Parents Must Take Responsibility For What Their Kids Eat

Take responsibility before blaming corporations and seeking government interference.

(Page 2 of 2)

That said, putting the onus on parents doesn’t mean I think parenting is easy. Even though I’ve worked as an educator, tutor, caretaker, and glorified chauffeur to various kids over the years—including while I was earning a Master’s degree from Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy more than a decade ago, have worked and been published in the field of education reform, and take an active interest in what school-aged kids eat, I can’t imagine how difficult it is to be a parent.

But not wanting any part of that great responsibility is the primary reason I chose not to be a parent. If you choose to be a parent, then be a parent.

Doing so sometimes means speaking up to your own kids and speaking out on behalf of your kids to other kids and adults.

No parent can have a greater impact in their own child’s life and development than by doing just that.

If you’re a parent and your inclination is to yell through a megaphone at food corporations while tiptoeing around your kids and other adults—teachers, coaches, and the like who feed your kids foods you actively oppose—I contend that your priorities are askew at best.

Parents of all stripes who I spoke to for this column agree with me.

“As the mother of three young and perpetually hungry boys,” says Julie Gunlock, who works on food issues at the Independent Women’s Forum. “I understand Yoni Freedhoff's frustrations but am somewhat baffled by his outrage.

"Is it so hard to express his wishes to the hosts of the many activities in which his children are involved? Is it so hard to pack his kid a snack to take along with them to these many events?” asks Gunlock.

“Regular meals eaten together at home are at least half the battle,” says Walter Olson, a parent and senior fellow at the Cato Institute, “so one should also consider cutting back on all the kid socializing if it's interfering with that.”

"Parents are ultimately responsible for what their children eat and only have themselves to blame if their wishes aren't made known," says Susan Malizia, a mother of three and self-described liberal Democrat who lives in Silver Spring, Md. "Honestly, Mr. Freedhoff comes across as another whiny parent who can't seem to take responsibility for what his children eat[.]”

Malizia calls limiting her own kids’ candy intake one “of the perks that come with being a PARENT!!!"

Sure, one woman’s perk may be another man’s displeasure. But love it or hate it, it's your job as a parent.

Want more? Head on over to Keep Food Legal's Facebook page (and like us while you're there) for more discussion—including comments from me (posting as Keep Food Legal), Freedhoff, and others.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Professional Target||

    Julie Gunlock

    I love that sirname: The part of the gun that ignites the charge!

  • deified||

    *surname

    I have a hunch she's hot.

  • ||

    She's not. And I've seen her talking about BPA and she's relatively stupid as well.

  • ||

    I should add that I was disappointed with Stossel's interview of her. Softball questions which showed a clear lack of actual background research. She may have a point, but if the stupid things she mixes in go unchallenged, that point is lost.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    It's takes a village, and the village says your little fatty needs more doughnuts. Put the kid on a treadmill to work off the junk you haven't instructed him to decline.

  • mtrueman||

    One way we could help parents meet their responsibilities is to give them more control over the commercial advertising their children are exposed to. Instead of allowing any kind of advertising to appear on the screens children watch at home, at least with cable, parents should be given the option to block advertising for products they don´t want their children to be exposed to or to consume.

    If we really want parents to take responsibility, then we should have no problem giving them the necessary tools to help them.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    Symptom, not disease. If you REALLY want to take respnsibility, stop buying into this debunked Galbraithian bullshit that claims people are brainwashed by commercials.

  • mtrueman||

    I´m not talking about people being brainwash by advertising, but parents taking responsibility for what their children are exposed to.

    You seem comfortable with the notion that parents should take responsibility for what their children eat. Who but the parents should take responsibility for what advertising these children see?

    Why are you determined to relieve parents of this burden and place it on the shoulders of others? I don´t see your reasoning here.

  • Virginian||

    TV has ads. If you don't want ads, cancel the cable. What with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, etc. you can get get tons of quality programming with no ads. Hell, if it weren't for football I'd cancel the cable.

    You want someone else to do parents jobs for them. Doesn't work that way.

  • mtrueman||

    You have a point. I manage quite nicely without cable, netflix, hulu, amazon video and all the rest.

    But you haven´t understood me. Maybe the parents are happy with cable and have no problem watching advertising. The problem is they feel uncomfortable letting their children being exposed to advertising food they feel is unhealthy. Taking responsibility for ones children doesn´t mean they should treat themselves as children.

    If it were gun owership we were discussing, would you advise concerned parents to forego firearms and seek instead the comforts of baseball bats, swords, knives, nanchucks, and other such weapons? ¨No,¨ you would say, ¨by all means possess firearms, it´s your right, just be sure, like any responsible parent, to keep them from the reaches of the children.¨

    And I would agree completely with you. Adding though, there is no need for anything so drastic as mum and dad to give up the pleasures of TV, or the often even more entertaining advertising, sandwiched into the programmes. Let mum and dad watch their TV, I say, but let them enjoy it with the peace of mind that their children are safe from being exposed to advertising they deem harmful. It´s the responsible thing to do.

    ¨TV has ads¨

    I´m not against ads, really.

  • Zeb||

    Sure, it would be nice if the cable companies would offer the service you describe. Perhaps they will some day if the demand exists.

  • Virginian||

    Eh, you're talking to someone who was swimming at 3, reading at 4, running wild with no adult supervision every summer from the time I was 7, shooting guns at 8, going on weekend camping trips with no adults present at 10, working at 12. My parents literally never controlled what I read, watched on TV, or saw on the Internet.

    If they want to lock the TV up, that's fine. It's their kids. If they want to ask the cable company to ban junk food ads, fine. But that's not what they'll do. They'll want a ban, a law, probably named after some kid who died from stuffing his face and never exercising. So a little more liberty will slip away. "for the children".

  • mtrueman||

    I sympathize with you, Virginian and shared much of the freedoms you enjoyed as a lad. We were lucky. Those days nobody thought twice we kindergarteners walked to school and back 30 minutes, by ourselves. Nut allergies? Never heard of them till I was well into my twenties, or even thirties. Now there are gluten allergies as well, making lives of nice bright kids miserable.

    I´ve been reading these pages at Reason here long enough and carefully enough to know that many people here are absolute experts at the fine art of bearing the pain of others. Those suffering from something like a gluten allergy don´t deserve our sympathy, don´t deserve our solicitude. No, these ´snowflakes´ deserve only our scorn for being the whining pussies they are and would be regardless of whatever allergies they claim to have fallen victim to.

    There´s nothing shameful in doing something ¨for the children,¨ and you shouldn´t fall for this cheap-jack cynicism you see bandied about here.

  • Virginian||

    Oh, I'll be 24 in March, by the way. There are still people and places who raise children to be adults. See, here's the issue: if you keep things from kids, they're not going to learn. The entire point of having children is raising them to be functional adults. If you want a dependent who will remain that way until they die, buy a dog.

    We're not talking about nuclear physics here. I have worked with kids ranging from 5 to 15 for nearly a decade now, and every single one of the kids with an allergy or a dietary need or a medical issue knew about it. The diabetics could regulate themselves, the peanut allergies knew they had to sit with the other kids with peanut allergies. They knew to check with the adults when strange food was offered. We looked out for them of course, but we really didn't need to. They're kids, not morons.

  • mtrueman||

    You´re talking a lot of sense, Virginian, but I think you will have to agree with me about kids just not having the mental apparatus to cope with (some) things of the adult world, and I can see advertising junk food can easily be included here.

    If you have the time you might be interested in listening to this lecture:
    http://backdoorbroadcasting.ne.....y-culture/

    (and the following Q&A)

    One of the participants tells of the problems he´s had using photographs in the presentation of material on the WW2 holocaust to children. He was very perturbed to discover that for 10 year old boys, the horrific photographs were the highlight of the event, and the kids took a perverse and morbid delight in them. Boys will be boys, you say, and that´s my point. There´s a difference between a boy and a man, and responsible parenting doesn´t try to fudge this.

  • Virginian||

    One of the participants tells of the problems he´s had using photographs in the presentation of material on the WW2 holocaust to children. He was very perturbed to discover that for 10 year old boys, the horrific photographs were the highlight of the event, and the kids took a perverse and morbid delight in them.

    That actually further supports my point. You do children no favors by shielding them from the unpleasant realities of the world. We show them those and teach them not to make mistakes of the past.

    One of those unpleasant realities is that foods that taste good are often not the best foods for us. Just like tobacco, alcohol, other drugs, sex, motorcycles, etc. kids should be taught how to handle these things, and if they are to indulge in them, to do so in a responsible manner.

    Honestly, keeping them away from junk food and advertising of junk food is exactly like refusing to introduce alcohol in a responsible fashion, or neglecting sexual education. It's like trying to avoid drowning by never teaching them to swim.

  • mtrueman||

    ¨You do children no favors by shielding them from the unpleasant realities of the world.¨

    My point is that children no matter what they are exposed to, are simply not equipped to handle certain things. That´s what it means to be immature. I remember reading the psychologist Piaget who studied the development of children and how it proceeds in stages. Toddlers love to play peek-a-boo because they haven´t yet mastered the concept that objects (like faces) continue to exist despite not being seen. Each time they see the face, it´s as though it appeared from nowhere, hence the surprise. No amount of exposure to the game of peek-a-boo is going to blunt that surprise, not until the kid has the mental wherewithal to understand the persistence of unseen faces, ie he passes on to the next stage of cognitive development.

    What does this have to do with advertising? I´m really not sure, but I´m sure that exposing a kid to something is not necessarily the right thing to do.

  • gaoxiaen||

    I just send my kids to school with a plastic spoon and a jar of peanut butter or a can of chocolate icing for lunch. The other kids are jealous.

  • Redmanfms||

    Who but the parents should take responsibility for what advertising these children see?

    Who here is actually arguing this?

    Why are you determined to relieve parents of this burden and place it on the shoulders of others? I don´t see your reasoning here.

    Again, who here is actually arguing this?

  • mtrueman||

    ¨Again, who here is actually arguing this?¨

    Even when you agree with me you manage to sound so hostile. At least you didn´t curse me or call me a liar. I appreciate that.

  • Redmanfms||

    Even when you agree with me you manage to sound so hostile.

    Probably because the post I quoted you make the claim that people are arguing against parental responsibility, which is patently false.

  • wareagle||

    what makes Freedhoff different from the nannies who would dictate others' diets, other than, of course, his inability to use govt's coercive power? Homemade goodies surrounding youth activities have been around my entire life.

    Perhaps what is missing is parents will to be parents and tell their little snowflake that one cookie or snickerdoodle is okay, but 5 or 10 isn't. That and activities used to involved, well, activity.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Of course this entirely misses that the fuss isn't about the food-snob controlling what his children eat. He probably doesn't give a fat damn about his kids, so long as they act as fashion accessories to his self-promoting lifestyle. The fuss is about "look at how Moral I am, trying to keep my precious children from eating politically incorrect food!".

    I will be surprised if he ever sees his children again once they get old enough to move out. Pillock.

  • ||

    You are wasting your breath Baylin.

    Two things people hate above all others; Truth and responsibility, not necessarily in that order.

  • From the Tundra||

    I think a lot of these people talk through their asses about wanting their kids to be healthy. It's the thing to do, I guess. In practice? Not so much. I used to provide a ton of nutrition information at the beginning of hockey season and still would have parents trying to set up a "treat schedule" or sending their kids to the rink with Mountain Dew and cookies before a game. Kid's aren't stupid. It takes time, but you can sell them on eating right.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    OT: WWE creates Tea Party wrasslin' tag team to avenge America against a Latino team in a prize fight - AM radio (Beckerhead) types go nuts.

    http://www.youtube.com/wethepeoplezeb

    Beck invited to 'Monday Night RAW' to avenge Tea Party:

    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/wwe.....he-accept/

  • ||

    Circus puts together a sensational act to increase their viewership.

    What is your point?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    I enjoy a good punking. Zeb and Jack have offended the conservative twitterers.

  • General Butt Naked||

    I can't imagine a life so empty...

  • Mike M.||

    Why am I not at all surprised that shithead watches "professional wrestling"? After all, it is geared toward his cohort: those with a double-digit I.Q.

  • Ted S.||

    What if his kids want the lollipops?

  • Rich||

    I know a couple who long ago developed a working arrangement with their picky-eating daughter. She basically subsists by choice on a little peanut butter and a few crackers, but agrees to drink Ensure to keep the folks happy. The kid is small for her age, but otherwise well-adjusted and intelligent.

  • Ska||

    Is peanut butter so bad? I love that shit.

  • From the Tundra||

    It's fine. Skip the added sugar, though

  • ||

    I'd be most worried about the kid getting too many PUFAs and not enough SFAs. I don't know what Ensure is, but I doubt it has the fatty acid profile of breast milk which is a pretty good yardstick as it is meant to nurture kids up to 2-4 years. The human body doesn't have a method for converting PUFAs into SFAs since until very recently the majority of fatty acids were likely SFAs.

  • General Butt Naked||

    PUFAs are better than a FUPAs.

  • Doctor Whom||

    If you choose to be a parent, then be a parent.

    What kind of crazy talk is that? Responsibility is for other people.

  • grey||

    No, responsibility is for the government, therefore the government needs the power to act responsibly in the absence of parents ability to raise their own snowflakes.

    Pack a healthy snack. Impossible.
    Instruct and enforce behavior on your own children. Impossible.
    Inform caretakers of permissible meal choices for your children. Impossible.
    Curtail your children's activities when caretakers act against your wishes. Impossible.

    The only remaining choice: Government regulate choices from the marketplace. (sarc)

  • Ken Shultz||

    It's hard to believe someone would expect people to take responsibility for their own children.

    Once we start down that road, where does it end? Before you know it, we'll start expecting people to take responsibility for their own mortgages and their own retirement!

  • deified||

    I think Linnekin is a little off-the-mark here. Sure, he's right that parents are primarily responsible for their kids. And yeah, he's right that yelling into a bullhorn against distant, irresponsible corporations is less effective than bringing the fight closer to home.

    But, honestly, it's going to take some straight-up preaching to get other "caretakers" (parents/teachers/coaches) to act responsibly. The replacement for bureaucratic government regs is some old-fashioned tight-assedness and straight-up scolding and judgmentalism against the Snickers-bars-and-fried-oreo crew.

    Freedom and responsibility...it can be a bitch, too.

  • Sevo||

    "But, honestly, it's going to take some straight-up preaching to get other "caretakers" (parents/teachers/coaches) to act responsibly"

    If the kid has serious allergies, the parent *must* make sure of the food.
    If not, so what? Except for the allergic, one candy bar a week from the coach isn't going to kill the kid.

  • deified||

    Why do you assume it's one candy bar a week?

    How do you know it's not McDonald's after practice and Dairy Queen after the weekly game?

    After a hard afternoon split between riding the pine and playing (deep) right field, I can't understand why Junior's cellulite is indistinguishable from Hillary Clinton's.

    People who feed children tasty poison are bad and they should feel bad.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Your method merely sounds like a real efficient way to get an ass beating. Good luck "scolding" strangers.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Fat kids tend to have fat parents. If Freedhof's kids are overweight, I'll bet he is too. And if they are not overweight, McDonald's after the game and Dairy Queen after practice won't make them overweight.

    Really he's mad that all those other parents aren't paying attention to his weight loss expertise and his ideas about eating right.

  • DrewT||

    While I agree with the premise of Linneken's article, I did not interpret Freedhoff as "whining" and asking government to be responsible for his children. I agree with him that the constant offering of junk to children has become normal and expected. And while I would advocate that such offerings should no longer be provided or expected, I would never suggest "we need a law" nor did Freedhoff.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Good comment.

  • mtrueman||

    I like my idea of letting parents, at least those with cable, stop providers from advertising products that parents don´t wish their children to see. The parents would simply put in a request to the provider to ´opt out´ of advertising they believe to have a deleterious effect on their children. If were are serious about parents taking responsibility, then this is a measure we should be able to support.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    As long as it is voluntary between the cable co. and the paid subscriber, sure give it a try.

    If you want to use government to force the cable co. to accept these requests, then fuck off, slaver.

  • mtrueman||

    ¨As long as it is voluntary¨

    The subscriber is paying the provider. Surely he has a right to determine what he gets for his money. If the provider is unwilling to cooperate, there´s always another provider waiting in the wings.

    I don´t see where the government comes into this or why I should ¨fuck off, slaver.¨

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    The subscriber is paying the provider. Surely he has a right to determine what he gets for his money.

    And the cable co. has a right to reject requests for blocking advertising.

    If the provider is unwilling to cooperate, there´s always another provider waiting in the wings.

    Exactly, agreed.

    I don´t see where the government comes into this...

    I'm glad you aren't calling for any government action, to force cable cos. to accept these requests.

    ...or why I should ¨fuck off, slaver.¨

    Had you called for government to force the cable cos. to comply with customers' demands, you would have in fact been calling for the enslavement of the cable co.

    Around these parts, the phrase "fuck off, slaver" is commonly used as an insult directed toward people who would advocate the enslavement of a person, or their property.

  • Entropy Void||

    Dish Network already tried this with their "Hopper".

    NAB and MPAA and such ilk are fucking them over for messing with "their" revenue source.

    IP argument alert ...

  • mtrueman||

    I think this comment is more on the mark than ´EDGRepingLDG´ with his concern over government interference.

    As I understand the business, the TV production outfits are selling children´s attention to advertisers. If cable companies do anything to interfere with this, they´re going to bring the wrath of god on their heads.

    Linnekin talks about parental responsibility for what kids eat. But what kids see? I bet he´s quite happy leaving that responsibility in the hands of advertisers. The guy´s being disingenuous, as ever.

  • sgs||

    "But what kids see? I bet he´s quite happy leaving that responsibility in the hands of advertisers."

    As has been repeatedly explained to you, advertisements don't cause obesity.

    And since parents can in fact change the channel away from offending ads, your entire premise is useless and unnecessary.

    What you're advocating is using TV as a non-offending babysitter, and honestly, that's incredibly irresponsible.

    And before you take offense, and fire off a long winded reply, keep in mind that your desires, as stated, basically boil down to whining that you can't put a kid in front of a TV and then leave them there because the cable company isn't doing your job for you.

    I mean, you're whining about the commercials and pretending like the programming doesn't exist.

    Shouldn't every parent who gives a crap about their kid be monitoring EVERYTHING they watch?

    Then why are you ok with cable putting whatever on and leaving your kid to it, but you're not ok with the commercials that come on during the program you're not monitoring?

    You're not. You monitor the programming, but apparently, are too lazy to do the same with commercials.

    "The guy´s being disingenuous, as ever."

    And you're being an irresponsible ass who's enamored with his own stupid idea.

  • mtrueman||

    ¨As has been repeatedly explained to you, advertisements don't cause obesity.¨

    You´re knocking on an open door. I have never claimed that advertisement cause obesity, and I promise you I never will. You can set your mind at ease on that score. My argument is about giving parents the tools so they can properly monitor what messages their children are exposed to while they watch TV. Maybe it´s best if one or both parents stand by whenever the TV is on, remote control in hand, ready to exercise their veto power. Fool proof though this may sound, it strikes me as impractical. My idea, having the ability to opt out of exposure to advertising that parents don´t approve of is more convenient. Therein lies the beauty. I urge you to reconsider, with the following in mind: this is not put forward as a way to slim down obese children. It´s a convenient tool for the exercise of parental responsibility.

  • Redmanfms||

    You´re knocking on an open door. I have never claimed that advertisement cause obesity, and I promise you I never will. You can set your mind at ease on that score.

    Yeah, you only introduced a component that has literally nothing to do with the discussion and then start arguing it like we have a problem with voluntary interactions.

    Why is that?

    Why the pretense?

    My argument is about giving parents the tools so they can properly monitor what messages their children are exposed to while they watch TV.

    Ahhhhh.....

    What tools? How are they to be "given?"

    I urge you to reconsider, with the following in mind: this is not put forward as a way to slim down obese children.

    Urge us to reconsider what? So far I've seen zero disagreement that subscribers and providers can work out the specifics of their contract to control advertising, so long as it is voluntary.

    The guy´s being disingenuous, as ever.

    Jeebus, this is the "scare quotes" mendacious bullshit all over again.

    Because the author didn't include some peon to advertising, which is only tangentially related to the fucking topic in the first damned place, he is being disingenuous?

    Tedious, mendacious twat being tedious and mendacious, and a twat AGAIN. News at 11.

  • mtrueman||

    I won´t bother with most of what you´ve written here, but I will answer your following:

    ¨What tools? How are they to be "given?"¨

    The tools I refer to are a means of blocking out advertising on cable that parents decide they don´t want their children exposed to. How are they to be given? I don´t know. It´s a technical matter and I confess I´m not the one you want to be asking for help here.

  • Redmanfms||

    I won´t bother with most of what you´ve written here,

    Yeah, because it exposes you for pulling the same shit you did last week.

    It´s a technical matter and I confess I´m not the one you want to be asking for help here.

    Then why did you even bring it up if you have no solution to proffer?

  • mtrueman||

    ¨Then why did you even bring it up if you have no solution to proffer?¨

    I thought it was a good idea. It´s similar to what I thought was George W. Bush´s greatest accomplishment while in office, giving people the ability to opt out of being targeted by telephone solicitors. Now, I´m not sure how this was done, and perhaps you can point out that he only could do this by enslaving the telephone solicitors, the phone companies, or whatever. I will be duly chastened if you do, and will be happy to submit to your usual cursing bluster, and rudeness.

  • Redmanfms||

    It´s similar to what I thought was George W. Bush´s greatest accomplishment while in office, giving people the ability to opt out of being targeted by telephone solicitors.

    Why am I not surprised what you had to offer was a statist solution?

    Here's my solution, use the remote. Of course, you already argued against that above, because parents shouldn't be personally responsible for what media their children consume, right? Or, they could let children watch whatever they want and simply say, "No" when it comes to buying those products, but again, that involves parents being responsible for what their children consume. But no, we need a government database and a threat of government prosecution to keep the evil television service providers from running advertising.

    You entered this discussion by constructing a strawman out of television advertising, accused Linnekin of being disingenuous for not discussing it, then claim the commentariat and Linnekin are the ones opposed to parental responsibility based on you arguing we're claiming parents aren't responsible for what media their children consume. The only person advocating a position that removes the burden of responsibility from parents for what their children consume IS YOU!

    I'm not surprised you can't see the huge gaping hole in your cute little idea, television is paid for with advertising.

  • Redmanfms||

    The only person advocating a position that removes the burden of responsibility from parents for what their children consume IS YOU!

    Quoting and posting again for emphasis.

  • mtrueman||

    ¨Why am I not surprised what you had to offer was a statist solution?¨

    Do you oppose the blocking of telephone solicitors? Because it´s a form of modern day slavery? Sorry I wasn´t aware that it was a statist solution, though Bush´s involvement in it should have been a red flag!

    ¨Here's my solution, use the remote.¨

    This seems to be the consensus solution by the readers here, and it´s a bit of surprise to me, remembering the overwhelmingly anti-luddite sentiments that were bruited about here not long ago. (Based on a total misconception of what the Luddites were all about, I should add.)

    You see my solution involves software that would obviate the necessity for the parents to be present. Technology of this sort is not at all new. Do you also oppose software that blocks access to pornography? Should parents be ever present should their children happen to stumble upon pornography on their cable?

    Granted when we talk about software, we´re talking about databases, no way around that. They don´t have to be ´government databases´ however.

  • Redmanfms||

    I'm not opposed to voluntary interactions between television service providers and subscribers and if such an AdBlock-for-TV was offered, fine, great, and all the other commenters here apparently agree.

    But that isn't what you proposed you dishonest piece of shit.

  • mtrueman||

    ¨But that isn't what you proposed¨

    No, it´s precisely what I proposed and had I thought of the term ¨AdBlock-for-TV¨ I would have used it. (Though to quibble, I probably would have gone with cable rather than TV.)

    I´m glad I was able to persuade you and everyone else of the silliness of your original position:

    ¨Here's my solution, use the remote.¨

    Face it, we live in a computer world and if there are software solutions, we shouldn´t be afraid to adopt them. There are ´government databases´ to be sure, but they needn´t intrude on every conceivable application. If you are afraid that the government might somehow learn of your adblock-for-CABLE preferences, you have a point, and I sympathize with it. However, how we deal with privacy in this age is a whole other topic.

  • Redmanfms||

    This:

    It´s similar to what I thought was George W. Bush´s greatest accomplishment while in office, giving people the ability to opt out of being targeted by telephone solicitors.

    Does not equal this:

    No, it´s precisely what I proposed and had I thought of the term ¨AdBlock-for-TV¨ I would have used it. (Though to quibble, I probably would have gone with cable rather than TV.)

    You mendacious weasel.

    I´m glad I was able to persuade you and everyone else of the silliness of your original position:

    You didn't persuade me of anything. I was never opposed to the idea of an AdBlock (or whatever) in the first place. I and everyone else here was opposed of government intervention, which IS what you eventually proposed when I finally nailed you down. And exercising control over what children watch by controlling the remote is hardly "silliness."

    Are you functionally incapable of being honest? Are you a pathological liar?

    And we're still left with the question of WHY you brought up TV advertising in a discussion about a FOOD article and then accused Linnekin of being disingenuous for not mentioning it in the article body.

    Explain that.

  • mtrueman||

    ¨Are you a pathological liar?¨

    No.

  • Redmanfms||

    I will be duly chastened if you do, and will be happy to submit to your usual cursing bluster, and rudeness.

    If you decide to come into discussions honestly and offer an argument in good faith, you will no longer be a mendacious twat and I won't call you out for being one.

    The choice is yours.

  • Redmanfms||

    If you decide to come into discussions honestly and offer an argument in good faith, you will no longer be a mendacious twat and I won't call you out for being one.

    The choice is yours.

    And you fail to do this already.

  • Chris Pressley||

    The main point seems to be, communicate your preferences to those giving junk to your kids. This doesn't always work in my experience. In my daughter's school, parents are allowed to bring food into the lunchroom and give it to any kid they want. This happens regularly with bday celebrations. I have communicated with the school, and at present they have no policy against this. Yes, seems like a huge liability issue for the school.

    I am left with educating my child, a five year old, and teaching her to refuse a cupcake while her classmates devour their cupcakes. I'm certainly willing to do this, but the school should do better.

  • hotsy totsy||

    I'm shocked! Five year olds love cupcakes? Jesus, let the poor kid have a cupcake or ice cream once in awhile. I feel sorry for her.

  • Redmanfms||

    So other parents activities should be controlled....

    You're an asshole.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Short version. How to ensure your little snowflake gets beat up at school everyday. OMG! Get these kids out of the house and physically active. Ice cream, cookies and candy is part of being a kid. Yeah, there should obviously be limits. I guess growing up in a poor neighborhood no one made 6 dozen cookies for a 6 person birthday party, They made twelve 'cause that's all they could afford and that's really all we needed. Of course we had the koolaid which required a cup of sugar per quart but you went outside afterwards and ran around or hopped on your bikes and burned those calories off in 15 minutes. This is just getting ridiculas.

  • From the Tundra||

    It's because every single activity is now a fucking "event". Did you have "play dates" when you were a kid?

  • AlmightyJB||

    Nope. We just played all the time.

  • deified||

    Ice cream, cookies and candy is part of being a kid a shortcut to heart disease.

    FTFY

  • AlmightyJB||

    No one's forcing you to eat anything you don't want. None of these things if eaten occasionaly and in moderation are going to be a problem especially if you get plenty of physical activity.

  • AlmightyJB||

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH.....index.html

    The twinkie diet. Not that I'm proposing or recommending it.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Any kid under twelve with heart disease didn't get it by eating ice cream, cookies and candy at birthday parties.

    Miserable puritan.

  • John B.||

    I agree with you. But simple reasoning does not work for me.My mother gives sweets to my children and claims they need to be spoiled. She is often using my diet against me by saying, that I´m not good on my children. She is a smart person, but this lack of comprehension makes me often angry with her. Or do we really measure parents´ love with fat and sugar?

    We decided to go vegan recently and my kids love it without even complaining about the food. With so many possibilities in Toronto nowadays, it does not mean you will have to stick to carrots and apples.

  • Professional Target||

    Animal fats are good for you, sugar is not. Read Jared Diamond's The Worst Mistake in the History of the Hman Race. The PDF is a whopping 12 pages.

  • Redmanfms||

    Jared Diamond

    Ugh.

    Just about every work of his has been so thoroughly discredited is this really even worth reading?

  • ihaveherpes||

    Soylent Green for everyone!

  • GregMax||

    We should have Soylent Lite, Soylent Honey-Color cabana girl/boy . . . Soylent Vegan, or Soylent Extra Krispi.

    Specialty Soylent lines - Soylent Boozer Liver, Soylent Fat Kiddnee, Soylent Muscle, Soylent Genitalia . . .

    The possibilities are endless.

  • ihaveherpes||

    eat your young.

  • Professional Target||

    Would they be thinner if they ate it in front of a book?

    The real question is why these people are hungrier than they used to be. Studies keep showing kids get fat first, then becoming less active.

  • phoebe||

    I agree that Linnekin misses a certain angle of managing your kids' junk intake. I started out with strict expectations about what my kids should and shouldn't eat, and quickly realized that, by denying my children a piece of candy here or there, I was creating a forbidden fruit that they longed for. I didn't want to raise treat-deprived children who resented me and would binge as soon as they were out of my presence, so I lightened up my standards and do my best to have us avoid the situations where treats are out of control. I also discovered that the promise of a little ice cream after dinner, for example, can help get a few vegetables into my kids, which is sometimes difficult to do. Treats do have their role if you keep them in perspective.

    For me, the most important way to create healthy eaters is to stock our home with only the kind of food I want them to eat and model eating healthy food in the home. When we go out or to an event where there's lots of junk, I advise my kids to moderate how much junk they take and if there's something healthy, insist they have some of it, too. It isn't a perfect system, and I'm not perfect at managing it, but I've learned that standards of perfection aren't all that healthy for anybody in the process of child-rearing.

  • sgs||

    "I agree that Linnekin misses a certain angle of managing your kids' junk intake."

    Then why did the entirety of your post basically agree with what he said?

  • Virginian||

    I might catch hell for this, but I'll say it anyway: One of the major drivers of childhood obesity is the lack of a homemaker. Someone to cook good healthy meals for breakfast and dinner, and pack a balanced and nutritional lunch. Now kids eat Pop Tarts or sugared cereal if they eat breakfast at all, lunch is government garbage or vending machine snacks, and dinner is delivery or takeout. I wonder if anyone has ever studied this?

  • Professional Target||

    Most people have no idea what's "healthy" because they've been told everything is bad. Even ignoring the old rapid-fire scares, we have been told everything is bad for us: sugars, starches, fats, proteins, fiber, salt, and even water. Literally, what's left to eat?

    Still, you imply there is something intrinsically different about home food. Love? If that worked I'd be a stick figure.

  • Professional Target||

    “Regular meals eaten together at home are at least half the battle,” says Walter Olson,

    If the problem is junk, how does the "together at home" help?

  • desosa||

    my buddy's sister-in-law makes $61/hour on the internet. She has been without work for 8 months but last month her pay check was $13912 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more here (go to tech and home tab)
    WOW92.com

  • Robert||

    You've touched on one of the reasons for widespread loss of liberties: People don't want to say "no". They don't want to be thought of as ungenerous by or to their children, or by or to practically anyone. Therefore they make laws to take the choice off the table. People don't want to say "no" to beggars, so they adopt ordinances to get beggars and crazy people off the street. Redistributive measures are adopted so people won't have the choice of not donating to charities. Antidiscrimination laws are developed to make it nearly impossible for applicants to find out why they were rejected for jobs, and personal recommendations become de rigeur and pro forma.

  • CrunchyMama||

    Bear with me - this is going to be LONG.

    I am utterly astonished at the number of "You can't shield your kids from junk food forever so just give it to 'em already!" comments. As a teacher, parent, and school volunteer, I've seen kids go completely off the wall right after lunch - often loaded with processed sugars, artificial food colorings, sometimes artificial sweeteners. If my first child had not turned out to be highly sensitive to many ingredients especially in processed foods, we might never have known just how bad a lot of that stuff is. And so often, it's not "just one" and not just "now and again," but "here, have a second and a third" several times a day. There is a reason our children as a society are now obese and suffering from asthma and from Type II diabetes - remember when it USED to be referred to as "adult-onset diabetes?" - than at any other time in our history, and they're also the first generation NOT expected to outlive their parents. How DARE any of you pressure another parent to want THAT for their children?!?!? Where the HELL do you get off at?!?!? If your child were allergic to peanuts, or reacted badly to corn, would you be OK with me saying that to you or your child? No, I didn't think so. You don't know all our situations, but you have no problem making blanket recommendations for us all.

  • CrunchyMama||

    Part 2: I have children who are intolerant of gluten, dairy and artificial colors, to name a few - not life-threatening allergies, but when they have dairy there are....digestive consequences....unpleasant ones. And when they have artificial colorings, especially red and yellow, they go loopy (behavior-wise), often within 10-20 minutes. When my oldest was in kindergarten, I got phone calls from the school principal who'd given my kid a RED lollipop as a reward for holding it together all morning (we have full-day kindy) and the principal was outraged that my daughter would behave so violently after being rewarded - even thought I'd TOLD the school what happened when she ate that kind of food. :-( (That principal is thankfully long-gone!)

    I've sent notes to the school from their DOCTORS and yet when their classes win, say, pizza parties or ice cream parties, they are STILL pressured by adults to partake. WTH?

    The best I can do is educate my kids, who are now thankfully old enough to stand up for themselves at parties and at school, and who shrug it off when we send them to friends' parties with their own snacks, but when your kids are 4 and 5 and 6YO and getting it in one ear and out the other about how they don't eat blue yogurt in a tube (Your mom MAKES yogurt? Weird!) and how weird that makes them, it's harder for younger kids to shrug it off and move on without a life-threatening allergy. (Frankly, it's hard for kids WITH life-threatening allergies to shrug it off!)

  • CrunchyMama||

    Part 3:

    To the extent possible, we DO take responsibility for what our kids eat, but I cannot be with them at every moment of every day monitoring what other parents and their SCHOOL feeds them, not as long as I remain a mere mortal. But do NOT tell me to suck it up and let them be "normal" - especially not if "normal" means eating food that will cause major behavior problems or horrific tummy pain or eczema that will keep them up half the night scratching. For all you know, your OWN children may be reacting to foods and you wouldn't be keeping an open enough mind to notice it yourself. :-( It's HARD to parent this way, but we do it for our kids.

  • imamom||

    If you are not a parent you should not be telling parents what to do! You really have no idea what it is like to be responsible for someone else 24/7 no matter how many kids you have been around or taken care of. I do not disagree that parents have a responsibility to teach their children and make known to others the preferences and needs of the child when in the care of others, but to flat out say that parents need to tell their children "don't eat that" if they are offered something not allowed when everyone else is eating it is an unrealistic expectation of the child. Other children and ADULTS many times put pressure on the child to have it, "it's okay, just this time". Well, as Dr. Freedhoff states it is more than just "this time" it is so prevalent and expected that anyone who goes against it is just weird! We all need to speak up and make people aware of the harm that these "treats" are causing.

  • Rich M||

    While I agree with the basic premise of this article, there's another aspect to be considered. Parents need the knowledge of what is actually healthy before they can make informed decisions on what they should let their kids eat. Unfortunately, there is a a ton of false information about nutrition out there being spread by governments and the media, including Reason's own resident propagandist Ronald Bailey (he cemented his role as such when he came out against even labelling GMOs so that consumers could make informed decisions). Ever wonder why the rates of heart disease went up after the government, the American Heart Association, and the media told us saturated fats are bad for you? Very ironic that McDonald's french fries were healthier back in the 70's when they were cooked in lard than they are today thanks to that completely false bit of health info that was accepted as fact for so long.

  • StoneAgeMom||

    The problem is that it isn't "every once in awhile." It is a lot more difficult to practice trying to feed your kid real food, unprocessed food, less crap, and not coming off as arrogant, controlling, "just let him eat a cupcake!" But that cupcake turns into several times of junk being offered per day. After practice. For a birthday at school. Some sort of junk food reward system in school. An aunt sneaking candy to win favors. Your live-in mother-in-law having her stash of junk.

    I don't know of an easy solution. It was pretty easy with my son until he was about 2. He had little to no processed food. Now he has this "awful" thing called free-will. Unfortunately, free will in a 3 year old isn't exactly well suited to his best interest.

  • grey||

    I am a parent. It does not take a parent to give good parenting advice, especially basic nutrition. No more than it takes a parent peditrician to give medical advice. Parenting is hard work, not easy, and so what?

    Plenty of information and lots of choices, buck stop with the parents. Whining should stop with the children, parents should not whine, it's a bad example. We'd have more choices were it not for Public Schools and regulations on daycare providers. Let parents choose and let parents be responsible. If there were no public schools, little Johnny with his Granola Parents could go to Granola Private school and eat Soy and Yogurt lunch. Fat Johnny, with Fat Parents, could go to Processed Food School and eat Corn Sugar Burgers and get fat like Mommy and Daddy. And my little Johnny could go to Predator School and eat the venison steaks from the deer he bagged that weekend off the hunting lease. We'd all be happy, except Socialist Parents, who think we would all be better off with one size fits all schools administered by a government-union cabal.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement