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to think this is the root of the obesity crisis?

(128 Posts)
Somethingorotherorother Thu 16-Jul-20 10:55:09

It seems like on every single parenting thread, about bedtimes, sharing, behaviour, potty training etc there are huge numbers of people advocating bribing your child with food for good behaviour. Giving sweeties in the morning for every night a child stayed in bed. Sweeties for every poo on the potty. Sweeties for every day a child didn't bite their sibling. Sweeties for good behaviour at mealtimes. Sweeties for getting dressed in the morning.

Is it just me or is this absolutely batshit crazy!? People are suggesting this like it's a great way to get your kid to behave, but surely it just teaches them incredibly unhealthy eating habits (ie i deserve an edible reward for each unpleasant task) that carry in to adolescence and adulthood the idea that junk food is a normal part of the everyday diet?

It also strikes me as really lazy. Bribing a child with a pack of Haribo is much easier than, say, bribing a child with a fun outing or one-on-one time, which is what we used to get as kids for particularly good behaviour/achievements.

I read somewhere recently that 65% of UK adults are overweight, and tbh reading the way some people are bringing up their kids on here, i can't see that figure improving any time soon.

OP’s posts: |
whattimeisitrightnow Thu 16-Jul-20 10:57:13

That’s interesting: I’ve never seen any MN threads about bribing with sweets, mainly because MN as a whole is completely anti-sugar.
I have seen lots about using snacks to distract your children, though, so perhaps that plays into it

Hardbackwriter Thu 16-Jul-20 10:58:27

I've never seen anyone recommend this except for a very limited time period for potty training? I have definitely never seen anyone suggest giving sweets first thing in the morning or for not biting a sibling! I think you might have blown a post or two into a bigger thing in your head?

The obesity crisis is complex, multi-faceted and an issue across almost all of the western world. It's a trend that no one has yet successfully reversed. I don't think it can be solely traced to British parents being too generous with the haribo hmm

Ifailed Thu 16-Jul-20 10:58:42

using food as a reward might work for training dogs, but problem not a good idea for children, especially when the reward is sweet tasting.

TheLightSideOfTheMoon Thu 16-Jul-20 10:59:37

Never seen a sweet bribing post either.

Mostly now children earn screen time.

Somethingorotherorother Thu 16-Jul-20 11:00:38

@whattimeisitrightnow I'd say snacks as distraction is just as bad, tbh. Because let's face it, when someone says snacks, how often do they mean crisps or a snack bar or something, rather than carrot sticks. Even distracting with fruit is an error IMO, giving a child sweet things to make them behave is such a cop out and builds this bizarre idea of the role of food in life.

OP’s posts: |
LaurieMarlow Thu 16-Jul-20 11:01:34

I don’t think it’s singularly at the heart of the obesity crisis, no. The reasons for that are multiple and complex.

It isn’t a great habit to get into, no, I agree. However parenting is tough and sometimes at the end of our tethers we do what works. It depends on how widespread it is. If it’s happening a few times a day, that’s poor.

Coronaextrawithashotofvodka Thu 16-Jul-20 11:01:53

YABU. The obesity crisis is a bit more complex than a packet of gummy bears after a poo.

Stuckforthefourthtime Thu 16-Jul-20 11:01:59

Yes, you have solved it. Not the massive decrease in cost of packaged food, nor the marketing spend of those companies, nor an economy that relies on most parents working and therefore often lacking time to cook from scratch / to take kids the long walk home / tired and guilty and more ready to bribe for good behaviour, nor a lack of healthy food shops but overabundance of fried chicken shops and corner shops in deprived areas, nor parents who often themselves were never taught to cook cheaply and nutritiously by their own parents or in school home economics lessons.

Nope, it's all the fault of parents trying to potty train.

dontdisturbmenow Thu 16-Jul-20 11:02:31

I would think it is one factor but the biggest one in my view is that we are teaching our kids that if they desire something, it's ok to succumb to it. Parents find it harder and harder to say no to their kids because they don't want to see them upset.

Kids subsequently lack the resilience to say no to any temptations.

That and a misconception of what proper sizes are. My kids were very slim until they went to Uni and started to eat with others whose portions were much larger and became convinced that these were proper size servings. It took a couple of years for them to realise that it was the reason their friends were bigger and readjusted their own portions accordingly.

Somethingorotherorother Thu 16-Jul-20 11:02:34

@hardbackwriter I have definitely never seen anyone suggest giving sweets first thing in the morning i saw exactly that recommend on a post about getting a 2yr old to stay in bed, the poster proudly announced that they'd got their toddler to go to sleep by giving her sweets in the morning and were still doing it 4 years on!

OP’s posts: |
Guineapigbridge Thu 16-Jul-20 11:02:39

Um no, refined carbohydrates that are cheap to produce and store well are the root of the obesity crisis

doadeer Thu 16-Jul-20 11:04:48

I've never seen any posts say this... In fact I would say MN seems in the "my child has never eaten a piece of cake in their life" camp.

I do think all the melty puff type baby/toddler snacks are setting kids up to love crisps and a satsuma or cucumber / carrot sticks are far better

Hardbackwriter Thu 16-Jul-20 11:06:27

Somethingorotherorother

*@hardbackwriter* I have definitely never seen anyone suggest giving sweets first thing in the morning i saw exactly that recommend on a post about getting a 2yr old to stay in bed, the poster proudly announced that they'd got their toddler to go to sleep by giving her sweets in the morning and were still doing it 4 years on!

So you saw literally one person say this on the thousands on posts on sleep on MN and decided it was the root cause of obesity? Ooookay then...

Porcupineinwaiting Thu 16-Jul-20 11:08:05

No I think that's crap.

Laaalaaaa Thu 16-Jul-20 11:08:15

You saw it on one post so therefore it’s gospel. Hardly a scientific sample is it?!

user1471441839 Thu 16-Jul-20 11:09:06

I agree that giving sweet treats as a reward may have a part in obesity for some people, in that it is a forming a conditioned response but there is much more to it than that. Family history, soci economic factors, mental health, education. To say that childhood treats is the cause is much too simplistic.

DappledThings Thu 16-Jul-20 11:11:57

I've never seen anyone recommend this except for a very limited time period for potty training? I have definitely never seen anyone suggest giving sweets first thing in the morning or for not biting a sibling

Ditto

wheresmymojo Thu 16-Jul-20 11:18:41

It's one small factor but no, it's not the root cause.

There is no single root cause - but if you have to point the finger at anything it's a combination of:

- Childhood trauma (there is a scientifically proven significant link between childhood trauma and obesity)

- The accessibility of high sugar foods.

Elastins Thu 16-Jul-20 11:20:35

No. Obesity a multifactorial issue, with deep-seated roots across many areas.

This is ridiculously simplistic.

IJustWantSomeBees Thu 16-Jul-20 11:23:54

The root of the obesity crisis is an unhealthy standard diet and a lifestyle that is becoming increasingly sedentary

Poppyismyfavourite Thu 16-Jul-20 11:24:32

haha it's not good but I don't think it's the root of the obesity crisis!
FWIW when I was a maths tutor for small kids stickers were my go-to bribe! Most small kids will learn a lot of times tables for a sticker!

madbirdlady22 Thu 16-Jul-20 11:28:25

I don't know anyone anywhere that uses food as a reward system, and my child is sixteen. Maybe in the 1970s it was a thing, you are decades out of date op.

SquirrelFan Thu 16-Jul-20 11:29:50

@Stuckforthefourthtime nailed it.
Also hardly any PE in schools.

JaniceWebster Thu 16-Jul-20 11:32:04

I’ve never seen any MN threads about bribing with sweets, mainly because MN as a whole is completely anti-sugar.

I agree!

MN is an odd world where posters are engaged in competitive over-eating and snigger at anyone who doesn't join, but where no children would ever be allowed to have unhealthy food ever. Unless it's McDonald, because "it's not crack cocaine you know" grin

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