TED Conversations

Dr. Michael Katz

President, www.EatingKids.com

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Is the Childhood Obesity epidemic proof that not all parents love their children?

Childhood Obesity is not so much a "learned" disease as it is a disease parents "give" to their children. Over-feeding is couched in the language of love, but over-indulgence and the refusal to set reasonable boundaries is hardly an act of true love. Since most parents actually DO know how to prevent obesity, is it possible that these parents don't REALLY love their children?

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    Apr 9 2011: It's not entirely accurate to say most parents know how to prevent obesity. In some cases, obesity is a generational adaptation. Her parents overate, her parents overate, and her parents overate. Relationships to food and the eating habits that come from those relationships can be as complex as emotional baggage to living in so-called food deserts.

    Some of these same parents may not even see themselves as obese, though clinically they are so classified. It is abuse if one knows better, because it is assumed that they will then DO better. But there is too much of an assumption that people even understand, let alone have fully committed to, the principles of sound nutrition. We are a nation enslaved to the quick fix, the fad diet, the gimmick weight-loss machine. Seldom do we put as much energy into explaining the true nature of food -- that being energy for the body.

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