Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Are women responsible for obesity among children?
Women have been blamed for many of the world's problems since Eve in the Garden of Eden. But when I heard women were being blamed for childhood obesity, I was more than skeptical. The theory is that when American women started to enter the workforce en masse in the 1970s and '80s, kids started getting fatter. (Watch video)

Lew Fuller of the Obesity Society, a scientific society that studies the topic, says it's not that women shouldn't go to work, it just means that when women did go to work there was no one home to make balanced meals and make sure the kids got out and exercised.

Some of the working mothers we talked to acknowledged that their haste can make make for bigger waists. They said they were often too tired after working all day to make a meal for their kids and ended up picking up fast food. According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, when children and teens eat fast food, they consume more calories, fat, carbohydrates, sugars and sugary beverages.

Does that mean that Mom is to blame for the 16 percent of American children that are overweight? (That's three times the number of kids that were overweight in 1980.)

Not so fast, according to Kathryn Thomas of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. "At it's very simplest, our kids are taking in a lot more calories than they are burning off. There are a lot of reasons for that. It's not just because they aren't eating as many dinners at home," she says. Thomas recommends all members of American families take a close look at their eating and exercise habits. "We need to get physical education back into schools. We need to get the junk food out of schools. We need to make communities safer for kids to walk and bike and play," says Thomas.

So weight management begins in the home, with Mom and Dad. But it continues at school and in the community. And instead of pointing fingers at working Moms, maybe we should be looking in the mirror. What do you think?

For more on this and other diet and fitness information, check out Dr. Sanjay Gupta's Fit Nation segment every Friday on "American Morning." Also, sign up for the Fit Nation Challenge - click here for details.
Children do not get out and exercise as much because of the concern for abuse and abduction. When I was a chld, we rode our bikes all day and were allowed out of doors without an adult. Not now. So, because parents are busier, kids get less exercise.
As a working mother of 3, with one chubby little girl, I feel more than a little guilty. It is absolutely true that if I were a stay at home mom I would have the time and energy to cook them breakfast, pack them lunch and cook dinner. What we would be eating, I'm not sure...whatever they have at the local food shelf I guess.

I do have to say that I hate their school menu. They need to make some sort of nationwide law banning junk food on school menus. They claim that the menu fits nutrition guidelines, but how can a cinnamon roll for breakfast and nachos or pizza for lunch be healthy? I'd like to know who's guidelines they go by...

But, if I didn't have to work 50 hours a week I could provide their breakfast and lunch from home...so maybe it is all my fault. Or their dad's fault for not making enough money to support me staying home. Or society's fault for being so greedy and making everything so dang expensive.
I think it's completely unfair to only point the finger at working moms. As mentioned in the article, we need to point the finger at the availability of junk food in schools (worst meal/snack I was able to get while in school was pizza and there was 1 soda machine for a school of over 2,000 high school students that wasn't "turned on" until school ended). We need to look at developers creating all these beautiful subdivisions in Suburban, America...there are so many of these lovely neighborhoods that have few or no sidewalks, few common areas and "tot-lots" or common playgrounds--local governments should require that developers offer these ammentities in these neighborhoods to help promote safe places for kids to play and for all residents to become good neighbors. We also need to look at schools that have eliminated P.E. from their curriculum--they need to add it back in--maybe since schools are always so pressed for money, the federal government should make a few curriculum guidelines and send money to support those programs (i.e. mandatory P.E., Math, Science, Language Arts, and History). Maybe then we won't be considered by the rest of the world to be a country full of fat dummies.
Yes, I do believe it is the parents fault for their children's weight problems. It is rare to see an overweight child with healthy weight parents or vice versa. So instead of trying to fix the problem of childhood obesity, adults should work on their own over-eating and learn to create a healthy home for their children. But it is the American way to blame others for our own faults....
Hi Betsy,
YES! It is important to feed our children a healthy diet and TEACH our children how to eat healthy. I raised my children on a plant based diet. Of course, there are times they want to eat pizza with their friends, grab a quick burger and fries, but my children know the rules. I taught it to them! I thought it was the best gift I could gift them, the gift of healthy eating. It was!
I know it is difficult for working Moms but hello crockpot, good~bye fast food! Roughly translated is: Hello Healthy life! Good~bye short life with diseases. We are what we eat and we must make better food choices for our sake as well as our children's.
Bon Appetit!
As a working mother, I do as much as I can to make sure my daughter (and fiance) eat healthy meals...but what about Dad? Since both Mom and Dad are working, where does Dad's role in this fall? Perhaps the problem is really that men aren't willing to fill in the void when their wives are exhausted. Gender roles may be to blame for this, not women.

Children eat what their parents eat, so these working moms and dads need to assess their own habits and how that affects their growing children.
Both the mother and father are to blame for their child's obesity. They are the adults who make the choices of what to buy and feed their children. They are the ones who make the choice as to whether or not they allow their children to be babysat by a TV or computer.

Abuse and abuduction has existed for many years although it seems it's published in the media more nowadays. Children just don't play as much as they use to because of the easy access to videogames and the computer that the parents don't regulate.
Children don't get fat at school - it ALL starts in the home. Doesn't research show that more and more toddlers are overweight? They start off life on the wrong foot due to mom AND dad's poor examples and choices. Stop blaming the schools! Their menus are far healthier now than when we were kids! I recently had lunch with my son's first-grade class (in the deep south) and most of the kids who bought lunch, which was only about 1/2 the class, ate their brocolli. Those who brought lunch from home had mostly healthy choices with a small special 'treat' thrown in.
I believe that the poor eating habits of our children are related in part to the lack of time and energy and resources to prepare balanced and hearty meals. The fact is that it is cheaper to load up on empty calories than to buy quality food and prepare it. A trip to a Walmart, watching the hurried and stressed mom's at 4:30PM will show that. Many are running through the aisles, grabbing the cheapest, quickest to prepare items to throw at the family in time for dinner.

The big problem is the lack of regulation of prepared foods in this country.

Although, food intake is only one aspect of the obesity problem in our children. It does make a good starting point.
Another possible cause for the spike in obesity in the 70's and 80's is a surge in the use of high fructose corn syrup in most processed foods (including bread, yogurt, juice, cookies, canned soup, canned fruit, etc.). High fructose corn syrup is a complex carb that is more difficult for our bodies to break down, so perhaps this is a bigger cause for the rise in obesity in America.

Even if parents (Mom or Dad) were preparing meals at home, they would likely be using some processed food to prepare the meal that contain high fructose corn syrup.
Articles like this do nothing but pit mothers against each other, and are basing their claim on a false premise. My grandmother worked full time back in the 50's. Lots of mothers worked full time during WWII in the 40s.

I'm a working mother, and my kids play outside EVERY DAY at day care. There are no TVs, which can't be said for the kids who stay home all day plugged into their video games.

If you ask me, the ready availability of arcade/video games that started to came out in the 1970s are more to blame for obesity in kids since they encourage sedentary activity.

It has nothing to do with whether the mom works. Complete garbage.
I want to note that I agree with the posters who say it is BOTH Mom & Dad's responsibility to make sure the kids are eating right and exercising if BOTH parents are working.

My husband and I draw up a weekly dinner menu, and while one of us "unwinds" with the kids, the other cooks a quick nutritious meal from scratch EVERY nite (we do take turns, and one nite a week we either order in, or go out as a treat). There are plenty of easy "staple" based recipe resources out there, so no excuses in my book. Are we tired? Yes - but we have committed to this as a priority for us.

Also - our kids do not play on the computer or video games at home. On weekends, they play in the backyard, or we go to the library or a park as a family. We didn't need technology to entertain ourselves growing up, and we don't think think our kids do, either.
How about let's stop pointing fingers altogether and simply DO something about it? Who cares whose fault it is as long as we can see a solution.

Put recess back into schools. Stop this nonsense of banning tag. Quit suing people because your kid fell down on the playground unless there's some glaring safety hazard there and it wasn't just the kid having a clumsy moment. Keep having gym classes, and put them back in places where they've ben removed. Health officials, stop flinging raw nutrition facts at people and try enlisting some folks to write up some recipes for fast, easy, healthy meals that parents on the go can whip up in a hurry. Shop on the outside parameters of the grocery store, where most of the unprocessed foods lie. Pay attention to you're kid's health and safety, but don't be paranoid - know that there will be scraped knees along the way, but they'll come out better off if it means they're out there moving around.
It absolutely has to do with whether you have the time or strength to feed healthy foods (working or at home). I was at home for over 5 years, and recently went back to work full time, and I'm now pregnant with #3. I can tell you that if you meal plan and grocery shop, there's no excuse for not eating right. Yes, the meals aren't going to be fancy, but there are alternatives to fast food. Try crock pots, pulling out chicken and throwing marinade on it overnight so it's ready when you get home. It easier to stop and get fast food after working all day, but I did that when I was at home, and I had even more work to do while I was at home. Just because you're at home, doesn't mean you have all the time in the world or strength for that matter. Step up and start planning better to eat better.
The rise in fast-food and restaurant-food consumption definitely has a lot to do with the obesity crisis, and it's unrealistic to expect people will shift their habits back to eating more meals at home. Rather than blame working mothers or anyone else for this, we need to accept the reality that restaurant meals are now daily or near-daily occurrences, not special occasions, for most Americans. Fast-food restaurants and other restaurants could serve healthy foods and portion sizes, but they choose not to. It's time we demand a change.
This is the epitomy of junk science. Correlation does not equal causation. And since when have fathers abdicated their roll as a parent. Father's are just as responsible.
Rebecca - How could I have forgotten about corn syrup? You have a point. I have a hard time finding ANYTHING without it nowadays. They're even putting it in those bottled teas now - making them taste terrible in my opinion. Try to find pure juice? Nope. Corn syrup. Like that flavored creamer for your morning coffee? Corn syrup. It's everywhere, even in things you wouldn't expect. Now the creamer I've given in on, since I don't use that much - but juices I will put right back on the shelf if I see anything but juice listed. And I don't even have kis - I just don't like putting that stuff in me. Affects the flavor, for one thing. I just don't understand why we need all those fillers.
Why can't Dads make the healthy meals at home too? Why is that job always relegated to the women in the household? I like to think we've moved beyond the 1950s and that now both parents share responsibility of their children. I think focusing on what kids eat at school is definitely key. I remember HIGHLY unhealthy lunches in my high school cafeteria. And in middle school, the greasy pizza didn't whet my appetite so I went for a dessert bar and a diet Coke instead. Yum.
The very notion that working "women" are to blame for childhood obesity is offensive and archaic. What about dads? Why is the working woman victimized as irresponsible. In today's economy, it is almost impossible to live on one income, yet still mothers are blamed because society has not stepped up to the plate to accomodate the rising costs of living. In a two parent family, when both parent work, it is the responsibility of BOTH PARENTS to ensure kids lead healthy lifestyles. CNN: Shame on you!
This provides even more proof that when women go to work, they are still expected to fulfill the role of traditional wife and mother - cooking, cleaning and taking almost complete responsibility for raising healthy children.
What about dad? All these overweight children must live with single moms, no fathers or extended families that live together or help out. It always amazes me that fathers or other family members are not taken into account in these studies. How about some real science that isn't just looking for an easy conclusion to blame mom and grab a headline. Aren't we passed this already?
I agree and disagree with many of the statements that have been said. First, everything is relative and each person will have a different situation that he/she is comming from, but there are a few things that could be done by everybody. I do not have kids and I am currently in medical school so I know what it is like to not have time to prepare a a healthy meal. But where there is a will there is a way. First, fill the house with healthy snacks such as fruit, veggies, whole grain ceral bars. I always have an apple in my purse when I need a pick me up. The crockpot is a lifesavor. Also make a large dish of something that will give lots of leftovers. When I was growing up my mother would make three meals on sunday afternoon so that the family would have food for the rest of the week. I know that she would have rather done something else but it was worth it to her. Lastly, I would like to say that it is a shame that it is not safe for kids to go outside and play anymore with out supervision. My parents never had to worry about my brother and I.
It is the adult who gave the child the junk, so that means both mom and dad can be held responsible. Also parents need to teach their children healthy habbits. Stop trying to throw the blame on everyone else. Here is a simple solution...Put down the fork and back away from the table when you are full. This has worked for me for the past 22 years!
You know what I find interesting? Fingers always point at women for some reason...as if men/fathers are blameless to the point of unquestionable unaccountability. Maybe if the fathers were in the homes, being the leaders/providers that they should be for their children, then the mothers would be able to stay home and raise the family.

I sometimes wonder what would have happened if Adam had stayed home with his wife...or at the very least, when approached by God for questioning, if he had been responsible enough to take ownership of his own behavior instead of pointing the finger at the woman and saying 'it's all her fault...and yours, too, for giving her to me.'

As Adam failed to be accountable for the results of his own behavior, even now, men fail to take responsibility. I guess it's easier to blame the women who stay and work and take care of the children struggling to raise them on their own than to look at the fathers who abandoned their families & dodge child support and expect them to be...well...men
I find it amazing that whenever people talk about things that are wrong with children in our society, society ends up pointing at women. Are men (dads)not to shoulder any of the scrutiny when it comes to our children's diet and exercise habits?
Where is the study that shows there are more overweight children in homes with working mothers? I am a SINGLE working mother at one point I went to school full time and worked 40 hours a week. My child is healthy and active, she swims 3 to 4 days a week. I make a point to cook at least 5 meals a week and I pack her lunch for school! Yes, I am tired but I make a point to educate my daughter about healthy food choices and the importance of regular physical activity. The problem is NOT working mothers, the problem is not recognizing the problem and not taking responsibility for the actions that cause our children to become obese in the first place. Working mother or not.
Wow, sure seems like everyone wants to point fingers at anything but themselves. Our children are fat because the parents are fat. I'm tired of hearing the excuse that the schools are at fault. If you don't want your kid to eat what the school is providing, pack their lunch for them. And maybe you wouldn't need two incomes if you would cut back on your expenses. Do you really need the $50K car and the $400K house?
As a working mother of two young children, blaming the working mom troubles me greatly. In my opinion, the reasons for child obesity are very complex and if you want to pass blame around, there are plenty of worthy candidates. My two children, do not happen to be overweight at 8 and 5, but from very early on, they ate well. Whatever I made for dinner, was their dinner. I refused to become a short order cook, as so many mothers I happen to know fall prey to. I refuse to give my children mac and cheese or chicken fingers every night. Although my meals may be quick ones, I always try to include all food groups. Occasionally there are some fast food nights, like those where sport practices take place at 5:30pm of all times. What on earth are parents supposed to do in these cases? I think moderation is key. I think exercise is important. If they are involved in sports, and they eat well balanced meals, the occasional fast food, isn't going to be an issue.
BIG BUSINESS and the wealthy is where obsesity came from. Remember in the 60' & 70's fruits & vegtables were cheap and sugary snacks were expensive. Now healthy food is expensive. Why? The illegal immigrant who harvested the product hasn't gotten a raise in 30 years. Yet our government tells us we need more illegals to do those kind of jobs.
Farming has become big business. Gone are the days of mom and pop farms. Corporate farms want big profits and to get that they pay there workers nothing, cut corners on quality and sanitation (spinach anyone?)all due to GREED. This was a nice try by the right wing conservatives (who probably funded the study) to try to put women back in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant.
As a teacher, I hear parents and others criticize school lunches as unhealthy.

This criticism does not stand up to examination. School lunches meet federal guidelines for nutrition. Period.

What many people mistake for "healthy" is the kind of salad and carrot sticks lunch that would be appropriate for a grown woman who is trying to lose weight. They confuse "being on a diet" with a proper diet.

School lunches are essentially the only nutritional meal that a large number of our nation's children get each week.

And, yes, the kids can eat pizza or hamburgers without eating "junk food." The junk food accusation derives from a basic misunderstanding of what goes into a fast food meal as opposed to a school lunch.

People also commonly misunderstand the difference between portion control at schools and portion control at a fast food restaurant. They are not the same.

Schools cannot force students to eat only the most healthy things on the menu. Rather, federal law requires that we present them with healthy choices and encourage healthy eating while presenting a balanced diet. Federal laws establish goals for schools to provide healthy food. For the most part, we succeed in following those laws.
This is a topic that has hit home with me this week. My children have eaten out 3 times this week due to my work schedule and their swim/soccer practice. My 10 yr old is predisposed to a being on the large boned heavy side and I really have to monitor her food intake which is difficult cuz I do not want to create any "food issues". My husband is working out of town so I am on my own with their activities, each only have one but they are 2 or 3 times a week, this adds up to 4 weeknights. I always prided my self on cooking a balanced dinner 5 or 6 times out of the week and now feel guilty about this past week. Hopefully next week will be better. So I agree that mother's working full time contributes to the obesity of some children. My younger daughter eats just as much as my older one but is thin, part of the obesity problem lies in the genetic makeup of some people.
I am a working mother with a daugther who has been over the 95% percentile weight chart since she's been 6 months old. While doctors insist she's fine, I continue to make the best choices I can for her. I agree that IF I COULD stay home, my daugther could be more active and I would have more time to devote to focusing on healthier eating habits. I do what I can with what I've got. I always try to choose the healthiest things I can while we're out..etc. Mothers have so many things on their plate as it is, I don't think any group should be labeled "the reason why kids are overweight." There are so many factors that contribute to unhealthy lifestyles.
i am a working mother of 1 son. But not by choice. I would much rather be a stay at home mother but the times we live in almost makes that impossible. So many people have both parents working and still are barely able to make ends meet. I think that homes in which the mother works do create problems such as not enough time to cook decent meals, dealing with babysitters, not enough family time. But until times change back to what they were in say the 50's people will have to make the best effort in raising their kids and working. While i won't say we don't ever get fast food, for the most part i come home and find a healthy meal that takes less time to cook. We then have our family time and get ready for the next day. Eventhough i am a believer of womens rights, i think the days where the mother stayed at home and took care of the house while raising the babies created less problems than there are today. And the home life was much happier.
It's interesting that, in most places, this story has been titled "Working Mothers Are Responsible for...".

If the sexes were equal, both parents would be responsible. The data would suggest that BOTH parents need to cut down on their work hours and add more family time. But, no. Once a problem arises, the blame lies with women.

Obviously, "working" is still an obligation for men and is secondary for women (whose first obligation is "at home"). What a pity to see that we're still so entrenched in 1950's-style sex roles.
My daughter is in sixth grade at a public middle school. I was shocked to learn that the children are only required to take PE one year out of the three. My daughter has often complained that there are no vegetables or fruit served in the cafeteria.

Also, if both parents work and contribute to the household income, why can't BOTH parents be responsible for providing healthy meals. I think men can cook as easily as men. Maybe men, in general, need to be more involved with households chores!!!!
It is completely ridiculous to blame working mothers for childhood obesity. Start by blaming doctors who tell mothers not to feed their children until they are six months of age. My mother fed me the first time at 5 days old. I see so many babies crying because they are hungry and they have an abundance of milk fat because their bodies hang onto everything. My daughter is nine months old, happy, strong, walking and not obese. She ate first meal at 4 days old. The school system needs to reinstitute recess and gym classes. Children not only need to expend energy and exercise it also helps with their concentration. Yes parents are to blame also. TURN OFF THE TV AND LOCK UP THE VIDEO GAMES. It disgusts me when a child only talks about what level they achieved on some stupid and often violent game. What happened to getting out and playing frisbee with your kid? This simple activity solves many issues - obesity in children, obesity in parents and if you are outside with your child you can watch out for dangers yourself. There are many factors that play into childhood obesity and pointing the finger (as we are often fond of doing) at working mothers doesn't cut it. Why doesn't everyone step up to the plate and accept responsibility because this is a multi faceted problem not just a 'my mom works' problem.
If we blame the working mothers then society is off the hook. Working women already carry an unimaginable burden of guilt - being blamed for not being good enough spouses, employees, mothers, or friends because there are not enough hours in the day. American society is about consumption - consumption of natural resources, oil, electronic gadgets, foreign imports, and yes -food. We need to bring PE back into the schools every day (my daughter's school as ONE HOUR of PE 5 DAYS A WEEK), get junk food out of the schools, start viewing junk food advertisers like cigarette companies, and take responsibility as a society for our children. Blaming mom is a quick fix that makes the stay at home moms feel pompous - fact is, as working moms we are buried under so much guilt - we are numb to feeling anymore.
im curious, about the same time that women went to work full time and in large numbers, does the article also mention the number of SINGLE mothers who were left with children to raise? i am quite sure that mothers working and childhood obesity go hand in hand. not only are more mothers raising children alone, the food is being used as a form of therapy to calm these shattered homes. dont even mention the fact that food is acting hand in hand with television as a babysitter for children.

i am in no way bashing single mothers, i am one. i know how much easier it is to stop at someones drive-thru than to go home and fix a decent meal. it is an unfortunate situation but it happens daily. i dont know what will fix this problem, other than better morals and fixing broken homes.
I think there's another reason, too, and alas, it probably is more the fault of mothers than fathers, only because it tends to be mom that teaches us about food and nutrition.

It's this--many moms, with their own never-end dieting concerns, teach their kids to eat "diety" instead of teaching them to sense their hunger and fullness.

Anybody that's been on the diet track knows that eating "diety" is part of the problem, not the solution.

Linda Moran (author of How to Survive Your Diet)
The fact that a mother morks does not in itself make her kids fat, but it may influence her choices in meal planning and whether she has the time or energy to see that her children get sufficient exercise. Rather than fatty convenient food she should choose easy, healthy meals that she can prepare quickly, crock pots, steamers and woks come in pretty handy. Many foods can be purchased pre-washed and cut if she is that pressed for time, albeit they come at a premium price. If money is no object, many quality restaurants will offer healthy meals and give the family the opportunity to sit down together without household distractions. As always, time and money are usually inversely proportional.
Both my parents worked when I was a child and teenager. I spent my afternoons outside with neighborhood kids. If they were home I would still have been outside. I didn't eat and play video games all day. And there was no fear of abduction.

The neighborhood I live in now has kids are outside without adults. They aren't overweight. They are safe. They play together.
Notice that is once again its the woman's fault. Where is it written that the wife has to be responsible for making sure the kids eat a healthy meal? Why does the woman have to be blamed because she's to tired after a day of work to whip a big meal ala June Cleaver. If more men would lend a hand at meal prep time rather than sitting on the couch watching some stupid TV/sports show while waiting to be served dinner, everyone would benefit.
I could not believe this article – Just blame Mom again. Doesn’t she have enough to deal with?

There are so many factors:
• Computer Games
• Elimination or cut back of PE in schools
• Dads do not pull their weight on home duties
• Artificial ingredients and processed foods
• School menus and snacks
• School lack of recess time
• Societies allowance/acceptance of overeating
• No real education on nutrition and health
• Cost of living
• Not enough outdoors activities in safe environments
• Expense of extracurricular activities
• Rise of Fast Food accessibility

And the list goes on. It is no one particular thing but a culmination of all of the factors that lead to an unhealthy lifestyle.
I cannot tell you how many meals I have prepared of baked chicken, brown rice and a green vegetable; old fashioned oatmeal; home made lunches; salads and stir-fried vegetables entrees I have prepared for my family. That is while holding down a job and even attending college. They are active in scholastic and recreational sports and have a memembership at the local YMCA. My children are not exactly lean-mean-fighting-machines by any means, however, to hang the dilemma of overweight children on the female parent is once again tripping the wire of sexism. Last time I looked it took two people to have a child. So, are the real thoughts being presented today regarding the mother's "responsibility" simply a reminder that our attitudes towards women haven't changed all that much - that women are entirely responsible for just about anything negative you can come up with about how a child develops? Is this occuring all the while "Daddy" is busy focasing his attention on what? - His PERSONAL professional life where he isn't viewed as the first or second line of defense on the home front on such matters because he has better things to do than be a societal partner in his own family's structure? It would be a great service to parents everywhere to see the same subject reviewed for the same scrutiny of the father's responsibility and role in maintaining a healthy family in our busy, techno-filled, I-needed-it-yesterday world.
Stories and research on obesity in America are grossly inaccurate, and press is not paying attention to the REAL causes of obesity. First, it's economic. Working classes are having more difficult time affording healthier foods in the supermarket, such as produce and chicken. Food pantries only distribute non-perishable food such as pasta and other high carb/high sugar foods. In addition, there was a recent news report that the amount of food stamps need to be increased, because they do not cover the cost of food! Second, there is no physical activity provided in schools. Under the No Child Left Behind Act and the pressure for schools to perform academincally, recess and gym classes are being cut or even eliminated. Yet, schools are providing computer classes -- as far as I am concerned, learning computers in school is inappropriate and does not constitute an "academic" area of study required. You can not blame Obesity on working mothers --Mothers HAVE to work to cover costs associated with inflation for housing, fuel, food, essentially, basic human needs.
Typical. Everything goes back to the woman having to plan everything making sure everything is taken care of. When is the man going to have to step up? Why is the blame always on mom?

Should parents control the diet of children, yes. But I have two picky eaters who palate is difficult to please when it comes to veggies on the plate. And have I tried everything? Yes.

As some comments said, focus on the fix, not the fault. I too place major blame on school food. My toddler (1 year old) now gets school food, and his meals consist of muffins, fruit loops, cinnamon buns, chicken nuggets, burgers, hot dogs, bologna sandwiches, to which I have no control over. I am not allowed to provide his food. The point, a toddler should not be eating all of this, I don’t allow it at home, but have no choice in school. I guess I should be lucky he gets a veggie and fruit served along side.
I have long said that disposable income is a bad thing. Duel working households drive up prices and keep wages low due to more people in the workforce. My wife has stayed home since my first child was born. We have sacrificed many things, but I believe it was in the childrens best interest. Most of my childrens friends parents work and the kids play a lot of video games, eat fast food 5 or 6 times a week. I believe video games are as much a cause of expanded waist lines as fast food. I do not let my kids play video games on school nights and they rarely get fast food. All three are slender.
As a working mother of 2 kids I understand how hard it is to find time to make good meals for the kids. It would also go a long way to have after school activies not cost so much so that kids can move around.

Want to put your child in a sport? Try finding one for less then $100 a month. Quality costs people say.

Maybe if we had more activites that you don't have to strain your budget for, it would be easier for children to get out and be active.
If parents teach children right from a young age, (when they start asking for snacks) that at the morning and bedtime snacks times they have to be a healthy choice. (Fruit, Yogurt, Nuts, Toast, Cheese)No other choices!

Then allow them one snack time in the afternoon, to make their own choice. They will go for the unhealthy stuff but as long as you Keep portion sizes in moderation, it should balance out.

The same goes for school age children. Morning snack has to be healthy. And if they don't eat it, the next day they only get heathly snacks in their lunch. No Junk!

As for dinner time, they can learn to wait. I get off work daily at 5 pm and by the time supper is on the table it is usally 6-6:30pm. They have learned that they have to wait. It won't hurt them. If they are bugging non-stop give them a few peices of cheese, or some green pepers slices (which you probally cutting up for your supper anyways)

One other thing I see way to many children doing is drinking pop. My children are allowed only one pop per day! And I only stock clear pop in the fridge or Nestea. Which is lower in calories and sugar.

Wieght is not the only reasons I have made these choices but also for the health of their Teeth.

It all starts with the weekly grocery shopping! Start purchasing healthier food and you'll be doing yourself and your children a favour.
My son is doomed; my husband and I both work full time, there is diabetes and obesity on both sides of the family. Knowing this, when my son decided to take his weight issue into his own hands and become a vegetarian (not vegan, he loves his milk) we supported him. His dad and I are dealing with our own "food issues" but I must say, my son is inspiring me to cook healthier meals and do something about my own weight problem.
I do think that it is unfair to place all the blame on working mothers for childhood obesity. My mother has worked full-time ever since I was a young child, but she always dedicated herself to making healthy foods for me every week. Also, families where both parents work are very common, and I'm not sure why mothers should get a bad rap for obese children. As some others have said, where is the father in this equation? It is up to BOTH parents to teach their young children how to eat right.

Also, looking back on my elementary school days (in the 1980s-90s), I remember we were fed junk food for lunch just about everyday. Think pizza, hamburgers, chalupas, chicken nuggets, etc. I can't remember seeing anything green on my lunch tray! I don't know if school menus have changed since then, but there are other factors out there that can contribute to obesity. So please, don't just blame the mothers!
So if the moms are to blame for not being home to take care of the kids, does that the dads are to blame for not earning enough money so mom can stay home?
Hey, what about DAD's role in preparing food for the kids? We should assume he has as much responsibility as Mom. When both parents are working, they BOTH have to fit in caring for their children. Dads have to expect to do their fair share. I don't see that expectation in this blog entry.
In our home, I think the Dad is more the culprit. We do both work, but other than that, Dad is a junk food king and also has become a video game enthusiast. My children happily follow. I feel like I'm walking against a hurricane force wind trying to influence my family toward health and wellness. As a matter of fact, I'm absolutely stunned the study gave no "weight" to very obvious alternate factors.
There is a problem, its true. But to say it is "moms" fault or that women are to blame is unfair and sadly outdated. The clear need for a double income household in today's economy is the reason for children's lack of exercise and poor diet. It requires substantial material sacrifices for the modern American family to schedule their budget and lifestyles so that one parent (or extended family even, if one is so lucky) is home to prepare healthy meals for the entire family as well as facilitate activities for the children the moment they return from school. Unfortunately, no matter how hard some parents try, it is close to impossible to live on only one income.
Thanks CNN for waiting ALMOST an entire week after Mother’s day to start blaming mothers for yet another of society’s ills SHEESH! I am a fourth-generation working mother so the assumption that this all started because women entered the work force in the 80’s is totally false and a dangerous misuse of “statistics.” Aside from the occasional chubby episode in puberty my family has had a long history of being fit. Just because a mother works doesn’t mean that she is causing her children to become obese in fact in my son’s after-school daycare there are fewer obese children than in his school overall. Why? because unlike the kids who go home and may sit in front of the TV all afternoon with easy access to the fridge the children who attend daycare are out on the playground running around all afternoon. Mothers, stop feeling guilty and take action! Buy a twenty dollar crock-pot, find some easy, healthy make-ahead recipes online and institute a three night a week walk with your kids and the next time someone wags their finger at you just tell them to stick that finger…
Why is it always the mother's fault? I suppose we (women) were the only ones that decided to make a baby...you know because conception of children is always immaculate. Seriously, this correlational stuff is blasphemy and insulting. Women could restore world peace and feed all of the hungry and still be blamed for something (perhaps she didn't wear the correct seasonal colors or the bread was stale). Give me a break! I can't wait to have children and be at fault for every single one of their problems. Yippy!
Oh, for crying out loud.

Did it ever occur to all you "experts" that most moms don't have a choice about working or not?

If our government and all you "experts" put your money where your mouths were, you could find a way to help moms stay home with their kids.

But no. It's so much easier to point at a group of people who have no choice in the matter than to actually find a solution.

I do the best I can for my kids, and that's going to have to be good enough for all the experts out there. Most of which have ruined entire generation of children with their "child rearing" advice. Thanks for nothing.

So where's the question: are Dads making their kids fat? Or are Moms the only ones qualified to cook for their families?

You want to keep kids healthy? Give them safe places to play. Give their parents more time off of work to spend with their families. Give kids boundaries instead of telling parents they can't say "NO" to their children.

How about a blog about solutions? Or is that just too hard to handle?

Better yet, take the time you just spent blogging and go spend it with your kids. I am.
I am a working mother. And it takes me less time and less money to prepare a salad (bagged, pre-cleaned) and some microwave flavored chicken breasts than it does to go through the drive-thru. We're all healthier for it. My husband and I are committed to preparing meals at home rather than fall into the fast-food trap.
I am fairly new to motherhood. My son is 14 months old and I have been back to work since he was 10 wks old. I get up everyday at 5 am to get ready for work, get my son ready (all of course while my husband is sleeping in before he gets ready for work) and leave for work by 630am. I work 40 plus hours a week and still manage to pick my son up from daycare, play with him for an hour, cook a healthy diner for him and my husband, bath my son, play for another 30 minutes and put him to bed. Then I take care of laundry and other household chores that can't be done while he is awake. This is the same routine everyday.

I wouldn't say that chubbie kids are Moms fault. I would say that chubbie kids are Lazy Moms fault. I am exhausted by the time I get to bed at night. But I get up and do it again the next day to keep my son and family healthy.
Fast-food restaurants and other restaurants could serve healthy foods and portion sizes, but they choose not to.

Restaurants do serve healthy foods and portion sizes -- most people just choose not to order them. You don't have to buy a huge burger, large fries, and a giant soft drink with unlimited refills just because they're on the menu. Get a small burger with a side salad and a diet soda, a grilled chicken sandwich with small fries, or a baked potato with chili and one of the healthy sides like fruit that most restaurants offer now. At dine-in restaurants, order soup and salad, or pack up half your meal for the next day's lunch.

Don't blame your bad eating habits on restaurants. You always have a choice about what you order.
Use of high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils exploded in the 70's and 80's -- that is why obesity is growing. Working women have nothing to do with it. Do these "experts" know the difference between a causal relationship and a coincidence?

I have never seen a study showing that the children of stay at home mothers are less likely to be obese than the children of working mothers, because it does not exist. If there ever was a study showing that, trust me, it would be all over the media!!
I am the father of two active healthy boys, 7 and 10. While they are not overweight now, I have noticed a little extra weight showing up on my oldest son. I am overweight and have been much of my life and for me it started when I was about 8. So after growing up chubby I am bound and determined not to let it happen to my boys. That said they are in competitive sports in winter and summer that require practices 3-4 times a week. They play outside all the time and I limit TV and video game time. I am continuously monitoring and limiting what they eat and always suggest fruit or healthy snacks when they are hungry between meals. My point is this, it seems like even with all this they may still become overweight. I’m also wondering if because I am always harping on them about eating too much that it may be making them obsess about food. I’m confused
Do the men of the world really hate working women so much , that they blame fat kids on them also. McDonalds appalling food which is full of additives, no excercise at school, lack of freedom due to the percieved threat of abduction, and television programming for kids 24/7.
That is why todays kids are fat.
Working women tend to be slimmmer than stay at home Moms, so the same is most likely true of their kids.
When a problem is initially discovered, people, in general, attempt to blame it on one thing and this time, it's women are the cause of childhood obesity in the United States. Why blame women? It's simple. Unfortunately, the reasoning for childhood obesity is more complex.

Childhood obesity is on the increase because of lifestyle and the converging dynamic forces that act and/or reactant to it.

To say that women have no share in the health and welfare would neglect the role of mother. However, fathers, family members, and society all have a stake in the health of a child, from breakfast to family dinners to family reunions to school lunches.

Each and every one of us plays a part in the health and welfare of each other. With this being said, where does the responsibility lie? It lies on us all, and why is so easy for some to blame women, it because it's easy to blame something in order to escape one's own responsibility.

Big Business poisons us with processed foods and over medicated meat. Fast food bombards us with supposed convenience when portions are grossly out of control and the contents are high in calories and fat.

Back to mothers, There is no doubt that an at-home mother might have more success controlling a child diet, but make no mistake, there is no substitution for an interested parent. Parents and society have a responsibility to promote well being amongst children and themselves.

If you want a healthy society, parents have got to be interested in being healthy and providing healthy options to their children. Businesses need to be guided to take appropriate measures to clean up their food. Government needs to provide initiative that will help parents raise healthy children etc etc.

To fight the bulge, a significant investment must come from us all.

It would be my dream to see people eat things they grow. Eat closer and local - there's something sagacious about that.
What's wrong when you read the second paragraph? How about the fact that THERE WAS NO ONE HOME TO MAKE BALANCED MEALS....OR MAKE SURE THE KIDS GOT OUT AND EXERCISED!!! Are you kidding me? The U.S. is suppose to be so advanced, so far ahead when it comes to equality...etc...and yet the general public still views anything to do with the children as mainly the wife's job. This is a ridiculous. I know some mothers are single but someone has to be watching their children while they are gone to work. It's the babysitter's responsibility, the father if he stays home, and the mothers. My mother worked and I am not overweight. I think it comes down more to children being overweight because of either the food they serve in cafeterias, their PARENTS (TWO INDIVIDUALS) not setting the right example of eating by either being a glutton, filling their cabinets with unnutritional foods, or not engaging in exercise when they are home. My mother in law watches our son and she knows better than to give him sweets all the time. I told her right in the beginning that he needs to eat vegetabels or I would find someone else to watch him.
The fact that a woman works outside the home has no impact on her child's weight. I was a "latch-key" kid in the 80s and was actually underweight. Children today did not invent poor eating habits and sedentary living. Don't blame mothers. If this is a factor, it's one of many and not one with a solution that requires women to again don their aprons to watch a roast cook. Many, many families NEED 2 incomes just to make ends meet. Let's take a look at schools so strapped for cash that they cut phys ed budgets and staffs while simultaneously improving their bottom lines with big-money fast-food and softdrink contracts...If a kid is eating a burger, fries, ice cream and a chocolate bar at lunch and does not receive any sort of physical education, what Mom brings to the table for dinner becomes a moot point.
As a working mom I guess I am one of the lucky parents both of my children drink water and eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. My 6 year old cheers 3 days a week and and my 16 year old plays a lot of football. We often play outside even though I have laundry or other chores to do. My husband and I "share" house chores so that one of us can be outside. I might not have one of the cleanest houses but I make the decision of healthy kids or a dirty house. Guess which one wins? At the grocery store they make it so easy now they even cut the fruits and veggies for us. How can we not buy them?

I also limit junk food and they are no allowed to eat anything after 7:00 p.m. It's as easy as putting down the fork, turning off the t.v. and going outside.
Whatever happened to personal responsiblity? Stop blaming others. Our children are only young once. We must teach them good eating habits.
It seems to me, as the focus of one habit is tossed aside (smoking) and another takes its place in societies minds (obesity), there is problem.

The more pressing problem I think is more about socially acceptable bullying. It seems that it is ok to shame and blame whole sections of society in order to affect change. So is there now a war on obesity? So what does that mean for a nation. War on Drugs, War on Smoking, War on whatever we find to be socially unacceptable.

Well with war comes many many undesirable consiquences. Victims, stress, violence. Yes there is change... and at what cost?
We will hear of reports of children dying because they have been put on diets, given dangerous medication so they can be trim, emotionally battered by their peers, media, doctors, and skinny aunt betty who pinches their cheeks telling them what a tub of lard they are.

I think we are all well aware of the social issues involved with weight problems. This article is not a "new" discovery, it is not an ahha moment, so what is the purpose of it exactly?

Instead of shaming people and pretending to find the "cause" of what is happening, focus on making the changes. Instead, flood the media with more information on how to make the changes that are needed.
What about working dads? It's not just Mom's responsibility to make sure the kids are healthy. If both parents are at work and the kids are getting fatter, both parents need to step up to the plate and take responsibility for the well-being of their children.
If you must have children, ensure that you can properly raise them. What business do you have brithing three children when you cannot afford to raise them properly. Condoms and the pill are quite effective, you should have stopped at one. Then, maybe, you could actually send time with the children you claim to love.

Greedy parents who want the kids and the lifestyle make me upset. Especially because the lowest-income families vote Republican, which is part of the reason why wages are low. You made that bed, lay down in it.
Of course, women/mothers are always to blame. Not the fathers, not the by and large male-run food corporations, not the video game industry, and not the (largely male) criminals from whom we need to protect our children and who keep them from running and playing freely outdoors in our neighborhoods and countryside. No, must be working mothers. There's no other explanation.
As a parent employed full-time outside the home it can be difficult, but not impossible to prepare healthy meals. I shop and prepare possibilities for my week which takes an extra hour after I get back from the store, but then I have ziploc bags of veggies and fruits for lunches and snack that my child can get out herself. It also keeps me packing my lunch for work, because the cafeteria isn't always the healthiest place.
Parents- you can do it! Don't be discouraged!
Hey Dads hello? can we give Dads equal time and balme them for some stuff? If working Mom has a working partner, then he/she needs to be a team player on this. My husband and I both work, have two healthy girls ages 7 and 5 who eat healthy because we do. We NEVER get fast food - my lord don't parents care enough about their kids to stop doing this already? Would you give them a cigarette as well to celebrate their 16th birthday? Eating healthy Is fast, IS easy. Pasta with broccoli - boil water, throw in pasta, cut up brocolli and toss in with pasta last five minutes. Cook three days of chicken on Sunday and serve all week; or turkey meatloaf - I make 2 every eekend and they love it. Have breakfast for dinner one night - everyone helps with the (multigrain) pancakes or scrambling the eggs. My hubby picks up the kids and gives them a plate load of cut up veggies and fruit before dinner. Take out for us is steamed chicken with broccoli from the Chinese place. It is not hard, people are just lazy. Blame the schools all you want, but what kids eat at home conditions them to what they eat outside the home. My daughters make pretty darned good choices for Big and strong foods versus not big and strong foods every day. Get all the crap out of your cabinets and out of your own diet. It is not hard. It just takes planning and responsibility.
It's fascinating that men, once again, are not assigned any responsibility in their children's well being. Apparently they can't cook when get home, help grocery shop or feed their children because....oh, wait, there is no reason why.
Blaming working mothers for society's ills is a tired game. Fathers are just as capable of watching what their children eat and helping them find healthy choices.
I also think that one of the biggest factors is technology. Kids stay in and watch tv, play video games, and hang out on the computer all day. Even on the nicest days, a lot of kids would rather play xbox than go outside and play basketball or something.
I agree that the fear of being outside definitely reduces the chances of kids playing freely in communities. We're too afraid of abduction and with good reason. Growing up, my friends and I ate cheeseburgers and milkshakes like they were air but because our metabolisms were so fast, all the fat and calories would burn off while the protein and vitamins could still do their jobs. Personally, i think children should be eating foods with carbohydrates and protein, especially because they have the metabolisms to burn it off, but if the option for fun excercise isnt there, nothing will be burned off.
My children started gaining weight after my husband went back to work.

-Working mom, looking for a house cleaner
Lets blame working moms! It's so easy that way. Why stop at obesity, lets blame them for global warming, famine, war...everything can be wound down to the fault of working moms.

The economy makes most of us work. I don't think most women would work outside the home if given a choice. It's a vicious circle. To put my kids in a good school, I have to live in an expensive community, which means I have to work. There are times I have to rely on convenience foods, which aren't the best, but then I have time to help with homework, do some fun things in the evening spend time with my family instead of cooking and then cleaning up after. I work FOR my children, and that is truly the only reason I do it.

Start looking at the big picture instead of finding an easy scapegoat.
While I am a working mom who doesn't pick up fast food, I have to agree that I can be part of the problem. Mainly is that I do not feel it is safe for my 9 and 6 year old to play outside while I'm getting in a short workout on the treadmill myself (life long battle with weight), cleaning or making meals after work. My children are skinny in fact (mainly because they are finicky eaters) but they do not get to go outside as much and play with a working mom. Luckily our school is a big advocate for healthy eating and do not allow snacks and even birthday parties to serve unhealthy foods.
I still advocate and control what my kids eat so they at least will be better off than when I was growing up with a mom who worked nights who wasn't available.
I am a working mother of two, and neither of my children are overweight, nor do I think they will end up that way. We eat balanced meals every night (my husband and I share cooking duties!), We pack them healthy lunches every day, and they get plenty of fresh air and exercise both at school and at home, not to mention extra-curricular soccer, swimming and gymnastics. I'm so tired of the problems of children today being blamed on working mothers. Sure, if I had a choice I would be a stay at home mom, but unfortunately with mortgages, cars, the general cost of living, PLUS saving for college there is not that luxury! And don't dare anyone say it's a choice..it's just not! We definately do not live in the lap of luxury.

And you know what, working parents can regulate TV watching and video games just as easily as stay at home parents can. My kids get 1/2 hour a day....pretty short if you ask me!

I was the product of a working mother and father and I turned out pretty great, not too mention very healthy and a perfect weight! Stop making working moms feel guilty! We are just as capable of raising great healthy families as the rest of the population!
Because mothers are working means that fathers can't cook dinner? Or pick up a healthy alternative to fast food? Or supervise outdoor play? Or encourage more activity? Why automatically point the finger at the mothers? Have fathers been so completely lacking involvement in families that their roles in children's lives don't matter? I think such conclusions really belittle the roles fathers play in children's upbringing.

In my family, both of my parents worked full time, and my parents were able to "tag team" to ensure the kids had wholesome meals and plenty of exercise. Exercise usually involved going to the park with our dogs or hiking. At least one parent was involved-- mom or dad.
To the poster who is blaming the restaurants - it is not their fault. It is a choice to eat at a restaurant just as it is a choice to cook meals at home. Everyone is busy and tired at the end of the day, but if your and your kids' health is a priority, you will control what your family eats by cooking at home.
Blaming women in the workforce for overweight kids - how about we also go back to blaming legal abortions in the US for 9-11? Was this "study" funded by Pat Robertson or Focus on the Family? Either one of their right-wing nonsense would go hand in hand with blaming women's equality for overweight kids. The above comment said it best - correlation does not equal causality. Saying that working moms caused overweight kids because both happen at the same time is like saying that spikes in snowshovel sales cause high heating bills because both happen in winter. Rather, let's stop pointing fingers at the conservatives' preferred target (modern career women) and start talking about nutrition, participation in sports, and having both parents involved in their children's upbringing, rather than simply saying that if mom doesn't do it, then it just won't be done.
Women entered the workforce to help our country at a time of war. When the war ended, many of these women stayed in the workforce. They worked so their families could have a better life. Today most working moms are doing at lease 80% of the work at home in addition to having jobs outside of the home. If you want to place blame on someone, blame the dads who have become lazy and do not carry their weight in the family. Blame the dads who come home from work and ask their working wives what's for dinner. Blame the dads who hang out with their pals on the weekend while their working wives are cleaning the house and doing the laundry.
Why doesn't this blog say blame the dads. Are dads not 50% responsible for the family.
I think there are a number of factors leading to the increase in childhood obesity and as much as I hate to admit, I believe working mothers do contribute. I'm working mother so I put myself in that category as well. It's difficult working 40+ hours a week, fighting traffic to pick up your children before 6 p.m. and then gathering the energy to cook a full meal before 7 or 7:30 when it's time to start baths. Is this an excuse? Yes. But it is also a reality.

I, however, have the very good fortune of having my son in a pre-school that not only teaches him about letters, numbers, but is also teaching him about nutrition and what foods are good. He's also learning that exercise (not just playing) is a part of everyday life.

I'll be honest. If I did stay home w/him all day. I can't say he would get that type of information.
I work full time and attend college classes full time, mainly online, I have three children (13,11 and 2, none of whom are overweight. They are required to go in the pool at least an hour a day in the summer for exercise. I cook only four days a week, otherwise we eat fast food or something microvable. On the weekend, we try to go bike riding together. Parents who are lazy will have kids who are lazy.
Yes, let's blame women for the Don Imuses and rappers refering to us in deregatory names.

Yes, let's blame women for the all of the deadbeat and absent fathers who refuse to parent the high number of children born in single-parent homes.

Yes, let's blame women for the high cost of eating right, and the inexpensiveness of fast food. Let's blame women for TV, Internet, and the lack of after-school activities our government has cut back in with education in order to break records for gas prices and send poor, non-college educated young men off to die in a war so the greedy oil companies can make more profits while the rest of us struggle to pay our bills and hang on by a thin thread to the diminishing reality of achieving the American Dream.

Yes, let's blame women for obesity, and then turn around and promote cosmetic surgery, plastic surgery, weight-loss surgery that kills hundreds of people a year. Rather than take the $2 billion dollars that the diet industry makes off of preying on people's insecurities to promote HEALTHY LIFESTYLES AND NOT DIETING, let's blame women for everything that's wrong with this country.

And as our consolation prize, let's continue to pay them $.60 for every dollar a man makes. Let's blame women and continue to promote sexism.
It is the parent's fault, and the parent's fault alone. We live in a society that loves to point fingers at others for our own shortcomings, but the bottom line is it is the parent's responsibility to promote a healthy lifestyle, regardless of how many hours a week we work. Eliminate fast-food all together and turn off the Playstations & TIVOS and get outside!!
I work, my wife works, and we make the time to cook healthy meals and supervise our children while they run, bike and play outside. We don’t do this because we are highly motivated type A personalities, in fact quite the opposite. We do it because that is what it takes to be a parent in today’s world, plain and simple.

And why exactly are women being singled out in this? Are we still that much of a Neanderthal society that we cannot expect a man to boil water, or is the writer that much of a Neanderthal that he still subscribes to the “barefoot and pregnant” ideology of the 1920s?

We are not totally blameless either. Our children love McDonalds and Wendy’s, but we use it as a reward for good behavior, not as a quick and easy way out of parental responsibilities.
My three grandchildren are obese. Their mother (no longer my duaghter-in-law so I can say nothing) telecommutes. She may not be the cause but she is the solution. However, she has done nothing. She is not fat and has a master's degree from Yale. What is she thinking?!
I work full time. I have a PhD. We eat dinner together as a family EVERY night because my husband and I consider it a priority. Am I tired - yes, but that is not an excuse for not taking the best care I can of my children.
Same story, different day: another media guilt trip for working mothers. Wasn't it just last month that lower intelligence and bad behavior of children were blamed on mothers who dropped them off at childcare? And wasn't that study almost instantly debunked?

I highly value CNN as an in-depth, objective news source. However, I question the wisdom and credibility of ill-founded headlines like these, especially when the conclusions they jump to are so socially and politically charged.
I have always been somewhat overweight even as a child, so this subject is always on the back of my mind. I don't think you can blame MOMS specifically. My mom owned a store and we lived there; she always cooked homecooked, non-greasy, meals every night, but I still ended up overweight.

As parents, you do need to be diligent. My child is 10 and weighs about 93 lbs, topping the charts. She looks fine, but I feel it would be better if she was even a few lbs. lighter, giving her some leeway for the future. I don't say anything about the weight, but I do comment when I know she's overeating because the food is good and not because she's hungry, but we never say that she'll be fat, just a reminder to not eat when she is full. I also sign her up for various classes so that she's supplementing PE. She has a 45 minute gymnastic class on Monday, she's on a basketball team on Thursdays, and she has swimming lessons on Saturdays. It takes time away from doing homework and hanging out with us, but I need to make sure she has enough exercise. We also monitor TV/computer time (school nights is 0-30 minutes, mostly 0, and about an hour on weekends), and we try not to have bad snacks around the house. She has at least one serving of veggies and two fruits a day (that's a lot for a kid), and she is still on the borderline of being overweight!

I'm trying very hard to do all the right things and still have this problem. Imagine if you don't...
I am one of those who believe physical education in the schools should be more motivating, and that part of the education with phy.ed should have included health and nutrition. Understanding the pyramid and making food choices. I personally think that if the students are educated they could make much better food choices socially, watching others make better choices at school, and school food choices must be changed to allow students to correspond with those choices in and out of school. The home will continue that path. Educating parents would be of assistance.
All parties must work together to make this happen.
The title of this article is offensive. Why in the world would CNN choose to stoke the stay-at-hom vs. working-mom debate even further with such a controversial and disingeuous hypothesis? I understand the role hype plays in the media but honestly, the question posed is better left to Fox News.
PARENTS are responsible for what goes into their kids' mouths - not just Mom, not just Dad. Let's not complicate things.
Making an assumption that working mothers are somehow related to the populations increase in obesity is ludicrous. The only way this “theory” could be mildly feasible would be if our society had never been introduced to the wave of fast food chains and frozen dinners. With that said, in the days of June Cleaver, it was rare if families had more than one TV set in the household, and video games did not exist, children were forced to actually use their imagination and play outside.
So if you want something to blame, it’s technology.
I can cook. But my cousins and friends and coworkers my age cannot. They said no one taught them! Who raises their children without teaching them life skills??

So we have new mothers AND fathers who can't cook-don't grocery shop properly- are so busy- etc. But in reality, they just lack the proper basic skill set. So, lazy parents who use TV and the XBOX as a babysitter along with quick food for meals ARE TO BLAME for the rise in obesity. School lunches don't matter if healthy lunches are packed every morning. Reduction in recess doesn't matter if the family takes a walk after dinner and bike rides on the weekends. Kids won't scoff at veggies if they've snacked on them all their life.

IT IS NO MYSTERY.

Learn how to cook! Then teach your children how to cook. teach them how to clean the house. teach them how to manage finances. teach them how to value education and health.

time management and organization is the key to success.both parents. both.

its no secret.
Blaming childhood obesity on the employment status of the mother is highly dubious. Children’s behavior and habits are generally reflective of their parents. There are a lot of obese children who grow up in homes with stay at home mothers, the problem being the behavior of the family as a whole. If parents each junk food, do not exercise and spend most of their time in front of a TV or computer, is it any surprise that childhood obesity is on the rise? I am a single parent of a six year old, and I make sure that we do things together that promote physical activity. As a result, she just finished her third adult 5K running race, snow skis about thirty times a season and DOES NOT have a video game or a computer to use at my home. The bottom line is that if you are a couch potato, don’t expect your kids to be any different.
Yes, working moms are responsible for chubby kids. Working moms are also responsible for global warming, the war in Iraq, Avian flu, the 9/11 attacks, and that guy with the funny hair on American Idol.

Mea culpa.

But, CNN is responsible for putting such a ridiculous, flame-baiting headline on this story. Please, I though Dr. Gupta would above this nonsense.
Our kids eat too much junk, they watch too much TV, they play too many videogames and listen to music that is horribly inapproprate. We as parents are too tired, busy, or guiltridden to step in and say "not in my house", and it is absolutly our own fault. I have been a foster parent for years, and have seen every imaginable abuse. One form of abuse that is almost never talked about however is the absolute lack of impulse control that is allowed in kids. We are doing the next generations no favor if we do not teach them the ability to control their desires.
Working mothers MAY be PART of the problem but they are in no way THE problem. There are dozens upon dozens of reasons why American children (AND ADULTS!!) are obese. The overwhelming majority are obese as a result of personal life style choices and habits, a very small handful are obese due to medical conditions. You could say that obesity is suicide by installment plan, whether intentional or not.

The saddest thing about this "American Disease" is that it is essentially 100% preventable. The number of people who are obese due to circumstances beyond their control is so small that the subject isn't even worth mentioning. Fault for obesity cannot be placed upon one problem. Where obesity in adults is concerned, the adults themselves carry the ultimate responsibility because they're old enough and educated enough to know better. Likewise, adults as a collective group carry the ultimate responsiblity for obesity in children because of faulty or nonexistent education on the issue, being poor personal examples (Do As I Say, Not As I Do), marketing aimed at pushing unhealthy food on children (yes, pushing, as in drug pushers!!), and the whole "Super Size Me!" way of life.

The list of causes of obesity is nearly as endless as the universe itself. The issue is not to place blame on any one group or idea but to get the total population to realize that the ultimate responsibility lies with the individual and to act on it. Children are capable of learning this too if we make the effort to teach them.

Sadly, this will not be happening anytime soon so within a decade or so we'll most likely start seeing 15-year-old heart attack victims and other medical problems previously associated primarily with senior citizens appearing in teenagers and young adults.

God help us.
1. My son's kinda fat, but he isn't filled with hatred, would never say 'that's so gay' or similar hurtful crap to someone, respects women, is racially color-blind, and isn't a hater or a whiner. The fat we can work off in time.
2. Back off school menus - most kids despise school already, so don't add to their misery by feeding them greens instead of lunch. It's a break, not just nutrition.
3. Remember, it's 2007 and we're supposed to have flying cars and live on food pills!
If you want to understand our current health problems in the context of the "food" we eat, read ANYTHING by Michael Pollan.
I would have hoped that in the 21st century we could leave behind old sexist myths. If children with two working parents have growing waistlines, both the parents are equally at fault, not just the mother. This is a health issue, and should not be made into a gender issue.
People need to get their heads out of the dark. Who wants their kids or themselves to be fat, get a clue. Schools need to step in and P.E. needs to be a requirement from K thru High school. Parents also need to do their part, to help themselves and their kids, go for walks and eat healthier. The medical profession also needs to treet this as a disease and take steps to look at the whole picture. Not everyone is the same, and I think that is our problem. NO ONE WANTS TO BE FAT.
Every one of the posters on this blog should, if they haven't already, watch the documentary "Super Size Me". All issues and this topic are nicely addressed in the film.
The lack of healthy choices in school lunch programs, ease of accessability to fast food, lack of phys-ed funding on our nations school system, two parent job stresses on the family, a t.v. and video game driven society, and the general failure of our recent and present administrations to put the children first(the war is first in this administration!) has ALL contributed to the epidemic (can we call it anything else?) of obesity in this country!
Obesity is a cultural phenomenon, based on advertising, education and the lack of real food for many people. Our school district no longer has a kitchen, they have warmed meals shipped from somewhere else and the meals are terrible. Salt, fat, carbs. Many low income children rely on school breakfasts and lunches adding to the problem.
Of course the PARENTS need to take responsibility for their child's health. Moms and Dads. What needs to happen is for parents to take an active role in their child's diets by helping school districts change food menus. My mom is a teacher at a local elementary school and even though they grow organic food in their garden, they aren't allowed to eat it because it is not sanctioned by the government!
Revolution Foods in Emeryville CA sells nutritious and healthy meals to school districts at about the same price, so it can be done:
http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_5852434
I am a working mom and make sure our meals are healthy, we hardly eat any meat but rely on beans, rice, grains, and fresh veggies and fruits. We NEVER eat fast food, that stuff is poisonous!
Give me a break.....who isn't responsible for the fattening of children. Moms and Dads work all day and then get home and dont have the energy to get up and change the tv channel when they cant find the remote let alone cook a healthy meal for themselves or their kids.

Its not because moms work. The fact that mom is at work all day doesn't mean she should go shopping and buy chips and candy and ice cream and all the other fattening stuff you'll see packed in their cupboards, thats advertisings fault. They target children cause they know how easily captivated they are by a dancing cartoon character telling you to buy cheese doodles or snacky cakes. And these days, parents are push overs cause they cant slap their kids for getting out of line so now they just get what they want so they shut up.

Oh and as for not letting your kids exercise because your afraid they will get kidnapped is absolutely ridiculous and not very well thought out. About 800,000 kids come up missing each year, that includes family abductions, non family abductions, runaways and throwaways. Let's see, if we break that evenly, thats 200,000 missing children per category. If you have a good family and no crazy ex husband or wife, and you haven't completely screwed up your childs psyche, the only thing to worry about is a stranger abducting your kids and by these numbers you have a better chance of winning the jackpot in a state lottery about 4 times in your life. Oh, and if by chance your child might get snagged on the way home from school or something, lets make sure they're good and fat so they have no chance to get away lol what a joke, give me a break.

Ok, short and skinny, kids are fat cause their PARENTS, not just mom, are irresponsible and lazy and dont have the energy to deal with a screaming, whiney brat, or two. There are other factors, advertising,etc; but ultimately it is both parents responsibility to say no to their kids and not fold or be weak and give in to what they want. Kids have been coming up missing for years, so if that was a fear from the beginning, you shouldn't of had one. You want a shut in child, get a cat. Take responsibilty for your own actions and grow your kid into a position to live a long and healthy life.......and everyone stop making excuses!!!!! Oh and stop being sexist pigs, womens fault....i hate whoever came up with that one.
Typical sexist garbage. What about working dads? Didn't their mom's teach them how to cook?
What a disgusting headline. That is how ideas get planted in the public mind. Most people who see the headline won't read the article, they will just link the concepts "women," "blame," and "obesity in kids." As a journalist, you know perfectly well this is how headlines work.

To put it another way: throw enough mud and some of it sticks. Betsy, you should be ashamed of yourself. People already think badly enough of women, there is no need to make it worse.
Apparently working women are at fault for everything that is wrong with the world. If someone will please pay my bills, I will be more than happy to stop working! If I quit my job, we would lose the house and my husband would probably divorce me. Then I would be a drain on society, and would be getting blamed for that!

My kid is not fat, but I'm a few pounds overweight, my fault for that. It is possible to feed your kid an apple instead of a Twinkie, and it really isn't any more time-consuming. Your kid might complain, but who is the boss?

People are fat because they eat too much junk food because they LIKE IT, and they aren't active enough. The kids don't even have PE any more, and some schools are doing away with recess!
lets see the obesity rates are highest in the south, were the rates of working mothers is at its lowest? How does that work?

Lets see I go to work, and my kids are in a daycare were they have to run around all day and play, with no tv - and food that is 100% natural, no artificial sweetners made from corn - which is turning out to be one of the possible causes in the rise of obesity and diabetes.

Just how are my kids, or other working moms kids getting fat in that kind of enviroment?
It's not just mom; it's the parents in general. I could relate stories, but we've all seen/heard them. Everything starts with the parents: both good and bad. Eating habit, behavior, respect issues. I'm old school and I'm not that old! Where has repect for the person, property and everything else gone?

Education on all subjects, be it eating or whatever, must come from the parents.
My mother stayed home. I've fought obesity my entire life. My mother is obese and taught me her wonderful habits. It doesn't matter if you work or not, it's what you are teaching them by example.
It's economics. Our economy has not allowed mothers (or fathers)to stay at home with the children since the 80's. Schools have cut back on exercise, and our children are unforunantly being raised by after school programs or daycare centers. Not by their own parents.

In 20 years we are going to have a bunch of hyper overwieght 20 year olds all around us. Talk about Chaos.

Now that mom's HAVE to work there is no one to take care of the home, most dad's do not or will not step up to the plate to help out.

Gee, our kids are obese and neglected, what a surprise!!
It's lack of discipline from BOTH parents in American families. This same *liberal* and jackassed lack of discipline is also what's raising generations of spoiled, materialistic, snotty, bratty little children that develop and grow up into materialistic, consume-consume-consume automatons that can't even think for themselves anymore but must have every little techno-titillation and the "latest thing". We are a SICK SOCIETY & CULTURE. No wonder the rest of the world hates us--they see us for what we are: greedy, selfish, self-centered people and nation. Shame on all of us. It's also political correctness--that PC crap is tearing our country apart!
As an American living in the Netherlands for the last 12 years, I have seen a steady increase in the percentage of oversized Dutch people. The only conclusion I can draw (and my Dutch friends agree with me), the Dutch are adopting the American way of eating, food packaging, and restaurants are serving larger portions. More and more people are eating out. I see American (they use [i]that[/i] word) style buffets - all you can eat.

I do give the Dutch credit in how they handle a problem. If it is a health issue, it is dealt with by taking the advice of health professionals. In the US I feel many issues are [i]moralized[/i] and not looked at objectively by professionals in the associated field.
It's BOTH parents' fault, not just the Mom. Too much freedom for kids, and not enough punishment and discipline. Can you believe the crazy California state legislator-Mom who actually, seriously introduced a bill to outlaw spanking of children?!? It's this kind of dribble that allows our social fabric to decay away. Sad.
I think it's ridiculous to blame the mother. Is this still a man's world or what!!! If a woman has to work to help support her family, how is that HER fault? Perhaps the meals aren't as healthy as they could be in the home of a working Mom but I feel most are doing the very best they can to keep their kids healthy. At least in my circle of friends (who all are working moms).
Cut the dessert, candies, and snacks. That's a start.
ExCUse me? How ridiculous is this question? Would you even THINK about asking "Are working dads responsible for children's obesity?"

No?

Didn't think so. What an ignorant bunch of nonsense.
Funny how men rule the world but women are responsible for the problems. Instead of pointing fingers while this problem gets worse, let's get our heads together to find a solution AND make it a priority. School cafeterias need to provide much better options as well as fast food restaurants. In the meantime, we should be teaching the kids (as a community) to make better choices. They will ALWAYS have these temptations. Kids just need to see a united front from us adults in this fight, and we are not giving them that message now.
Well, there is no doubt in my mind, moms and dads have failed to take primary responsibility for kids and nobody else can do it as effectively. Shame on adults for choosing materialism and undermining "stay at home" moms. America will pay the price, with obesity the least of the problems (education and discipline are others).
Everyone needs to take a look at the farm bill which subsidizes things like corn and encourages farmers to grow these "filler" foods instead of other more nutritious items. Shopping for healthy foods on a budget is almost impossible because of this. This bill makes items that contain corn syrup cheaper and floods our super market shelves with them. There was a very interesting article published by the NYTimes about this on April 22, 2007. It's worth taking the time to read it.
School lunches are horrible. Rolls and doughnuts are offered for breakfast, deep fried foods and milkshakes for lunch. A snack of Doritoes and Mt Dew after school while playing X-Box, and then a supper of Pizza Hut or KFC.... is anyone actually shocked at the rising obesity in our kids? It's not the fault of working moms. The fault lies in our society as a whole and the laziness we have all accepted as normal.
I find this whole topic sexist. What about the working dads?
Despite working a full time job, I still come home and cook meals for my children. All four of them attend karate class and they are involved in soccer, basketball, softball and baseball. The person who I neglect in working out is me. I know I need to get more exercise. I used to be in the Army and was paid to exercise but once I became a civilian, the exercise was something I had to find time for and with work and kids it has definitely taken a backseat.
With gender roles slowly becoming equal and even "reversed" in terms of 1950s era thought, why are fathers not as much responsible as mothers? Why is it still okay for fathers to abdicate their involvment at home? Either parent can stay at home, or be available and take an active role in their child's eating habbits. Even better, why not both? In addition, on the weekends, and even in the evenings despite being tired - believe me, your child is too after a day at school, find a physcal active to participate in as a family or one-on-one. Something as simple as a walk, bike ride, or shooting a couple of hoops will improve your mood, make you feel better, decrease waist lines of the entire family, and make your child feel special.
Parents are absolutely to blame for obesity in children - whether it be the mother or father - one or both parents need to provide a healthy diet for their child. Children have no concept of nutrition. Just like we have to teach them to talk and walk, we have to teach them how to eat and live in a healthy way. It is infuriating to me when I see an obese 4 yr old and the parents shrug and say "We try and take the junk food away, but it's all he'll eat." Children learn by example and by what they see and experience.
the rising child obesity rate can't be entirely blamed on any one cause. it's true that mom not being home as often makes it more difficult to eat a balanced meal every night, but how about looking at other reasons as well. these days it's a luxury if a family can live on one income. so it's not just that mom works, it's that both mom and dad are working longer hours to make ends meet- dad doesn't have any more time to pick up the slack than mom does. schools have very limited p.e. classes. the school day is significantly longer. fear for safety means kids can't go out and play like they used to, even if they could find the time in between bus drop off, dinner, homework, and their activity load. these days families are practically going broke PAYING for the kinds of extra curricular physical activities that used to be provided through schools.

aside from activity level, consider the junk that is sold as food in the grocery these days!! and who decided schools should have any sort of vending machine?!? a few months ago my daughter's school was studying diabetes. the nurse came in to talk the class about fitness and balanced nutrition. during that week the only vegetable on the school menu was corm- which is really a starch! scanning the menu for green veggies might net you one serving of peas per month. they eve sell ice cream and slushies during lunch, which makes for many tears at home when i pack my daughter's lunch instead of letting her buy that pseudo food.

what we need is a national focus on health for all age groups and a step back from the american "bigger is better" culture when it comes to nutrition.
I'd be interested to see the difference in the percentage of obsese kids in families with mothers who do not work and those that do. I see plenty of overweight children from families where the mother (or father) does not have a traditional out of house job.
Blaming overweight kids on working mothers is ridiculous! Plenty of mothers work full time and still feed their families healthy meals, both here and in other countries, and lots of kids get plenty of exercise regardless of how much their parents work. The big problem isn't a woman (or a man) working their hardest to provide for their family, it's the food industry. Through marketing and biased studies, they try to convince the American consumer that a quick fix or modified product is superior, and even healthier, than locally produced veggies, fruit, and meat. Think about it and read up on it (I recommend Animal, Vegetable, Mineral by Barbara Kingsolver). If you knew what kind of additives and junk was being put into their "convenient" food, you'd never buy it again. You work hard for your dollars, know what you're getting in return and what they are putting into that "food" that you put into your body. And help out those less fortunate--people on food stamps get an average of $21 per person per week. That works out to $1 a meal...is that a working mom's fault???? How is her family supposed to eat healthy on $1 per meal??
America is obese because our cities are designed for the vehicle and nobody walks anymore.
Why must this 'story' lead with such a ridiculous and inflamatory question? Obviously both parents bear responsibility.
I agree that children eat what their parents eat, hence it is a family problem not a "working mom" problem. Plenty of dads are guilty of the drive-through habit, as are moms who do not work outstide of the home, but are too tired/lazy to cook. Two strategies that work for us- 1) Cook as a family on the weekend for the whole week and 2)playtime before TV time.
As a working mom each day I pack a healthy lunch for my children. I go out of my way to buy organic food. But yet again the media demonizes working moms. Yes if I had my way I would stay home but for some people that scenario just does not exist. Please please stop picking on working moms for all the problems in the world we have enough guilt as it is.... I would like to see the facts that back up this report. How wide of a study? What were the demographics of the group ect…
It's too easy to blame working moms for obese kids. If it now takes both parents working to keep up with the Joneses and make ends meet then mom and dad have to come up with a plan to nuture their family. If they are unable to nuture their family appropriately then they should reconsider having one or consider the number of children that they can manage. By "manage" I mean BOTH parents share equal responsibility for the physical and emotional development of each child. If both parents work then some provision must be made to provide the proper parenting in their absence. That includes nutrition, hygiene, education, socialization, physical exercise, mental stimulation, STRUCTURE and discipline. Both parents should have active participation in setting up these basic needs and for monitoring their success. Don't be too quick to blame working moms. It's a much bigger picture than that.
I am not impressed by the gender stereotypes I am reading here. Father bashers and mother bashers alike be ashamed. We live in a society, especially on the coasts, where both parents must work in most families to make ends meet, and both should be equally responsible for the children and the income.
My childhood is a perfect example of why mothers can be to blame for childhood/teenage obesity. My mother, although she knew how to cook, preferred to just heat up frozen meals or stop at fast food restaurants because she was lazy. When she did cook, it was inevitably someting fried. In addition to lazy, she was also selfish, and would not let me participate in after-school sports because she did not want the inconvenience of picking me up during the time she watched her soap operas.

So, because my role model was fat and lazy, I became a fat, lazy obese child and teenager. 20 years later, I'm still struggling with weight problems and now have added stress of trying to be a /good/ role model for my daughter.

Childhood friends of mine had mothers that worked, yet still managed to keep their kids fed properly and active. I think it has less to do with whether or not the mother works and more to do with her motivation, priorities, and personality.
I am a 23 year old male, 6'-3" and 210 lbs. My body fat percentage is nominal and I make conscious decisions when I choose what I eat. I owe that to my parents, both of whom worked. Growing up, my sister and I (who is also of a healthy weight) came home to an empty house. We did our homework, played, or participated in youth sports programs. Snacks were always available, but they were almost always healthy; cereal, rice cakes, milk, orange juice, granola bars, etc. Did we have junk food every so often? Of course, but our every day diet was fairly balanced and definitely healthy. For that, I thank both my mother and my father. It is completely unfair to place the blame on working mothers for the social ill of childhood obesity. EVERY parent is responsible for the safety of their child, why is health the exception? Unfortunately responsibility and accountability are being eroded from parental obligation, and at the expense of our own future.
I am a 23 year old male, 6'-3" and 210 lbs. My body fat percentage is nominal and I make conscious decisions when I choose what to eat. I owe that to my parents, both of whom worked. Growing up, my sister and I, who is also of a healthy weight, came home from school to an empty house (when we reached a reasonable age of course). We did our homework, played, or participated in youth sports programs. Snacks were always available, but they were almost always healthy; cereal, rice cakes, milk, orange juice, granola bars, etc. Did we have junk food every so often? Of course, but our every day diet was fairly balanced and definitely healthy. For that, I thank both my mother and my father. It is completely unfair to place the blame on working mothers for the social ill of childhood obesity. EVERY parent is responsible for the safety of their child, why is health the exception? And why focus on mothers as a scapegoat? Unfortunately responsibility and accountability are being eroded from parental obligation, and at the expense of our own future.
We cannot forget the importance of breastfeeding. It is difficult for working mothers to breastfeed, because workplaces are not supportive. It is proven that babies who are breasfed are less likely to be overweight later in life. I am not sure that the relationship is between increased working mothers and obesity, but rather less breastfed babies and increased obesity.
This article has some blantantly incorrect assumptions. First, not all mothers cook, whether they work or not. Secondly, many kids are picky eaters, so even if their mothers cooked, the kids might prefer to eat different food. Thirdly, exercise for kids should be more affordable. Kids are not going to walk by themselves on the sidewalk. They need free organized afterschool sports programs that are fun. Today the commericals and FDA allow many sugary, corn syrup filled and high caloric foods to be glamorized to children while they watch cartoons. Are the mothers to blame for that, too?
I can't believe in 2007 you would blame MOM for obesity in children. Why not post this story right NEXT to the unfortunate young lady being stoned to death for the shaming of her family? It is a completely spurious correlation. ALL Americans are getting fatter because of the ridiculous portion sizes, the amount of additives in our food and our sedentary life style. And, most Americans seem to like to blame others for their problems – rather then work hard at loosing weight and bypassing some temptations once in a while. Both parents have to set a good example. Even if you are busy, and don’t have time to cook make the right choices when you eat out. Also, making dinner is not that difficult. Stock the refrigerator on the weekends with healthy things that can be cooked fairly quickly.
The thought that a working mom is causing kids to be fat is absurd. I feel the 3 main reasons are:
1. video games and computers - kids just sit and play instead of going outside and being active.
2. Television - the amount of television directed towards kids has risen exponentially since the 70's
3. The availability of fast food - they seem to be on every corner now.

You can also look at the shrewd marketing of supermarkets, putting the sugary snacks at eye level for kids, the amount of sodas that now prevail the store shelves, the portion sizes of restaurants, the amount of processed foods, and the list can go on and on.

Does some of the blame land on the parents? Sure, but you don't blame one snowflake for the avalanche.
Rubbish. The problem doesn't lie with working Moms. The problem lies within our increasingly sedentary society.

Other countries who have working Moms don't seem to have the same problems with obesity in children.

It's not just children who are getting obese. It's all segments of US society. We need to realize the only things that are to blame for obesity are lack of exercise, and lack of fruits and vegetables in the diet.

Besides, doesn't "Dad" have some responsibility in this equation too? I think it's rather insulting to Moms AND Dads to just cut men out of the picture all together.
What about BREASTFEEDING!!!!!!!

Everyone is blaming the Moms, when in fact it is proven that a breasfed baby is less likely to become overweight later in life. Workplaces should encourage breastfeeding and moms should be also strongly encouraged to nurse their babies. I would honestly blame the formula companies, who make you believe formula is just as good as what nature intended for our kids.
So where's the evidence to show that the children of working women are more likely to be overweight than those with stay at home moms? From my experience, seems like socio-economic status and city planning issues (sidewalks, parks, etc) are much, much more important than whether moms work. And at least in Georgia, where I live, the laws mandate that daycare kids must get plenty of time on the playground, which is more than most stay-at-home moms can manage given other household responsibilities.
Both parents are responsible for the health of their children.

Our society has changed, with most families requiring two incomes to meet the standard of living in the U.S. today. It is unfair to point the finger at mothers.

Something needs to change -- our kids would be better off in all respects if one parent (mother or father) could stay home. Kids need consistent guidance in this changing world, with someone available to create a healthy, secure base. But I wonder how many would chose to live with fewer material rewards, even if they could, to make that happen? "Stay-at-home parent" is not a glamorous job. American society no longer values this role, and, as a result, we no longer value the careful raising of our children. Increasing obesity is just one of many consequences.
Garret Hols, your parents will be so proud of your comment!
"Are women responspible for obesity among children? "
This MUST be a joke. Why is it the women's fault for not making balanced meals and not making the kids go out to exercise? Where is the father's role in raising children? How about supporting the family with more than just finances.
I am a 53 year old man. Back in the day children had to walk or bike to school, sports activities, going to friends houses, ect. My children so not know what a bike is. My mother had 5 children and no time to drive anyone. We were taught to stay away from strangers.

Children now have PLAY DATES. What ever happened to letting kids go out a play!

It unfair to blame working moms.
Money is NOT an excuse for not eating healthy. I am a student making just above minimum wage and living in an urban area. Nevertheless, I still stop at Whole Foods everynight and buy food to make dinner from scratch. True, I only have two people to feed - but the point is you can find the money for things that are important. Perhaps cutting the cable/internet, Netflix, video game, etc bills would help.
Hi There
I work and my child gets far more exercise and eats much better than the kids I know whose mom is at home. She has supervised outside play during the day(when she's not learning) and she never sees a tv and is on a set eating schedule - no snacking all day long like kids at home. Sorry guys, you're way off on this one!
What utter nonsense! It wasn't that long ago historically that mothers were being blamed for children having autism, the old "cold mother" theory. Now mothers and only mothers are at fault for children being fat? Have all fathers in America become helpless?

The causes of obesity are complex and many, ranging from insulin resistance to poor health habits, with many possibilities in between. Add to that the universal use of cars for transportation, lots of television watching, computer and video game use and the prevalence of people eating convenience foods that are loaded with carbs washed down with soda, which is nothing more than fizzy sugar syrup, and you have a recipe for fat kids and fat adults.

When I was a kid, there were two hours of kids' programming available daily on my local television stations. Video games did not exist, and computers were huge machines in glassed-in rooms at universities and IBM. During the times that there was nothing on that a child would be interested in watching, we had to make our own entertainment, which meant playing outside, riding bikes, climbing trees, or we would hear the Mother's Refrain, "Find something to do, or I'll find something for you to do!" We did household chores too, and didn't die as a result of such "abuse". Soda was an occasional treat, not our sole beverage. Look in any grocery cart being pushed around the supermarket today - filled with soda, snack junk and processed "instant" food laden with salt, corn syrup and empty calories.

Lifestyle choices are responsible for much, though not all obesity, and many people are making terrible lifestyle choices due to ignorance about nutrition. Add to that the current climate of letting kids have and do anything they want so that parents can feel like their child's best friend, and the overwhelming fear of child abduction fuelled by exploitative reporting in the media, and you have a recipe for couch potato kids sitting around all day, never seeing the sunshine or playing outside, eating tons of garbage washed down with zillions of empty calories from soda cans.

Ignorance is what's making kids fat - ignorance of nutrition, because it isn't taught in schools or at home any longer, ignorance of the fact that stranger child abduction is so rare that your child is more likely to be hit by a meteor than being abducted, ignorance about exercise for children being vital, and ignorance about child raising to the point where kids are spoiled little dictators with parents who are desperate to stay on the little brats' good side. What does such ignorance breed? A bunch of unhealthy fat kids with no muscle tone who have no self-control and who eat and do whatever they want, whether it is good for them or not.
This sounds like a lame attempt to keep women barefoot and pregnant. Firstly, most working moms I know would rather stay at home, but that's not financially possible. Secondly, shouldn't working dads take an active interest in their children's diet, too?
Working parents are not to blame.
Lazy parents and the culture/American food (and certainly, genetics) are the culprit.
I grew up in Europe - away from burgers and french fries, where everyone's mom went to work...I was never fat: my mom made soup and meals early in the morning, taught us to heat it up and packed lunches for me and my sister.
In the US, it is tempting to go for a quick fix; it is easy to allow the child to eat sugar-loaded cereal in the morning and hot dogs for lunch; it is how a lot of these parents grew up. And all this soda drinking in this country...it is crazy.

No matter whether the parents work or not, their attitude towards their children's food and exercise will be the same.

Olya
Unfortunately, the burden for meal planning, shopping and cooking falls more on women than men, married or not, working outside the home or not. I am a divorced mother of two teenagers. I don't keep soda and juice, chips, candy or pizza in the house. Occasionally we will have these items as treats, but not more than once a month. Do the kids complain? Of course they do. ("There's nothing to eat...whine, whine.") I have plenty of fresh fruit, milk, cheese, veggies, and healthy cereal. When we eat out, we skip the fast food (except as an occasional treat) and opt for salads and healthy sandwiches. Neither kid is overweight. Ultimately parents (usually moms) are responsible for maintaining a healthy weight in their kids, teaching them about portion size and nutrition, and helping them get enough exercise.
I would have to agree that part of the problem is the fear of abduction, abuse, etc. We lived in the city for a while, and my children did not go outside to play...period. There was too much gang and drug activity in the area...at least one drive by resulted in a bullet coming through our wall! This wasn't even a bad part of town...wasn't a high class neighborhood, but was one a person making $2,500 raising two kids on her own could afford (daughter's father bolted before birth, and my first husband got abusive). I remarried, and we got a place out in the country, and the kids play outside all the time, now.

I do have to disagree that the weight of the parents is always reflective of what kind of health the kids will be in. I have weight issues, but any doctor will tell you it is because of how I took care of myself in my younger years. Image was already a big problem in the 80's....many of us were going on starvation diets to stay thin. Because little light was shed on eating disorders back then, many parents weren't in tune what was going on. Now, I wouldn't say I so much as had a disorder....I mean, I would eat one or two small meals a day, and wouldn't binge. However, this caused my body to learn how to survive on fewer calories, and slowed my metabolism, so now I have a hard time even on a normal, healthy, 2000 calorie diet! My kids? Both have BMIs within the healthy range. I've never allowed too much candy or junk food, and have usually had fruits and veggies available for after school snacks (it is common to see a bag of carrots in our fridge).

I also have to agree that schools are part of the problem. I provide healthy food at home, but the lunches at school are terrible! Vegetables are over-cooked, and these days, many school cafaterias are opting for choices at lunch, that end up with children passing by the good stuff in lieu of junk food. I know at my kids' schools, they have the option of a hamburger or pizza every day. They also have the option of a salad, but how many kids are going to pick salad over pizza when their parents are not around to tell them to eat their veggies?

PE has also nearly been completely eliminated from the school day. It used to be (when I was in school) that we had PE every day. We would alternate art and music. These days, they alternate art, music, and PE....so kids only get PE like every 3rd school day!! In a world where we really cannot trust our children to be safe outside (especially when we are not home), this is the only chance some kids get to get some real exercise!

Add to all this all the junk put in what is being sold as healthy food at the grocery store! Ever read the labels of most wheat or multigrain breads? The first ingredient is BLEACHED FLOUR, not stone ground whole wheat as you would expect! Also, take a good look at how much sugar is in things like peanut butter! We think we are buying healthy, but the food we buy is riddled with chemicals and hormones, which I know have to affect our bodies in how it responds to sugar and metabolizes food! Sure, go vegetarian or buy only organic....not everyone on a budget has that luxury! I have eaten a vegetarian diet....it IS more expensive! Healthy on a budget is a roast thrown in a crock pot with a bunch of carrots, tomatoes, etc. You can eat off of this for days, and it only costs around $20 for the entire fixing! Change this roast to organic meat, and you double the price, which some (especially single moms) cannot afford. I mean, ever notice how the junk is cheaper than the good stuff? So, in a time where you have more and more single parents trying to make ends meet, and more and more deadbeats not paying their child support, it is more expensive for the family to eat healthy than it is for them to eat junk! Box of Ramen noodles costs around $2.50 for 20 packs! 80/20 ground beef is $2/lb, while leaner meat is $3/lb or more. Canned veggies are cheaper than raw veggies. Pasta is a really cheap filler. White bread is half the price of wheat or multigrain! For a family on a budget, the healthier options are not always an option! I've been there....worked my way out (currently now make about $4,500/month not counting my husband's salary)....but I was there making $2,500 BEFORE taxes, and having to make the money stretch for rent, utilities, clothes, food, car repairs, etc. I mean, before you dismiss any of this, just go to the store, and plan out a month worth of meals for a family of 3 on ONLY a $300 to $400...and say this is for the summer months.....$10-13/day for 3 people to eat 3 meals, and tell me this can be done healthy for EVERY meal! I found, I was lucky to get one healthy meal in a day! Also, keep in mind a person making this much does NOT qualify for food stamps or other subsidies to help in the food department.
I have to take issue with the statement "It is proven that babies who are breastfed are less likely to be overweight later in life."

Actually, the latest studies have found NO correlation between breastfeeding and weight later in life.

Additionally, in 2003 the The Sex Discrimination Act was amended to make clear that breastfeeding is a ground of unlawful discrimination under the Act.
In other words, if an employer doesn't provide a woman the facilities to continue breastfeeding, or discriminates against her in any way, the woman can sue.
In my experience, employers are extremely supportive.
How about the fact that we cut physical fitness programs out of schools? Dodge ball is cruel, sports are competitive so we shouldnt keep score, it is really sad. Of course the PE programs are replaced by the classes that prepare for standardized testing.
Many children have two parents or multiple adult figures in the household. I dislike the implication that only the mother cooks meals for the family. In my family, my father was responsible for all meals up until High School. At that point my sister and I had to learn to cook for ourselves.

Even with mostly home cooked meals, my sister and I were always overweight as children. We ate more than what would be considered an adult portion of food for every meal. We didn't know what was a normal portion. Not cleaning your plate was NOT an option in my household growing up. This is why I think my sister and I were overweight.

We did play outside and get plenty of exercise as children. Most of the food we ate was healthy, just too much of it.

My weight ballooned in High School and College when I drank soft drinks and ate junk food in large amounts. Exercise was about the same.

I put all my blame on portion control and junk food for obese kids.
When I was a kid we didnt have playsations and xbox we had to go outside for fun we didnt sit on our hindends for hours on end.We didnt have 24 hour a day tv either, we were outside much more than todays kids are. yes some mothers arent home as much as our mothers were. we didnt have as many candy, soda and fastfood companies targeting us either. So I cant say working moms are entirely to blame for children gaining more weight.
Well, the masses have spoken. I think we all agree that this is a poorly thought out article with a headline that screams ignorant sexism. Pull the article and get back to reporting news. You know, news, that thing you are supposedly in the business of?
There are so many reasons for the increase in childhood obesity. You can't point to one cause and ignore the others.

The 70s and 80s, when the moms entered the workforce en masse, were the same years 7-11 introduced the Big Gulp, soft drink makers started using high fructose corn syrup instead of sugar, fast food restaurants started using trans fats, school started serving more junk food - on and on and on. They just all coincided.

It was also during this era when more and more "prepared" foods were introduced so people could feel like they were making dinner from scratch but really weren't.

There was also a huge leap in single-parent homes, so more moms had to work.

To blame working moms - especially when moms had to enter the workforce - is just a copout. As working moms, we have two full-time jobs, and we're doing the best we can. There's plenty of blame to share without pouring it all on us.

Dads share the blame, as do the government and restaurants that now serve portions big enough for three people. And, yes, so do moms.
As a working mother, I am upset and annoyed regarding these comments. All of society is at fault for a large percentage of America's kids being overweight and less active. Plus, I've noticed that obese children are not just confined to families with working mothers. Obesity is a prevalent problem in all walks of life; all religions; all races; all social classes.

More crime in our neighborhoods means we can't just let the kids out to roam the streets like we did as children. School lunches are NOT healthy, by anyone's standards. Greedy corporate America created a situation where mothers had to go to work in the first place - the insane inflation of the 70s forced many mothers to join the work force (mine did) and it all went downhill from there.

I would love nothing more than to stay at home, prepare breakfast, get the kids off to school, clean the house, do laundry, help with homework, take the kids to soccer practice and have a healthy dinner in the evening - in essence, a return to the 'Leave It To Beaver' era. Unfortunately, few families, and certainly not mine, can afford to lose the income that that now non-working parent brings in. Not to mention, how will I fund my so-called golden years without my company-funded 401K when social security is going the way of the dinosaur?
My parents were much older than most parents when I was born. I'm 43 yrs old and if my folks were alive they would be in their mid 80's. My mom did not work outside the home but most moms did at that time. My folks were very particular about our diet. I never had a canned fruit or vegetable until I was in my 20's and living alone (I didn't like it). I never understood parents that don't teach their children to cultivate a taste for the finer foods. We grew up eating everything...name something...I probably have ate it and liked it.
We weren't rich by a long shot, my folks just taught us to appreciate food.
Mothers should raise their own children, rather than handing them off to someone else to raise for 9 hours a day. God made women to care for the home - it's how they are wired biologically. Why rock the cosmic boat? Most women do so for unhealthy and selfish reasons.
Isn't it funny how we must turn to the mother and point our finger and accuse her of making the children of America obese. What about the children themselves? The teenagers who sit around all day watching tv, playing video games and snacking!

It's insane to think that by giving kids only healthy choices for their school lunches they will not gain weight or magically lose weight. These kids need to have rigorous daily or at least semi-daily, physical activities. When I was in high school I ate a chocolate milk shake and a large chocolate chip cookie, or pizza everyday. My weight? 110 pounds. My height? 5'7". Don't try to tell me that it's just the food. I was very active all through my childhood and I stayed skinny. My mother did not serve healthy meals. We had a lot of junk food.

Parents - tell your kids to get off the couch and do something besides just sitting there and maybe, just maybe, we will begin to see the waistlines of kids begin to shrink.
Wow, did I end up on Sean Hannity's AM broadcast by mistake? I have never seen a more ridiculous headline. So what is the source of this highly scientific study? As a previous blogger wrote, correlation does not equal causation: I have also noticed that obesity has increased since the Checkoslovakia was split into two contries. Maybe this historical event is also to blame.

In our family we both work and we all four of us are thin. In part this is due to the fact that we are genetically fortunate. We also cook all our meals at home and stress exercise. We eat out once a week - but this is our weekly splurge and we usually go for fish. We very rarely eat fast food and we have sometimes lost our TV remote control for weeks at a time.
I am a working Mom, my husband works nights, so it's up to me to be the bad guy. No fast food during the week and very seldom on the weekends and we don't keep junk food in the house. I buy the groceries, so I make the rules.
My sons are very active with sports and outdoor activities. I'm minorly physically handicapped, but I'm outside playing frisbee or croquet with them. That way no weirdo can take my kids or harm them. Yeah, it take me a while to walk, but at least we are outside having a great time.
Be the parent make the rules. This is what we looked forward to when our parents hassled us - " when I'm a parent I'm making the rules" --remember.
Both parents do not HAVE to work. That's just a sad display of how *brainwashed* we all are in this society--thinking we HAVE TO HAVE this and that and the other. There are plenty of "new age" folks who are creating their own communities and living simply (and MUCH MORE HAPPILY) and organically, etc. and NOT buying into the corporate-driven CONSUMER SOCIETY in the USA. To those of you who feel both parents MUST work, you need a hard re-examination of what you really *need* in your life/lives: a 2,400 sq ft "McMansion"?? Gas-guzzling "monster SUV" (vs. a smaller, economical, fuel-efficient hybrid), every latest techno-gadget possible, etc. The corporations have got us RIGHT WHERE THEY WANT US, as evidenced by the commentor who wrote (again, without thinking for themself): "...both parents MUST work.." Again, we have lost our independent-mindedness.

"The Pursuit of Happiness Through Consumption." United States of America, 20th and 21st Centuries, Planet Earth
What about Dad? If kids are getting fatter because Mom works a full day and is too tired to cook a good nutritious meal why isn't the dad helping out. Last I checked kids tend to have 2 parents and dad's should be just as involved. I know plenty of men who cook wonderfully and can share the responsibilty. They also are capable of saying, hey son, turn off that video game and lets go play ball. I'm tired of women getting blamed for everything when it comes to children. We're not in this alone.
Even if this were true, why is the mom and not the dad at fault?
Are you kidding? Blame the mother? My husband and I both work. And we both work hard to make a home cooked meal just about every night except Friday's. We stay very concious of the things our children put in their mouths. Not all of it we can control. When they are out with the friends families they get the treat of Taco Bell or some other god awful fast food joint. Our food supply is so filled with artificial this and artificial that, sugar, and things in the food that we can't even pronounce the name. I cringe when i see the things people put in their grocery cart. Home cooked meals, fresh vegetables, fresh fruit. I push it constantly. And getting out to play after homework. If you are going to blame someone, blame both parents!!
I'm sure this has already been said, but why Mom? Why not blame it on working dads? Why is the problem with childhood obesity only one that can be cured by moms staying home with kids? This is just one fine example of the continuing gender gap that exists in this country. Yes, it may be more difficult for children to get good meals with both parents working, and yes, the statistics may show that since women have entered the workforce in greater numbers that childhood obesity has risen, but the only thing this proves is that children with a stay-at-home parent are better fed. It does not prove that women alone must be the ones to provide better food to their children. I am tired with society's belief that women must play the impossible dual role and men can still just work and come home and relax. Both parents need to monitor their children's weight and eating habits. By requiring men to share some of the burden, perhaps both parents can work healthy eating into theirs and their children's busy schedules.
Isnt it funny how working mothers get the blame for most EVERYTHING that is negative around the home? Does it occur to anyone that in the 70's and 80's Children went outside to play because that was all there really was to do? There was no cartoon network, no internet, no advanced gaming systems, etc. The only time you could watch cartoons was Saturday mornings or holiday specials. Family movies at home? The Wonderful World of Disney. which played on Sundays. Text mesaging? You wrote notes with a pen and paper. So our "advanced technology" has left us with a good portion of todays youth overweight,sedentary and unmotivated. Wht go out and ride a skateboard when you can play tony hawk? Or football when you can play Madden? Tell me again it is because of the working mothers, and not the changes in technology that have occured in that same time frame.
I agree somewhat. It is up to the parents to feed their children healthy foods, or, face the consequences of their child(ren) being overweight and/or having health problems. However, to say that it may be working-mothers faults is totally ridiculous! Why not working fathers then? Just because kids don't go outside and play as much anymore because of fear of abuse or abduction, does not mean they can't still be active. And just because both parents may be working doesn't mean that the entire FAMILY can't be active together. People make choices. Unfortunately, stay at home parenting is mostly a luxury now. Most families NEED to have two working parents. That's not brainwashing, that's logic. If you want to put your kid through college, you'll either have to forgo most things while they're growing up (two cars? any vacations? tutoring... the list can go on and on...), or you'll have to have more than one person working, and be saving the whole time.

However, you can still make wise choices for your family that won't keep you from having dinner together at night, and may just curb the possibility of childhood obesity. Kids can be picky eaters - but they'll be less picky if the parents are less picky. You won't hear a lot of "I don't like" about green veggies if you eat a lot more veggies to begin with. What about teaching your kids that cooking is FUN instead of a chore? Experimentation with food is a lot of fun for little kids - and if you start young, they'll likely become adults that will try something new, rather than an adult that won't eat anything but burgers and fries. People need to take responsibility for themselves and their kids. And the other commentor is right - money is NOT an excuse for not eating healthy. It costs just as much to buy an apple, if not less, as it does to buy a candybar. Make the right choices and the chances are good that your kids will too.
Mark from Sacramento,

Both parents don't have to work? Tell that to the mother and father both earning minimum wage working four jobs just to keep their one bedroom apartment and 1982 Ford Festiva with more rust than metal. What exactly are they supposed to give up, and how will that benefit the kids?
Why does the article say mothers and not parents? I see many a father taking their children to McDonalds for a quick "meal" all the time.
I cannot even believe what I just read. How about men own up to this a little bit. I'm very disappointed that "Dr." Gupta would even blog such a load of crap. Are men just robots programmed to go to work, come home, and watch sports and take no responsibility for helping to raise the children? IT TOOK TWO PEOPLE TO CREATE THE CHILDREN...TWO PEOPLE NEED TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR HEALTH...not just the women.

Signed,
Appauled
Mark in Sacramento: Your logic is flawed. Not everyone wants to be a hippie anymore. Working is not losing your independent mindedness. We are trying to teach boys and girls alike, these days, that they can get whatever job they want in the future. Why would you even think of suggesting that only one parent really *has* to work. Maybe they both WANT to work? Isn't that an option on your commune?

Not everyone has a McMansion. Not everyone drives an SUV. You're railing against the wrong people here I think. There are overweight kids out there that live in squallor. Many undernourished kids are overweight because they're eating the WRONG foods. It's not about wealth - it's about choices.
As society changes responsibilities need to be shared. It is definitely a problem, but rather than trying to figure out who to blame (like it is one person, or one role and not the complexities of life today) I think as a community we should figure out a solution that works in these times and current mind sets. Trying to turn back the clock twenty or forty years may (but most likely not since everything has changed and that is impossible) solve these but recreate the problems faced then.
Parent(s) not just mom, schools, manufacturers - all need to come together and focus on building confident and healthy future generations.
The very title of this article is deeply offensive. I personally was VERY surprised to find this on CNN and to see that the title actually WANS'T sarcastic!

Oh yes, OF COURSE, if women stayed home and cooked for the kids, we would have fewer obese children. And if MEN stayed at home and cooked - lo and behold! We would ALSO have fewer obese children.

The very existence of the idea of "moms being responsible for obesity" makes me lose all respect for CNN.

I am outraged. (And yes, my husband and I will both work, and he will cook every meal. So we'll manage to avoid obese children even with a working non-cooking mom - wow, how did that happen?! Go figure.)
"Mothers should raise their own children, rather than handing them off to someone else to raise for 9 hours a day. God made women to care for the home - it's how they are wired biologically. Why rock the cosmic boat? Most women do so for unhealthy and selfish reasons. "

Whichever Annonymous wrote that statement should be ashamed of themselves! What dumb thinking. So many things I could say, and with such a stupid comment - I'm at a total loss for words.

On the one hand, I hope that commentor wasn't a woman - because any woman that thinks that little of herself needs to be pitied. But, it's equally as bad if the writer was a man - I hope he doesn't have a wife or daughters to mistreat with that backwards thinking.
I seldom respond on internet forums and blogs, but this one is important so I wanted to post my 2 cents.

I can attribute my two boys being overweight directly to my leaving them to fend for themselves at home in the mornings and after school. When I was available to monitor their intake they were of normal weight, but as soon as I was out of the house a substantial part of everyday, they began to gain weight.

As a parent, I am trying to get better at finding the energy at the end of the day to make more balanced meals. Sure, it's easy to go get a burger, but it has a cost to my family far greater than what I pay for the food.
Of course this is complete rubbish and shouldn't even be discussd (working mom's, please). OK there's a few issues here -
One thing not discussed so far is that if our govt. wants women to stay home, breastfeed for any length of time, why is FMLA only 3 months? Our supposedly "family friendly moral govt.??? In Canada, women can take a year off to have and raise a baby - why not in the U.S??? Who is lobbying for women?
Another issue is the Doctors pressure parents these days to overfeed their kids. All of these kids in the "100th percentile (30 pounds at one year???) Dr.'s are pressuring the parents to reach this goal. Why? What is wrong with a healthy child in the 5th percentile? Why do they have to be so big?
What about all of the growth hormones in milk and other chemicals/additives/toxins that also come through in breastfeeding are passed along to the child. It's expensive to buy locally grown/chemical free food but worth it. The problem is that the food loaded with toxins is the cheapist.
Mom's that don't work, need to get their kids away from the tv's and force them to exercise, and not allow them to eat all day long! Put them on a schedule!
Mom's that do work CAN make healthy food for their kids and most do! These kids are all on schedules and most get more exercise as they are in planned programs, not sitting at home all day in front of the tv!
Do they have the same problem with obesity and heart disease in European countries? Countries where moms also work, where video games and fast food are also available? NO! We Americans are always looking for someone else to blame or sue. Personal accountability is extinct and legal liability has taken its place. We all know what causes obesity (genetic issues excepted); over-eating, lack of nutrition and exercise, so start with yourself and your own family right now!
So men have absolutely NO responsibility in caring for their children??

As a father, I find that very offensive.
Why is the Mother always blamed for stuff like this? Kids have _two_ parents. Yes, in today's economy both parents usually have to work to make ends meat, but the point is that BOTH are parents with _equal_ responsibility towards the children / family.

The problem is caused by a society that expects women to work AND do the majority of housework and child rearing tasks. If both parents are working outside of the home, then both should be equally responsible for work within the home, as well.
I think it is amazing that society creates a country where most households need both parents to work to make ends meet and then some self-important white man makes potshots at the very women that are trying to make life better for their kids by bringing in more money. What we need to do is to make our streets safer so that our kids can get the exercise they need without fear of abduction and abuse.
Yes, I think the parents are a fault in this matter. But I also think it is the way of life, that we now live. I, as a father work many hours, and it hard sometimes for my wife, and I come home and cook. But I have found it just as easy to go to the local grocery store, as it is to go to a fast food drive-thru. Fruit is a wonder food, for when children want to snack. Of course they want the sweets, and goodies, that most children want. It is a matter of readjusting their eating habits. I too, am a huge chocolate fan, and had my share. Fruit would not have been my choice to snack on. But now that I eat it more, I actually prefer to eat fruit. It is sweet, so it calms the urge for something sweet. And as a bonus, it is much more healthy. We, as a nation have become lazy, in doing what is right, and more healthy for our children. It is more easy, to go get fastfood, that it is to take the time to cook. We do not have to cook a full course meal, to eat healthy. We only need to to be careful of what we eat. Are we at fault, as parents? Yes we are. We are the parents. Taking the path of least resistance, has always been the wrong path in almost all situations in life, and always has it's downfalls when we take this path. The only way to conquer obesity, is to conquer our eating habits.
It takes two to make a child. If that child is allowed to eat high-calorie food with little nutritional value and does not get enough exercise, it is the fault of the child's caregiver(s). If it is a two-parent home, then they are both responsible. Maybe if more fathers stayed home and cooked and played with children the whole thing would go away...In all seriousness, it is our own food choices that cause the problem. Society influences them, as well.
STOP STUFFING FOOD down their throts and buying fatty & sugar loaded foods and the children wil lstay thin. Unplug the TV.....kick them out of the house & make them go totthe park or run off some extra calories. It very simple really. Yes, MOTHERS ARE TO BLAME as they feed their kids a lot of JUNK FOOD THESE DAYS!!!! When I was a kid there was NO FAST FOOD. Fast food meant Mom did it in under an hour.
Absolutely agree: this is no more Mom's problem than it is Dad's problem if there's a Dad at home. Both parents are responsible for raising the child and caring for the home.

That said, it is definitely the responsibility of the parents. From the very beginning a child is taught what to eat by what he is given and by what the parents eat. A child can't know what choices to make if he isn't shown at home.

Kids don't care about fancy meals. It doesn't take much time to broil chicken and steam vegetables. Supply milk to drink and fruit for dessert - a healthy meal in less time than it takes to stop for burgers somewhere. For school lunch: sliced turkey on whole wheat, juice or milk, piece of fruit, baby carrots. Can be made up the night before in less than 10 minutes. I know what I'm talking about - have been doing it for my kids for years.

Parents tell me their kids won't eat the healthy stuff - again, parents are at fault. If your child had only healthy food from the beginning, they would eat it. If that was all that was in your house to eat, and you ate it too, they'd eat it.

Check your cupboards, then tell me why your kids are fat. Look in the mirror at your body and tell me why your kids are fat. Tell me the last time you and your kids went for a walk, then tell me why your kids are fat.
Honestly, I am tired of all these articles trying to find someone at fault. I have been an at home mother for 3 years. I have 3 children, none of which are overweight. I now work part time nights, and additional hours at home to have 40 hours. I cook every night of the week. There are a few nights when the meals are quick and easy. Everyone lives the life they choose. If they are happy, then it shouldn't be a problem. Your children need to be healthy and happy. I honestly think that the key to healthy weight is moderation. It's ok to eat most everything, just not a lot of it. So many people consume more food then is ever neccessary. They learn this behavior and no matter what their lifestyle they continue to eat like that. I try to make sure that I feed appropriate portions, even though there are some meals I make at home that are packed with fat and calories! I just make sure that I don't make too much food, or serve too much. I know a lot of "left over" people. They make 2x the amount of food they will eat expecting to have leftovers. I think that is a problem because there is too much food period. A lot of time you will end up eating more just because it's there. Also, my parents were the type of people who would expect you to "clean your plate." I disagree with that. If you let your children listen to their bodies and stop eating when they are full, they will always know that feeling! If our children don't finish their meal, which is quite often, we wrap up the food, and if they ask for anything to eat later that night, we will reheat the rest of their dinner. We also do not allow them to eat withing an hour of sleeping. It's unneccessary because they won't be buring up those calories! Let people enjoy all the wonderful food out there. Cut back on the fast food, but don't rule it out. Teach children how much is enough.
I had to weigh in here(haha).
I believe that women in modern American society want it both ways.They want to be "free" to do any and everything under the sun but NEVER want to take even the slightest responsibility for their actions.
That is called hypocrisy.Of course their responsible.Call it what it is.
Not only are more children overweight, but so are more adults. The American lifestyle is conducive to weight gain. We like convenience, e.g., driving everywhere, having "fast food", and we like our technology, e.g., computers and video games which keep us sedentary. We need to learn to relish a more balanced lifestyle. It's not fair to blame working mothers for children's weight gain when people of all ages are becoming more overweight.
Dads are just as much to blame if they are at home-but it is a fact that far more single parent households are female headed and the vast majority of those situations are because the female head of household in question wanted custody. Its also true that many "dual" income families are dual not out of any need or concern for kids, but because the adults in question wanted more toys and/or the "adult" time that a job brings you away from your kids.

And this entire blog is a bit suspect WRT comments being representative of anything-by default those who are interested in health articles will tend to be more healthy than average and most of those who write comments here will be above median income/education levels (thus and in other words the article was not really speaking to you in all probability, more so to the hordes of low-income single moms you see at any fast food joint at lunch or dinner).
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