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Parents feeding their children fast food

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/9/2012 Category: Health
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,363 times Debate No: 21851
Debate Rounds (5)
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Everyday parents are bringing their children to fast food restaurants such as McDonald's, Burger king, Wendy's, etc. People are always wondering why their is an increase of obesity in children. Well, maybe one of the reasons could be poor food choice. Every generation of our youth is increasingly gaining more and more weight. Fast food is indeed a huge factor in this problem. Parents always give the excuse that they do not have time to cook or they need something quick for dinner, but it only takes a few minutes to boil some pasta. To me, this excuse is just a cover up for being lazy. Fast food is also a bad habit to get into. For instance, I know of a two year old child whose parents constantly give her fast food chicken nuggets. This has become such a normal routine for her that when she was given the choice of a piece of ham over a chicken nugget, she refused to eat the piece of ham. Instead she ate the fast food chicken nugget whole. This is not a good start to a healthy life style for this child. Now, it is not only the child eating this way, but the child's parents as well. Children look up to their parents as role models and if a parent is constantly eating fast food, their children, more then likely, will too. If you ever took the time to look at the calories in a Big Mac or a 12 piece chicken nugget, you would probably never step foot in a McDonald's again. Now image a five year old or even a two year old eating these kinds of foods. It's almost sickening to think that we are helping our children become obese by setting bad examples.


I have to say I agree with you in some cases, but on the other hand, this is up to the parent.

The parent of the child is their parent for a reason. They will raise the child how they want. They can feed it what they want, show it what they want, teach it what they want, and they are in control of the childs enviroment. As a parent (which I'm guessing you are), I understand where you would think that this is wrong and where you would want to change this. Myself, I am only a 16 year old boy. I don't quite understand the feeling of being a parent. What I do understand, is that you can control what your kids are involved with.

If they are going to feed their kids fast food, and then complain about obesity and bad health, let them. They are the parents of the child. They decide what THEY think is right for the child and what isn't.

I'm just shooting in the dark in this debate to be honest, but if anything, I'll learn something.
Debate Round No. 1


I thank my opponent for taking on this debate and learning with me

I discussed a reason for childhood obesity. The truth is sometimes painful to listen to or read, this topic certainly getting a lot of attention, I think. I want to raise awareness about childhood obesity and a major cause parents. While there are ads on TV for fast food restaurants that intrigue children, that's what sparked my of debate about who exactly is responsible for this problem. Many articles I read believe parents are to blame.

I have have read and believe parents of overweight kids ignore the problem. Strange that they think it's just that their kids will grow out of it. Maybe they are overweight themselves and don't see any problems in the future. Perhaps they just want to blame the others( the food manufacturers and fast food stores, school education for the their child's weight problem).
We can probably both say that the temptation for fast food is in every city or town, making it an easy dinner choice for parents who are over-worked and too busy to prepare a home-cooked meal. Maybe you may even agree that things like unhealthy meals at schools,kids telling parents they want to stay inside and play video games and the internet is causing kids to become obese. But can we really blame society/internet/fast food restaurants for making our kids fat? Or let's make it the Parents!! Some parent's even say that it's the kids fault. They're the ones making the choices to eat the sugar, fatty foods. They're the ones who are playing the video games. Instead of riding a bike. But who are their role models at home? and where are they getting the money and permission to eat this way?
It boils down to the parents. McDonald's doesn't do home delivery. We live in a country where two-thirds of all adults are now overweight and parents don't know how to teach healthy habits when they, themselves, don't know what to do.


The parents in some way are to blame. On the other hand, children have the right to make their own decisions (when it comes to food) at a certain age. Is a 13 year old boy or girl going to eat only what their parents want them too? They have a say in what they eat. They are somewhat to blame on their appearance.

Some part of the obesity problem even comes through genes. If someones parents are obese, both of them, that could play a role. Opposed from someone gaining the weight all by themselves. In our society, we are SURROUNDED with these fast food restauraunts, the parents are DEFINETELY not the only ones to blame.

Another role playing factor in the issue is that everyone has a different metabolism. In a family of 3 kids.. Maybe 1 kid is slim, 1 is average, and 1 is obese. Not everyone is going to eat different things for supper everynight. So if you are trying to cut down on the obese childs' meals, how is that fair to the other kids?

Sizes of familys, a familys wealth, and our enviroment is the biggest issue with obesity. Not the parents.
Debate Round No. 2


I like that my opponent brings to light a family's wealth, which brings special treats(being able to afford all types of gadgets) for the family. Because who passes the wealth to the children by buying the food and or gagdets that make them stay inside the house? The parents. Yes kids sometimes are stubborn and will want to eat what and where they want, but parents ultimately have the last word or say.
The children need to be encouraged doing activities outside or in the playground rather than sitting down doing nothing for their health. I can't think parents will want an overweight child, so you would think they already should be looking into the future. I think obesity is mostly caused by parents considering what they spend on their child's techno gadgets. These games, Ipods, computers, internet which encourage their child spend more time sitting, watching TV etc. Kids who have been dealing with obesity for sometime should finally tell their parents it's not just the unhealthy foods that brought us to this stage, but all the money you give me to play games, buy Ipods etc...

I think there are some simple ways parent's can address or change their kids habits and make them healthy again. First you would probably want to turn off the television, Ipods, PCs, Computers and game systems. All that is addictive. It's true for parents, and it certainly is true for kids, who spend most of the day sitting in school, watching TV , texting, typing, looking at you tube. This is valuable time they could spend riding a bike, tossing a ball, shooting hoops, swimming, helping around the house etc... It's up to the parents' in charge and to take charge, to set limits, as challenging as that might be with their kids.

Second and most important is to set an example or be their role model. Telling your child to exercise regularly and eat well doesn't mean they will( squat ) if you're unwilling the unwilling parent to do the same or set that example. Please teach by example. Make walking, choirs, and physical activity a priority in their and your day. Plan active weekend outings for the whole family to participate, and daily activities like: walking after dinner, biking to the local store, stroll around the park.

Parents can make a difference, just observe some of your friends!!!!


Getting rid of technology in a childs life will just make this work. Take it from a teenager, you have to work with them. If you're not letting them do things that average teens like to do (video games, ipods, television), then they are going to rebel, about EVERYTHING.

Cutting out all of the technology and gadgets, will make them turn to other things that really will effect them as kids (Drugs, tobacco, alcohol). Kids need to be able to make their own decisions and choices in watching tv or listenting to an ipod are their own choices. This also correlates with their meal choices they need to be able to do it on their own. A parent can only do so much in regards to fast foods and things of those nature.

Depending on your childs age, they can't be baby'd and sheltered forever. As they grow up, they will want to make their own choices. Sheltering them will just make it worse.

If you are worried about the fast food, just cut down on the amount. Don't cut it out of their lives because that causes rebellion. If they are going to be eating unhealthy foods, cut down on the technology. Again, it will cause rebellion if you completely don't allow it. Just fit in time for their activities of choice and add in some physical activities.

Relating to myself, I am a 16 year old. I run track, cross country, and I workout frequently. I eat fast food more than anyone in my family. I've been state champion 2 years in a row in cross country, and I was runner up track state champion in my event last year. Eating fast food does not put everyone into obesity. If you try to compromise, it can all work. The parents do not have to dictate the childs life.
Debate Round No. 3


Just being past a teenager myself I get the point of going to extreme. But you have to say we all need to make some choices that are difficult sometime and parents should guide their kids( us). While I think many times some overweight children may outgrow obesity, or not be affected by fast food, parents influence stays with them and it may carry into their adult lives. Unfortunately I've seen it affect people around me, even if not family members, it was an influence that can bring with it a greater risk for diabetes and heart disease.

Parent's need to recognize that they play a fundamental part in the prevention of childhood obesity in their kids' lives. Which let me state again that always eating a fast meal out or not recognizing healthier ways will be critical. Many adults and parents' under estimate the real risk to their children's health, dismiss the extra plumpiness as a chubby or baby fat. It might be the extra two bags of fries and chicken nuggets on the way home from aunt dolly's house!

In my last couple of articles I read one Doctor quote really stands out - he said "It is so easy to gain weight in a world that convenience foods are most peoples answer to a good and proper meal, and where parents think that food should be used as a reward for children doing something good".
It really struck a cord with me. If doctors or society are going to educate the parents, they should tell them to give up the sugar and feed their kids actual nutritious foods. But no, we love to keep pushing low fat for both parents and kids, and you end up with even hungrier and miserable parents and kids, and possibly a compromised development for fat-starved children as we rce on in this world.


You know what, you got me :)

I honestly tried putting up a fight and I stuck with my beliefs on kids taking control of what they do. You proved me otherwise. Before everyone votes, I have to say that you already won this debate before it's even over.

It wasn't a very strong debate topic for me to get involved with, but you seem to know what you are talking about. You seem like you make a great mother and you know how to raise your kids. Keep it up! Nice debating with you!
Debate Round No. 4


So in conclusion I will finishby saying that fast food restaurants are not responsible for childhood obesity, because the parents/kids who purchase and consume unhealthy foods are responsible for their own food choices. Fast food restaurants (Mcdonalds,burger king,wendy's,arby's) should not be held responsible for childhood obesity, even if their menu options encourage unhealthy eating. Parents need to take responsibility for the food choices that they make for their children. No restaurant picks you up at your door step and forces a family to eat their food or dictate what or how much is ordered off the menu. In simple thought it would be trying to hold liquor stores responsible for someone driving drunk or developing alcoholism. Unless parents take responsibility for their own decisions and influences the decision of their kids real change will not occur.

A parent should teach a child to heed hunger cues and to not fill his stomach till he/she feels sick, try putting limits. Although eating should be enjoyable, at the end of the day, it is about properly nourishing the body with the right amount of calories and nurtitious food. The Children and their parents are at fault. Don't fault the company, don't point the finger.. when someone ends up doing something that is bad for their well being they are responsible for it, and so are their parents.

So to end this debate I will have to conclude we are creating a perfect formula for childhood obesity with the media, advertising, and inactivity,video games, and computers. Parent's and society couldn't do a worse job at this time in history of keeping children overweight and unhealthy. Please parents in America do the right thing for your children and yourself!! Be a role model to your kids and do it today!!!!

Thanks to my opponent!!!


HunterLienhart forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Doulos1202 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro FF