from fears both real and manufactured, a new generation of kids won't have any memories of the street I grew up on. Instead they'll all stay inside and get fat in front of their Playstations and we'll blame the Playstations for all their problems. Might as well put them on Ritalin to keep them from using all that pent up energy, too.

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