Nanny State

Don't Blame Food Companies for What You Feed Your Kids

Parents feed babies candy, soda, and chips. What does this have to do with the industry?

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Snacks
Credit: seanmfreese / photo on flickr

A study of infant diets in one British city has revealed some uncomfortable truths about what many parents feed their children.

The study, by lead author Pinki Sahota of Leeds Beckett University and several colleagues, tracked the diets of more than 1,250 babies in the city of Bradford, England.

The study was published online last year in Public Health Nutrition but appears to have made it to print only earlier this year. It was intended to look at "the dietary intake of key indicator foods at age 12 and 18 months and to identify any differences between White British and Pakistani populations."

What the authors found disturbed them.

"Some mums were giving children chips, crisps and sugary drinks at five months old," said the study's lead author, Sahota, in comments this week to the Daily Mirror. "The fact children are having this kind of food at such an early age is concerning enough. But parents are establishing bad eating habits for life."

She's right. Parents are to blame here. But they're not alone. The parents of those parents, too, who've failed to teach their own children that feeding French fries and soda to an infant is no way to raise a child, deserve some share of the blame.

Lawmakers also shoulder some responsibility. As Grub Street notes, the UK government has actually encouraged parents to feed candy bars and other junk food to finicky babies. And, to be clear, the study authors bluntly conclude many dietary failures arise in large part from a lack of education.

"Low-educated younger mothers tended to be the worst," Sahota says. "Older, more educated parents knew the value of fruit and veg."

While I find it slightly distasteful to refer to poorly educated young mothers as "the worst," and am uncomfortable with the study's "White British" and "Pakistani" classifications (why not, for example, "Pakistani British"?), things start to go off the rails for other reasons. Specifically, the study's lead author walks things in that direction when she points a finger at those who make and market food.

"[Parents] need to be supported by the food industry," Sahota told the Mirror. "They could reformulate some of their high-fat and high-sugar products."

Too often, as I've noted time and again, that tired old trope is the public-health community's answer to everything. If Sahota were talking about a wholly voluntary change—could instead of must—then I might be on board. But the fact she's recently come out in favor of a host of severe food regulations makes me think otherwise.

For example, she appears to support restrictions on marketing food to children. That's both a non-sequitur and nonstarter. No amount of television watching by an infant is responsible for the fact they're consuming French fries instead of breast milk or pureed bananas and apricots.

Sahota has also cheered on a new British government proposal to tax sugar-sweetened beverages, a nonsensical law of the sort I've opposed time and again.

The "they could reformulate" argument travels along these same lines. After all, forcing food makers to reformulate their products is one stated goal of those who support punitive food taxes.

Together, these factors increase the likelihood this is this just another study that may contain some important facts—and the potential to use those facts to argue chiefly for better education of parents and children—but which will instead be used to vilify food makers and justify intrusive and ineffective regulations.

Asking why parents feed their kids poorly is an important question that researchers should continue attempting to answer. Designing interventions to help fix the problem is a worthy aim. But demonizing and punishing food makers won't get us closer to that goal.

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  1. Children of the corn chips.

    1. (gives jester a high fructose corn sugar syrup five)

    2. Nice.

      Malakai!

    3. Give me Fritos corn chips and I’ll be your friend.
      The Frito Bandito you must not offend.

  2. I blame farm subsidies for let’s say sugar beets. Do these people ever consider that? Not that I blame farm subsidies for bad diets per se. I just think that I might overlook flawed analysis if it were used against government price controls. (Kinda like tobacco subsidies)

    1. Now you’re fourth despite the time stamp.

      1. Sixth, now.

        1. Now seventh!

          1. Dammit…

    2. The old “twinkies are cheaper than carrots” point:

      “These subsidies are part of the reason why it’s so cheap to eat so badly. Nearly one-third of a Twinkie’s ingredients are subsidized, while a carrot yanked from the ground has zero subsidized ingredients.”

      http://www.the9billion.com/201…..heres-why/

      1. Yeah, farm subsidies are terrible.

        And of course the comparison between a fresh vegetable and a lump of processed carbohydrates is absurd. On what basis are they comparing? I’m pretty sure a carrot is cheaper than a Twinkie, by the piece or by the pound. So is it per calorie? That’s a silly comparison for a lot of reasons.

        1. But these are silly people we’re dealing with, right?

          1. Let me amend. Smart people with silly ideas to their findings.

            1. Or smart people with an agenda who are willing to make inapt comparisons to support their agenda.

              1. Every time there’s a news story about the underclass’ poor eating habits, it’s stated (as if it’s fact) that people eat McDonald’s because it’s so much cheaper than fresh vegetables.

                This couldn’t be a bigger lie, yet it is constantly repeated. Ever buy in the produce section? You can fill your grocery cart for under $20. You can’t do that with practically anything else at the supermarket.

                My wife was giggling the other day after coming back from a produce store with two huge bags of fruits and vegetables that totaled about $15. And this was paying high Bay Area prices.

                Of course, perhaps if you can’t consider a vegetable unless it is a Whole Foods organic individually wrapped asparagus spear, your costs are much higher. But if you just want nice, fresh produce without all the organic/specialty markups, you can eat really well for about the same price as ramen.

        2. ^THIS. $/calorie is a really stupid metric … unless one is doing something like a time series analysis of food costs in the poorest of third world countries. Except for the very poorest people in the poorest countries of the third world and a few super-misers, people do not optimize their food budget to minimize $/calorie.

          $/gram of protein would be a slightly less stupid metric if one is interested in healthy nutritional value. A twinkie has about 1g of protein and costs about $1, so $1/gram. A medium carrot has about 0.6 g of protein. A bunch of seven medium carrots costs about $1.75, or a quarter each. So the cost of carrot protein is just $0.41/g versus the $1.00/g of twinkie protein.

      2. Except the carrot’s seeds? Which can be bought with food stamps. That’s pretty recent, I think, though.

  3. Third! [unprecedented]

  4. Its hard being an out of touch parent in these modern times that doesn’t pay for the public schooling, doesn’t supervise the child’s online activities, doesn’t vet the content of purchased video games, doesn’t provide healthy meals, and doesn’t learn with whom the childing is spending time. This is why we have government. To raise these kids. Geez.

    1. Long-term planning and critical thinking skills are not our species’ forte.

      1. Meh, we do better than any other species I know of.

        1. Compared to labradors and grass, yes, we’re geniuses.

  5. What the authors found disturbed them.

    You know what disturbs me?

    1. Hitler?

    2. The creator of sponsored comments?

    3. A diet overdependent on Olestra?

      1. Mmmm. Anal leakage.

        The best thing about Olestra was seeing the words “anal leakage” on food packaging.

        1. Steve Smith once used this product as a lubricant referring to it as Molestra. Ansl leakage indeed.

          1. Those were the glory days for serial anal rape.

      2. I laughed. The entire Olestra episode was enormously amusing to me.

        1. Especially after people finally realized that it wasn’t the fat in snack foods that caused obesity in the first place, but the carbs.

          Too many people still haven’t caught on to this, though. In fact, I still see wrappers extolling ‘fat-free’ candy all the time (see jellybeans, for example).

          On the same subject, I was at a restaurant yesterday that had asterisks next to menu items that were ‘gluten-free’. Wow, a steak is gluten-free? Who’d have ever guessed?

          Increased food labeling is meaningless when the great majority of consumers have no idea what anything means anyway.

    4. Talking above a whisper in the library?

      1. Asians in the library that are loud? Jackpot

        1. I have never been so turned off by a bombshell blond.

          1. The fat didn’t do it first?

  6. People really are retarded on nutrition, and most of the blame lies squarely with government “education” about food. Many of them are still focused on this stupid food pyramid mindset, or they go full retard into the anti-GMO/organic cult. Trying to explain nutrition to a generation of brainwashed idiots is a pretty futile effort, so I say just let them do what the hell they want to their lard-covered selves.

    1. I wouldn’t go so far as to blame government education a la the food pyramid for the poor eating habits of many children considering a very substantial percentage of people have been ignoring that guideline for decades. I believe a great deal of it had to do with what Chumby touched on upthread, mainly, laziness. Many people in western culture have got it into their heads that any individual effort to take a more active role in what is taught, fed, provided for and exposed to their children is a personal affront to their time and energy and should be farmed out to the authorities. Which, I guess, touches on your point. There are also many people who simply go for the path of least resistance and use sweet, unhealthy foods and mindless entertainment to get a child to shut up as soon as possible.

      Do I think the government should mandate the fat and sugar content of certain foods to combat obesity? Absolutely not. All the regulation in the world can’t counter the basic human impulse for gluttony. It’s wired into our DNA to consume as much as possible, whenever possible.

      So what is the solution for this problem? Fuck if I know.

      1. Merciless fat shaming. That’s the answer Lardo.

        1. No no, a child’s self-esteem, regardless if it actually has any reality based merit, is by far more important than their health. Geez, get with the program.

        2. Dude fat shaming IS the answer.

          I’m not being flip, you have to want to be /eat healthy.

          Many people cannot summon the desire on their own.

          1. No shit Shamu, If you could stop stuffing your pie-hole for a second you’ll see that’s exactly what I said.

          2. Elaine: Boys are sick.
            Jerry: Well what do girls do?
            Elaine: Nothing. We just tease someone until they develop an eating disorder.

      2. Many people do ignore the bad government dietary advice, that’s true. But the “low fat”message, which largely encourages people to substitute carbs for fats, has certainly become embedded in the culture. And a lot of that is down to government guidelines.

        1. True. The over-emphasis on grain consumption was in retrospect bad policy.

          1. It’s pretty good policy for us.

            /farm lobby

        2. I’ve been very suspicious of government information of all varieties for decades, but I was deceived by the low-fat message because of its propaganda via the medical establishment. I seriously thought that a baked potato (63 g carbs/ 0 g fat) was a healthy choice for lunch every day as long as I skimped on the fatty toppings. And I wondered why I was always hungry and kept gaining weight.

      3. A fucking crockpot. That’s the solution. Throw it all in there and let it cook for a few hours, then package it for the rest of your week. It takes almost no additional effort to be healthy. It just takes a conscious decision to pick up good food instead of bad food when you go to the store.

        1. And it costs less than processed convenience food too if you buy raw ingredients in bulk, frozen or canned veggies, etc. It’s just not that expensive to eat decent, if not always super fresh or prime quality, food.
          And cooking is fun and interesting.

          1. No kidding.

            Most people think they probably need to stop by some ridiculously expensive place like Trader Joe’s or whatever to get these things without realizing they just walk right past it anywhere else. If we didn’t have a generation of retards and bureaucrats (but I repeat myself) telling them that only organic, non-GMO superfoods are healthy and expensive, they’d probably have figured it out by now.

            1. Cooking has fought it way back to a small niche of popularity, but it’s still a much rarer skill than it was two generations ago. It’s also a huge indicator of how much control someone has over their personal diet – how much of it they can reproduce at home themselves.

              It’s not enough, in my lonesome little view, to teach your children the basics of nutrition. Teach them to cook as well. At least a few dishes. How to make a steak medium rare, how to fry and boil an egg, how to make a good broth and gravy, knife cuts. With a minimum competence level already under their belt at 18, they’re better equipped to take it from there once they’re out of a parent’s control.

              /prosetylising

              1. Cooking has fought it way back to a small niche of popularity, but it’s still a much rarer skill than it was two generations ago.

                I still remember the day when I asked my late stepfather, who used to be a chef and caterer, to make me breakfast. I was 5. He said “No, but I will teach you to make it yourself.” He turned on the stove and that was about it. I felt a great deal of pride in being able to cook an egg for myself and have it taste good. I can’t imagine not being able to cook “staple” dishes. It’s like wiping your ass, a necessary skill.

                1. Know how I got my kid to eat risotto?

                  I implicated her in the cooking of it.

                  She now enjoys it.

              2. This, also the single best thing you can teach an aspiring cook is how to cut up a whole chicken, saves money and as you learn how to use all the parts you invariably will discover new and exciting recipes.

              3. I agree completely, Hamster. My parents had my brother and I cooking dinners at least once a week from some time in elementary school. Now he’s a professional chef and I am (if I do say so myself) a very good amateur. I suppose it makes sense that people who didn’t grow up just cooking don’t have that kind of ability, but it still mystifies and frustrates me that so many people just don’t get cooking or have no idea what to do without a recipe.

                1. but it still mystifies and frustrates me that so many people just don’t get cooking or have no idea what to do without a recipe.

                  What frustrates me are the women (and, yes, it has only been women in my experience) who rear back their shoulders with pride as they exclaim “they don’t cook”, as if it were a badge of honor. How can one be proud of being ignorant of a basic human function? It’s like being haughty about having your mother choose your clothes for you past the age of 5. I Just. Don’t. Get It.

                  1. Menial labor performed by the uneducated is beneath them.

                    1. Which seems like an odd attitude given the popularity of cooking shows these days. But I guess maybe that is just the small niche you were talking about.

                    2. the popularity of cooking shows these days

                      I credit some of these with making me more interested in cooking after 40 or so years of not enjoying it at all. I don’t fault those who can’t or won’t though – it IS a skill and it’s so easy to live without it.

                    3. You mean, it’s easy to live in NYC without it. Not so true in the hinterlands unless one wants to limit one’s menu to sub shops, pizzerias, and Chinese food.

                    4. I guess it depends on what you mean by “hinterlands” but the vast majority of Americans live in cities or suburbs so I think they have easy access to groceries. Which means easy access to all kinds of prepackaged stuff.

                    5. By “cooking” I mean any sort of food preparation yourself. There are plenty of people who eat every meal out.

                    6. There are plenty of people who eat every meal out.

                      That’s a whole ‘nother level of lazy. I have never been that sort of person even when I didn’t “cook”, by which I mean something more sophisticated than “spaghetti” or “hamburgers”. I may live in NYC but I never eat out except with company.

                    7. Menial labor performed by the uneducated is beneath them.

                      Yes, it usually tends to be “professional” women, and it seems to signal “Look at me! I’m so busy with my modern woman’s business suit and high heels job that I can’t perform something that lesser women do, even if I had the time, because I’m a strong independent woman who don’t need to cook for no man!”

              4. How to make a steak medium rare,

                Why would you want to teach a child to overcook something?

              5. I agree with all of the above sentiments.

              6. The other part of this we need to get away from is this idea that in order to cook you have to be some sort of trained professional. You’ve said as much. When I try to help people with their diet habits one of the first things they always tell me is “well, I can’t really cook” or “my food always tastes bland.” Yes you can cook. I’ve already mentioned the crockpot. It’s not hard to take a bunch of chicken, throw some seasoning on it, and stick it in the oven. You have even fewer excuses when Google can tell you how long to cook a chicken breast and at what temperature.

                “But my food is always so bland.” Guess what? You eat to live. Don’t live to eat. Don’t sit around and expect a four star meal every lunch period. Keep trying a bunch of different stuff until you figure it out. In the meantime, disavow yourself of the notion that food has to taste like anything if you’re just trying to stay healthy. It doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to bland food all the time, but this idea that my chicken or pork has to be fresh and amazing every time I eat it is absurd. I make five lunches every weekend. They are varied, but by Friday I just don’t even think about what I’m eating. It’s just a diet to stay healthy and alive, not live out some absurd dream of gourmet meals five times a day.

                1. The biggest difference between a chef’s food and a home cook is almost always seasoning and final cooking temp. Know what “done” means and salt the food, in other words. Quality control checks aren’t just a good joke, they’re a way of life.

                  It’s just a diet to stay healthy and alive

                  Now you’re trying to make me cry.

                  1. Oh I agree, but a lot of people get discouraged when it doesn’t always taste like a professionally-cooked meal. Guess what? It’s not always going to. Get over it.

                  2. It’s just a diet to stay healthy and alive

                    That’s a common mantra in the fitness world. Here’s almost 18 minutes of CT Fletcher screaming at you for even considering any action that does not contribute to having 24-inch biceps. As you and Mustang intimate, there is a continuum between chicken breasts and broccoli every night and prime rib and mashed potatoes drowning in garlic butter. We live in a world where most spices are cheap and easily found in markets, which is a relatively new phenomenon in history. Spice your goddamn food appropriately and adequately and just about anything can taste amazing.

                    1. Yeah, I don’t mean to say that you should just eat shitty bland food all the time. There’s going to be periods where that’s the case and times when you’ll get it right and it tastes great. Most of the time it’s somewhere in between if you’re busy.

                      *flexes biceps*

                      Oh yeah.

                    2. Spice your goddamn food appropriately

                      ^This & the other major thing is cooking temps and speeds. Cooking got a lot more enjoyable once I figured out how not to overcook everything.

                    3. Spices and temperature are the very basics of cooking. Actually learning a few simple techniques can allow you to eat tasty food of whatever degree of healthiness you want, with about 10 minutes extra effort a day.

                      Making an eggwash and dredging a chicken breast can make it much more tender and flavorful, and while it sounds complex it actually boils down to cracking and egg and dipping the chicken in two bowls before you cook it.

      4. Not all of Western culture. For example, I don’t see a whole lot of poor eating habits in the Mediterranean part of the European continent.

        1. Is someone saying that processed foods are a scourge limited to Western culture? One step into an Asian grocery or convenience store will disabuse one of that notion.

          1. Maybe one day, HM, maybe one day.

          2. The only place I’ve been in Asia is Hong Kong. The amount of sugar in everything was pretty amazing. It was hard to find orange juice that didn’t have sugar added.

            1. Same thing in Thailand. Sugar is essential to Thai cuisine and they even put sugar on pineapple.

              1. But they mix the sugar with red pepper flakes…because Buddha forbid Thais eat anything bland.

              2. I put rum or gin on pineapple.

        2. I know, sir. That’s why I said many, not all. I try not to generalize TOO broadly. 😉

          And yes, HM, that was me. Though I’d argue I wasn’t saying processed foods are regulated to the west. Sorry for the confusion. I tend to word things poorly, as you may have noticed. Certain aspects of western culture can be appropriated without turning an indigenous culture western. I was saying it seems to be more prevalent in the west. Though having never been to Asia, I’ll take your word for it.

            1. Well so has pretty much every other culture. I meant something more along the lines of boxed and frozen foods. But your point stands. I profess an ignorance to the common dietary habits of most Asian cultures. Its just been beaten into my head that we are far worse about our unhealthy eating habits than most other societies.

              I guess I drank the Kool-Aid on that talking point.

        3. Spent a year in Korea, they are at least as bad about processed foods. I do love the fresh stuff they have at the Korean market down the road though. Kimchi…mmmmmmm…

          1. YouTube: Korean Girls try American ___ food.

            Some of the videos are hilarious. Plus, pretty Asian women.

            As an aside, what Koreans do to pizza is a fucking travesty. Sugary dough and pickles. What. The. Fuck.

            1. They also put an egg on everything.

            2. As an aside, what Koreans do to pizza is a fucking travesty.

              I know . I know.

              Deep dish, right ?

          2. Kimchi is not fresh food.

            Kimchi is rotten food.

          3. Kimchi is not fresh food.

            Kimchi is rotten food.

            1. It’s rotten in a good way. Love the stuff.

  7. Of course, the Libertarian side of me is repulsed at the idea of a “sin tax” but in a system like the UK’s NHS, I can understand why it’s there. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t see this tax as incentivizing the non-consumption of the taxed product. Let’s face it, people are going to consume things that are bad for them even if it costs more; look at the high taxes on cigarettes. People still smoke. No, the “sin taxes” (should) go into the NHS funds to help pay for the problems that come from consuming these harmful products. let the people who indulge in high-fat, high-sugar, etc junk chip in more for the healthcare they’re going to get for their troubles.

    1. Or eliminate healthcare and/or health insurance from being socialized and replace it with a market system. That way people who choose unhealthy behavior will pay higher premiums and pay more when they have more healthcare activity.

      1. What?! Personal and financial accountability for ones’ own health related choices that doesn’t invole more regulation and taxes?! The devil, you say!

        *wacks Chumby on the nose with a rolled up magazine*

        Stop that! Bad Chumby!

      2. Wow. It’s almost as if this is how we used to do things as human beings.

      3. “people who choose unhealthy behavior will pay higher premiums and pay more when they have more healthcare activity.”

        So in the aids world gay men and needle drug users will have to pay more than others ?

        Good luck with that.

        Perhaps it will only be those who don’t fit the current government approved BMI standards ?

    2. Don’t overlook the ‘bootleggers and baptists’ phenomenon here. The government subsidizes foods of various sorts. The government subsidizes and outright funds marketing to influence food choices. The government subsidizes food purchases by the less well off (generally with zero restrictions). The government subsidizes health care for afflictions caused by or influenced by food choices. The entire system is interlocking cronyism. None of it is done for the benefit of anyone other than the bureaucrats who are funneling the money around and the well-connected who get big chunks.

      For an even more stark example, consider tobacco. Subsidized, heavily, by the US Government. Anti-smoking messages both mandated by and paid for by the US Government. Totally irrational if either of these policies were intended to have their ostensible effect. But they don’t. They’re about funding bureaus, bureaucrats, and cronies. And they work amazingly well for the real purpose. The marketing message of “we’re here to help” is just to keep people from noticing the real purpose.

      The problem is government money and the perverse incentives of bureaucracies of all sorts. (Yes, even in business, but since businesses generally can’t print up more money when they run out, there are counter-balances to the perverse incentives inherent in bureaucracy.)

      1. The left’s version of televangelists is politicians.

        1. So, what thing on the left are the right’s politicians a version of?

          1. Assistant principals at public schools.

            1. Sounds about right.

            2. Not bad! I spent 5 mins dwelling on that before i gave up.

      2. So you’re saying that the Government says, ” Don’t eat at fast food joints” while at the same time approving people with EIB cards to buy food at fast food joints.

        That’s just damn interesting.

  8. Parents make poor decisions because the government allows food makers to produce things other than bland, tasteless nutri-gruel! WHEN WILL THIS MADNESS END??

  9. I wish this was a surprise. I’ve seen infants/toddlers in Kentucky drinking Mountain Dew from bottles/sippy cups. You wanna presume that it’s pretty common knowledge now that infants shouldn’t drink soda, but who knows if it’s apathy or ignorance.
    On the other hand with a son in youth sports, I find the rotating snack duty to be nearly as head scratching. The ‘enlightened’ parent leader is quick to remind folks that you shouldn’t bring sodas for the kids, but Gatorade/juice is perfectly acceptable. A basic reading of the labels would tell you it’s a distinction without a difference. And then there’s the “fruit” snacks…

    1. Mountian Dew? I’d think that getting your baby jacked up on caffeine would be something even morons would learn to avoid.

      1. Feed ’em coffee while you’re out and about and gotta be watching them anyway – by the time you get home the sugar and caffiene’s worn off and they crash, you stick ’em in the chifferobe while you watch your stories in peace. It’s like you know nothing about white trash parenting.

        1. Yes, I suppose I am rather ignorant in that area.

          1. You’re ignorant? Hell, I had to look up “chifferobe”.
            Also, I am officially proclaiming that Spring has sprung on the Front Range.

            1. That means only one more late blizzard before you can put the winter coats away?

            2. You’re ignorant? Hell, I had to look up “chifferobe”.

              Don’t feel too bad that. My parents have had one since I was a kid, and I never knew it was called that. They always just called it a “wardrobe”. “Chifferobe” seems to be restricted to the south.

            3. I knew “chifferobe” thanks to Flannery O?onnor.

        2. Sorry. Some black guy with a crippled hand smashed my chifferobe.

          1. Were you, perhaps, enticing him into…?

  10. People can really eat plenty of shit. Most nutrition nuts don’t get much more than a case of smug.

    1. Whatever you say dumbass.

      If you want to be a fatass too that’s cool and up to you. Calling other people smug for taking nutrition seriously only illustrates your smugness

      1. I think he’s saying that coprophagia is healthier than most people think.

        1. +1 tapeworm

      2. You know, it’s possible to take something seriously without forcing others to do as you wish them to do.

      3. I’m not fat, but the amount of people claiming coke is poison, and the hysterical nature of many claims is more concerning than fatties. At least they leave me the fuck alone.

        1. I drink one or two Diet Cokes a week and all the fatties that guzzle regular Coke tell me that it’s bad for my health.

  11. I am happy that Baylen’s articles post to H&R once again.

    1. John Belushi must be what, almost 70 now? I’d say he looks pretty damn good.

    2. I guess fat, drunk and stupid is a way to go through life.

  12. It takes a village removing choices to raise a non-obese child.

    1. Or you could just tell them to go outside and play.

      It seems to me that kids 30 years ago ate plenty of shitty food. But we were out being active and messing around all the time and fat kids were a rare novelty.

      1. But we were out being active and messing around all the time and fat kids were a rare novelty were fun to push into mud puddles or chase with sticks“”

        I blame corporate glorification of violence

        1. +1 game of smear the queer

      2. Yeah, I can remember when I was a kid, getting that lunch bag opened and finding a bologna and cheese sandwich, a sandwich bag full of Cheetos, one of those “juice” barrels and a Little Debbie.

        I seemed to turn out fine while the fat fucks that got celery and carrots in their lunch bags who sat against the building during recess drawing their D&D seven level dungeons stayed fat.

        1. Ha, ha! Little Debbie! And there was one called Bessie up here!

          Poison packs of liquid sugar!

  13. Enjoy the comments.

    Damn, I had no idea so many people wanted the jackboot of the state on the neck of people who disagree with them.

    1. I know the owner and the barbers at Hawleywoods. They’re nice guys.

      If this lady man wanted her hair cut, she could gave walked four blocks over to Razorbacks, and they would be happy to cut it.

      1. I figured you’d know them.

        By the way, two days ago was our anniversary and I wanted to thank you guys for coming to our wedding. I was busy working all day and never got a chance. So I’ll say it now.

        1. Congrats sloopy & banjos!

          1. Thanks. It’s been a pretty good four+ years.

            Thanks to all of reason for that matter. We’d have most likely never met if it wasn’t for this motley crew of misanthropes.

            1. motley crew of misanthropes

              Better than “effete corps of impudent snobs” or “nattering nabobs of negativism”, I suppose.

        2. I was just thinking about that the other day. But i’m too losy s friend to even text you a happy anniversary. Anyways. Hpy Annvsy!

      2. Of course they should be able to refuse service to whomever they want, but I’m wondering what’s the big deal? There is no physical difference in hair filaments between sexes, as there is between races or ethnicities. As far as I know, when barbers and hair stylists say they cut “men’s” or “women’s” hair, they mean they have been trained to cut certain styles. If a woman wanted a “man’s” haircut, then a barber is the right person for the job. In this case, hair is hair. But hey, I support the shop’s right to not take her money, as egould said, there are others who would have been happy to take it.

        1. The difference is in the complaining afterwards.

          1. It’s a test to see how well one is transitioning to the other gender. If you are a real man, a haircut is a haircut.

          2. This. My grandfather is a barber. No women, no children under five unless he knows them personally. The bitching and squirming is not worth $10 when you’ve got a line of blue-collar 50-year-olds waiting patiently for their turn for a trim.

            1. He only charges 10 bucks?

              1. He said, “It’s better to make a quick sixpence than a slow dollar.” He’s had families using his shops for generations. Always a line.

                1. $10 sure, but tips too right? A good barber is a treasure but a speedy barber who can do a good cut is the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

                2. Shop. Only one. The extra s mugged me from out of no where.

                3. If he can turn a profit at 10 bucks, good for him! The cheapest haircut around here by people who know what they’re doing is 16 bucks, which is also the price of Supercuts (people who don’t know what they’re doing) around here.

                  1. Mine has gone from $12 to $15 in the least two years.

                    His clientele is mostly older French-Canadian, Italian and increasingly Hispanic men.

                    1. My barber is a Chinese lady who talks and talks and talks, but does a really good job. She charges $12, and I always tip her $5.

                    2. Fifteen years ago I purchased a pair of Wahl clippers for $25 (the price was $35 but slow-ass doofus at the Target checkout line screwed his register out of $10 and I felt he deserved to be short at the end of the shift so I let it slide).
                      $20/haircut * one haircut/month * 12 months/year * 15 years = $3,600
                      Ymmv

                    3. Is he forced to banter in both English and French?

                    4. Is that directed at me?

                      No one forces anyone anything since we’re pretty much all trilingual on average.

                      It’s only when some asshole complains do problems absurdly arises.

                  2. Well, the shop’s been paid for since the 70’s, probably, and how much does a new pair of clippers cost? The only help he’s ever had was occasionally one son or another who had a barber’s license and needed employment.

                    He would have more profit at $15 or $20, but he did fine at $10. Cheap brought them in, fast made them happy, good brought them back. Every boy I went to school with, my grandfather cut their hair (and their brothers, their father, and probably all their uncles and grandfather as well).

            2. I get a crew cut every couple of months. Three bucks and less than five minutes (here in Taiwan).

        2. I doubt it’s about the hair as much as it is about the atmosphere they want in their business.

          1. Seriously, the last thing you want in your place of business is the become a prisoner of trigger warnings because you just know the SJW assholes are gonna complain about what they hear.

          2. I get it, I go to an old-timey barbershop called “Dude’s” , of all things. That having been said, if I were the owner, I doubt that transwoman was the beginning of a trend in costumers. Again, whatever, it should be the business’s choice, even if I think it’s a poor business decision.

          3. Yeah. It’s about atmosphere. I’ve been to Hawleywoods a couple of times. It’s a little too much “Men Only”, macho, old-timey boxing, and rockabilly, latino for my tastes. Plus, Razorbacks is closer to my place.

            1. My barber works out of an old warehouse off of the Sante Fe exit on the 10. Try and out-hipster that.

        3. The point is to force people to do something against their will, not to get a haircut.

        4. A woman in a barbershop of men changes the conversation of the men to a level that they might not want.

          A man’s barbershop is a place where men might not want to have to talk around a woman.

        5. A woman in a barbershop of men changes the conversation of the men to a level that they might not want.

          A man’s barbershop is a place where men might not want to have to talk around a woman.

        6. A woman in a barbershop of men changes the conversation of the men to a level that they might not want.

          A man’s barbershop is a place where men might not want to have to talk around a woman.

        7. A woman in a barbershop of men changes the conversation of the men to a level that they might not want.

          A man’s barbershop is a place where men might not want to have to talk around a woman.

          1. Those squirrels breed like rabbits.

    2. I watched the news clip,e, and from how the “lawsuit announcement” was being staged for the media (& the reporter’s prominent naming of. “…Trevis’, attorney, The Famed Lawyer Gloria Allred“)

      …its pretty clear this was a fight they were looking for

      love the CV =

      this nationally-recognized advocate has built her pioneering career on much more than O.J. Simpson and Amber Frey. As a tireless crusader against discrimination in all areas of our lives, Allred’s legal reach has been wide and long. For the past three decades she has played an integral role in combating injustices and winning new rights especially for women and minorities.

      Fearless lawyer, feminist, activist, television and radio commentator, warrior, advocate, and winner ? Gloria Allred is all of these things and more. Voted by her peers as one of the best lawyers in America, and described by TIME Magazine as “one of the nation’s most effective advocates of family rights and feminist causes,” Allred has devoted her career to fighting for civil rights across boundaries of gender, race, age, sexual orientation, and social class.-

      The Guardian here looks at her “10 most high profile legal cases/scandals

      1. Wherever and whenever something bizarre or perverse or just plain gossipy hits America’s front pages, Allred is never far behind, snapping up clients and holding news conferences. …

        first comment =

        thatsthefactjack
        6 Jun 2012 14:33
        anytime you see allread is the lawyer, you can count on the case having no merit.

  14. If you’ve lived long enough to reproduce without learning that humans can’t be healthy eating nothing but Cheetos and Mt Dew, your an idiot and there are not enough laws in the world that would change that.

    1. *you’re* an idiot

    2. Get a brain you moran!!

    3. Personally, I find Cheetos disgusting.

      1. You’re just upset that they haven’t come out with a Kraft Dinner or Poutine flavored cheeto yet.

        1. Yuk, yuk, and YUK!

      2. Even those “quick fried to a crackly crunch”?!

        1. Even those.

          Yuk.

  15. your an idiot

    ::blink::blink::

  16. “[Parents] need to be supported by the food industry,” Sahota told the Mirror. “They could reformulate some of their high-fat and high-sugar products.”

    That’s just plain retarded.

    Also.

    Pinki?

    1. Now that we’ve heard Pinki’s opinion, could we please get one from the brain?

    2. They are supported by the food industry. There’s a shitload of good food to choose from. What they mean is “the food industry needs to be regulated to force parents to make what we think is the correct choice.”

      1. And now we enter the tampering world of cultural and social engineering and all its magnificent unintended consequences.

    3. I’ve encountered several people named Pinky or Pinki through work over the years. Seems to be a fairly common South Asian name.

      1. Sigh. Why does everyone leave it to me?

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94nX2eUkHmM

  17. While I find it slightly distasteful to refer to poorly educated young mothers as “the worst,” and am uncomfortable with the study’s “White British” and “Pakistani” classifications (why not, for example, “Pakistani British”?

    Obviously, Prof. Sahota is a BNP-voting ethno-religious bigot.

    1. As a White Pakistani Joo, I find this offensive.

      1. But do you culturally appropriate dreadlocks from the “colored people?”

          1. And here I thought it was Ancient Greek!

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dreadlocks

            1. I was specifically referring to Rastafarianism, an entire religion devoted to the cultural appropriation of Judaism. Then again, one could say the same thing about Christianity and Islam.

              1. Ah man, imagine trying to explain THAT to an SJW!

                1. or is ‘a SJW’?

                  Whatev.

  18. Conclusion of the study:

    The HAPPY [Healthy and Active Parenting Programmme for early Years] intervention appeared feasible and acceptable to participants who attended and those delivering it, however attendance was low; adaptations to increase initial attendance are recommended. Whilst the study was not powered to detect a definitive effect, our results suggest a potential to reduce risk of infant obesity. The evidence reported provides valuable lessons to inform progression to a definitive trial.

    Translation: The people who liked it liked it, but mostly it was the people getting paid to administer it that liked it. We need bigger cattle prods. Whether or not the program(me) actually does what it’s supposed to we don’t know and we don’t care, give us some more money.

    1. I swear, when I’m emperor-King, the punishment for proposing any law that can be turned into an acronym.
      The penalty for turning one into an acronym where some words are conveniently ignored will be death for the person proposing it as well as their immediate family, their closest friends and a random selection of people they graduated from high school with.

      1. The punishment for an acronym-law will be death.

        1. The Legislating the End of Stupid-Sounding And Noxious Acronym Law? I couldn’t see getting behind that.

          1. Good one. Filled with the funny.

    2. If the judgement of these people is so bad that we need to give them special education about what to put into their mouths, then why are they allowed to vote, or breed, or even have a job? The progressives seem to be determined to reduce the populace to a level of secular dhimmitude, or maybe a simple form of feudalism, where they reign over the peasants.

  19. The simple fact is that kids — even infants — like sweets. In my admittedly bourgeois circle back when the kids were toddlers, none of the mothers would consider giving their infant or toddler a Coke. However, a majority had no compunction about giving them a bottle or a “juice cup” full of apple juice, and quite a few of their kids got a very significant fraction of their calories from apple juice. Cup-for-cup, the nutritional quality of apple juice is barely different from a Coke, but there’s some sort of superstition that it’s more healthy because it’s natural or something. My kids often complained that other mothers were nicer than she because they gave their kids “unlimited juice boxes” while their own mother limited juices to something like 8 oz/day.

    1. However, a majority had no compunction about giving them a bottle or a “juice cup” full of apple juice, and quite a few of their kids got a very significant fraction of their calories from apple juice.

      They seem easy-going, the hens in my wife’s circle when our daughter was an infant would get all huffy about what they called “liquid candy”.

      1. Are there really people out there that give others shit openly for what they give their kids? I’ve never seen that in my life. And I’m around a lot of kids and parents.

        1. Yes. Good god, yes.

          1. Look, HoD, there’s raising your kids right and there’s fucking up royal, and you are fucking up royal.

            1. We do not require encouragement to use majestic pronouns. We require only opportunity.

              /sets crown at rakish angle

        2. I don’t know mystical unicorn pasture you live in, but from the ages of 0-5, it seems for many mothers, their greatest joy is moral sanctimoniousness over how other people in their peer group raise their kids. Especially nutrition or breast feeding issues.

          1. You guys need new acquaintances. Because I’ve never heard anyone in my circles openly question another person about this kind of stuff. Not once.

            Behind the back? Sure. But never to someone’s face.

            1. I have a project for you. Go find Banjos, kiss her and tell her I said hi, and then ask her: If someone is going to question y’alls parenting and choices or otherwise rudely intrude on wot is in no matter their fucking business, whether she thinks they are more likely to confront you, or confront her when you are not around.

              People are pussies, Sloopy. They go after the one they perceive as vulnerable. And then they meet me or Banjos and get a quick lesson on why this was a bad idea.

              1. I asked her too. She said there was one occasion in California where some dumbass in his 20s told her she shouldn’t buy cereals made with GMOs because it was poison.

                He didn’t directly address that it was for our children. He said it was bad for everyone.

                And he may or may not have had dreadlocks. She can’t remember.

                1. The scorching she gave him probably singed his eyebrows off. Or did she just laugh in his face, and thus wither his balls?

            2. Well, you’re in Texas. Native and assimilated Texans generally mind their own business. (There are some unassimilated Yankees and Californians who want to reform Texas to be more like Boston or San Francisco. If only Trump were to propose a wall on the Sabine and Red Rivers …)

              BTW, my kids probably got more than their daily ration of apple juice at their friends’ houses. In fact, they probably gamed the rationing system that my wife devised. However, it would have been unthinkable to reprove a neighbor’s diet. Very few aspects of human existence are as personal and individual as what one chooses to eat and drink.

            3. You guys need new acquaintances.

              Which is what happened.

          2. mystical unicorn pasture

            dude, TEXAS is in his freaking name

            1. It’s like a whole ‘nother country!

        3. Are there really people out there that give others shit openly for what they give their kids?

          Yes.

          its been the cause of at least 2 “single black mother slapping the shit out of nosy do-gooder” incidents that i’ve witnessed on the subway. There have been countless others that were ended (if not entirely defused) before the slapping started.

        4. One word: vegetarians.

          Not all of them, of course. Just the self-righteous variety, mostly vegans.

          1. My niece was one of the early adopters of the leash for her kids when she’d take them to the zoo or the fair or whatever and she got plenty of shit for that. What are you supposed to do with a 3 or 4-year old kid that wants to run off when he’s too big to lug around all the time or keep strapped in a stroller? Keep yelling at him every two minutes to get back here and then smack the shit out of him when he runs off too far? Not take him out in public until he’s been properly trained to heel and stay and sit and fetch? Putting a harness and a leash on him seemed to me a pretty smart solution to the problem.

            1. Not take him out in public until he’s been properly trained to heel and stay and sit and fetch?

              Yes.

            2. It as probably the choker collar that caused the stir.

              1. +1 prong collar

        5. I don’t even have kids and people tell me what to do if I do have them. It’s going to get ugly if anyone tries to give me or my significant other nutritional advice.

          “Oh yeah? Well, I see that you’re a fat cow or severely malnourished, so I appreciate your advice but get back to me when you can go up the stairs without passing out.”

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  22. As a tireless crusader against discrimination in all areas of our lives, Allred’s legal reach has been wide and long. For the past three decades she has played an integral role in combating injustices and winning new rights especially for women and minorities.

    There’s never a bus around when you need one, I guess.

    1. What i find odd is that this celebrity-lawyer would be going after some tiny barbershop

      normally trolls like this woman pick targets with real money. I suppose maybe she needs to get some Trans-wins under her belt, test out her courtroom strategy, before expanding her franchise in this particular niche.

      1. You really don’t understand the mind of the con artist, do you? She chooses a target that can’t financially afford to fed fend their position well, therefore she gets an easy win and creates a legal precedent to force all others, by statute, to bow to her will.

        This is about forcing everybody to live life the way she wants them to. She’s choosing her targets for their inability to financially defend their position.

        1. ah.

          I’ve never been all that interested in learning how law works on the ambulance-chaser-level.

          She chooses a target that can’t financially afford to fed fend their position well, therefore she gets an easy win

          I presume it also involves venue-shopping. Get a plaintiff, then find a target somewhere you know you have a sympathetic court.

          Still, I’d think the process of the ‘easy win’ is intended to build to an eventual more-lucrative payday. Why waste time busting up barbershops? The precedent created by small-time civil suits would seem to me to have limited application… though i admit my imagination is pretty limited.

          I sometimes wonder if this sort of litigiousness about things like toilets and haircuts is really “helping” trans people in the net-net … or if it actually contributes to a broader reticence on the part of people to get involved with trans-folk at all, lest they end up in court. who knows.

          1. The quickest way to kill this is to file a suit that as a White guy, you entered a “Black” or “Latino” barbershop and was met with a hostile atmosphere.

            1. you’re kidding, right?

            2. I don’t really see how “more litigiousness” kills excessive predatory litigiousness

  23. maybe she needs to get some Trans-wins under her belt, test out her courtroom strategy, before expanding her franchise in this particular niche.

    After she knocks over the first guy, she can just ride around waving his severed head outside the gates of the next citadel, and they’ll pay the tribute.

  24. And-

    she has played an integral role in combating injustices and winning new rights

    just fucking infuriates me.

    1. The right to have one’s own transgender restroom.
      (drops microphone)

  25. Reading the headline I only have one queation which was not answered. What percentage of these children are suffering from actual malnutrition? Actual malnutrition resulting in actual medical problems due to vitamin and mineral deficiencies?

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  27. Look, those evil fucking corporations need to quit giving people what THEY want, and start forcing them to only choose between what I want. You fucking right wing fascists just don’t get it.

    /someone who will always be the one choosing what’s being offered, its not like this could ever backfire, no sir.

  28. “Parents are to blame here.”

    What he means is parents who buy junk food are to blame. Parents who sell junk food are blameless. Blaming the consumer is the fall back position here.

    1. Yes, that is what individual responsibility is about. The consumer is responsible for their own choices.

      1. “Yes, that is what individual responsibility is about. The consumer is responsible for their own choices.”

        Yes, of course. And the seller is not responsible. I’ve read it all before. You’re preaching to choir here.

        1. You don’t even know what “preaching to the choir” means, do you?

          1. Mighty slim response. Don’t hesitate to ask me anything else on your mind. I don’t guarantee an answer though.

            1. Why would I ask someone who can’t think for himself about anything?

              1. “Why would I ask someone…”

                Because you are at a loss for anything else to say?

                1. Because you are at a loss for anything else to say?

                  Yes, but not for the self-aggrandizing reasons you think.

                  1. I don’t even know what “self-aggrandizing” means.

  29. “Asking why parents feed their kids poorly is an important question that researchers should continue attempting to answer. ”

    Researchers can save themselves the trouble. Parents feed their kids poorly because they feed themselves poorly. Parents feed themselves poorly coz the market makes junk food the easiest choice.

    1. the market makes junk food the easiest choice

      You don’t even know what “the market” is, do you?

      1. “You don’t even know what “the market” is, do you?”

        You’re to blame. You don’t even know what junk food is, do you?

        1. I’ll take that as a “yes”.

        2. If you knew what “the market” was you would know that IT doesn’t make anyone do anything.

          The market offers choices.

          Do you like choices in you personal life or do you like being told what you must buy ?

          Serious question.

          1. “Do you like choices in you personal life or do you like being told what you must buy ?”

            It’s not a question of liking the choices that confront us. Often the responsible thing to do is to choose the less popular option. It’s about taking responsibility for the choices we make, and you want to blame parents who buy junk food. I agree, but I also blame parents who choose to sell junk food. Why should they not share the blame?

            1. Good lord you’re retarded.

    2. “Who needs 23 different cheap food options when there are children starving in this country?”

      1. “Who needs 23 different cheap food options…”

        You’ve misunderstood. It’s not cheap food we are talking about. It’s junk food. Nobody needs junk food, no matter how many tempting options there are.

        1. How about if I just WANT junk food, asshole?

  30. Junk food tastes good, healthy food tastes like crap.

    Sure, if you force yourself to eat it long enough you develop Stockholm syndrome and think it’s good. But in reality, you’re still eating stuff that tastes like crap.

    1. I see your point but healthy food doesn’t take like crap if prepared and cooked properly.

      1. Douse it in balsamic vinaigrette. Boom, cooked properly.

  31. I agree that it’s on the parent to feed their children healthy foods but here are a couple of things that need to change:

    1. The cheaper baby formula is the equivalent of junk food for infants

    2. End subsidies for farmers. Mainly sugar and corn but really any subsidie

    3. The government could put out information to educate people of the dangers of processed foods, basic starches (bread, potatoes, pasta), sugar AND sugar substitutes that are added to any product but especially to low or reduced fat items

    4. Don’t allow lobbies from the food industry to influence nutritional standards

  32. A fucking crockpot. That’s the solution.

    We recently got a digital pressure cooker, even better.

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  35. then the photos came on the photos on the boxes of food and wonder why it tastes so bad..

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    “I think so, Brain, but if they called them ‘Sad Meals’, kids wouldn’t buy them!”

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  42. But that would mean taking personal responsibility for your actions. That’s so 20th…. oops more like 19th century. Who would the lawyers sue and the government tax and the nanny state proponents protest.

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