Jan 30, 2012

Motherhood Mondays: The Great Vending Machine Debate

On January 20th, Parenting Magazine’s Show &Tell blog posted that a study has come out that vending machines in schools do not have a direct affect with a child being obese. Read all about it here.

Cameron and I had a great conversation about this one. Mainly, we laughed that a study was needed to prove this. We are both firm believers that childhood obesity starts with and ends with the parents. The parents are the ones that teach their children bad eating habits and allow much of the food found in vending machines into their homes. More often than not, when I see an obese child I find an obese parent not far away.

Here’s another thing – what child carries so much change around with them on a daily basis that they could consume enough vending machine food to affect their weight? And if they are carrying around that much, don’t you think they’d likely spend it on something else that they want, like the latest video game?

I’ll admit I made my fair share of visits to the vending machine at my high school. But not before. This study followed kids from kindergarten through eighth grade. I think I grabbed a soda or energy drink from the vending machine in junior high only on the few mornings I had basketball practice at 6 AM. And in high school my choices definitely weren’t healthy (a pepsi and either chocolate cookies or chocolate covered donettes) but I also was playing basketball or soccer or running track and burning more calories than I could consume, so I was still a skinny, (somewhat) healthy kid. But I digress.

We are doing what we can to teach good habits to London. Cameron and I both make time to get our own workouts in. We should take her for family walks more often, but the fact that she doesn’t ever stop means she’s burning up plenty of calories on her own as well. And we try to give her healthy choices when it comes to food, though I know we could do better. Luckily, her pre-school does an awesome job in this area and now that she is more and more able to eat what we are eating, we are getting better because we make an effort to eat healthy ourselves the majority of the time.

What do you think? Do you think vending machines affect childhood obesity? Or are you like me, and think it all starts at home?

~Sarah

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