The Times Leader of Pennsylvania ran an interesting article — citing an unnamed research study — arguing poor children in the urban core are more likely than their richer peers to grow up obese, yet malnourished.
FORT WORTH, Texas — A study finds that obese children from poor families often don’t eat enough.
Researchers have long blamed childhood obesity and diabetes, especially in poor neighborhoods, on too much food and too little exercise.
But new findings from a San Antonio study point to another explanation: children living in poverty are obese in part because they don’t eat enough to meet the daily nutritional requirements needed for cell function and metabolism.
A 9-year-old should consume 1,400 to 2,200 calories daily to sustain growth, said Dr. Roberto Trevino, director of the nonprofit Social and Health Research Center. But in the study of 1,400 inner-city children, 44 percent were consuming less than 1,400 calories, and 33 percent were obese.
“They were not overeating,” Trevino said. “This study shows these kids were not eating enough, and when they did eat it was all the wrong things.”
Missing from the children’s diets were four key nutrients: calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus. All play important roles, but magnesium is involved in more than 300 enzymatic reactions in the body that help to spur metabolism and cell function.
Even though we don’t have the full results of the study to analyze, we can still infer several key elements missing in the Times Leader’s analysis.
1. The poor children were likely fed using government welfare Food Stamps. There has long be a call for a more regulated Food Stamps program that would demand only healthy foods were eligible for purchase. Right now, parents can buy loads of sugary junk food with Food Stamps without repercussion or governmental oversight.
2. Because the poor children are eating the wrong foods — and they’re getting fatter while being malnourished — it is obvious the parents purchasing the food have no idea how to independently construct a healthy meal. Why is the government giving parents the means to poison their children with mass-marketed food that is slowly killing the kids and giving them Type II Diabetes?
3. The poor children need direct government intervention to save their lives because their parents are not feeding them the right foods.
Here are my suggestions to remedy the problem:
1. Revoke the Food Stamps program. Free choice and free will are not winning the future welfare days of poor children in the urban core.
2. Cut the poor decision-making skills of the parents out of the loop of the welfare of their children and replace poorly exercised healthy eating skills with mandatory classes for kids and their parents that teaches the why and the how of good eating habits.
3. Create a National Home Food Service that will replace Food Stamps by delivering a month’s worth of meals at a time to Welfare families. Each meal is pre-planned and approved by the government just like school lunches: No government cheese included. If you cannot provide for your children, the price you pay is the loss of selection in food choices and in determining what is and is not appropriate to place in your mouth and in your child’s mouth.
What do you think?
How would you solve the problem of poor children growing up in the urban core overweight and malnourished?