Disease Proof

American Food Not Good for Immigrants

Just in case you doubted exactly how unhealthy the standard American diet is. Read this article from CNN. Immigrant children have a disastrous time adjusting to and resisting the urge of American junk food. More from John Bonifield:
Adrian McHargh grew up active and skinny in Kingston, Jamaica. An enthusiastic swimmer, he had the pristine waters of the Caribbean for a playground until two years ago, when he and his family moved to America.


"I would always cook a healthy dinner," the 13-year-old's mother, Visha Siew-Narine, says about mealtime on the island. "When he came here, I think the fascination of having all this food that we couldn't afford in Jamaica, or that wasn't really available, that was kind of new to him."

In suburban Atlanta, things changed fast. The new foods were cheap, unhealthy and hard to resist: toaster waffles, corn dogs and the chocolate syrup Adrian liked so much he guzzled it straight from the bottle.

"I would eat a lot because I was bored," he says. "I was sitting on the couch just watching TV, not playing a lot."

Within months, Adrian was in trouble. He'd packed on 30 pounds. Doctors said he had hypertension, high cholesterol and was at high risk for type 2 diabetes.
I hate to say it, but, we’ve seen this before. Asian immigrants also have a heard time adjusting to all the garbage food polluting our food supply; White Kids Have Highest Diabetes Rate.
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Comments (4) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Jeff - September 19, 2007 9:25 AM

Um - What?
Let me get this straight. They came from Jamaica, where they were healthy.
Then, after moving here, they let their kid sit and watch TV all day and guzzle chocolate syrup from the bottle and you blame the food supply?
Jeebus - here's an idea : take some responsibility for your childrens health. Not only was the story insanely chock full of misplaced blame, but totally devoid of the concept of parental responsibility.
Here's a story I would just LOVE to relate to you.
I dated a girl whose family immigrated here from the middle east. They were an active family there, and here too. The kids were regularly taken on bike rides, encouraged to participate in sports, and all grew up healthy and fit.
Why? Because their PARENTS taught them to eat well, provided them with lots of fruit, vegetables, and lean meats, and encouraged them to excercise.
What a crock. Let's try dropping the blame the food mentality. Let's start adopting the blame bad parenting mentality instead.
I am 32 years old. I come from a family of obese people. I eat more healthy foods then them. I excercise more than them, and I am in better shape then them. Why? Because I made a personal decision to control my life rather than allow the availability of food and a lazy lifestyle control my life.
Ugh. This story and your commentary are aggravating....

Janet - September 19, 2007 2:20 PM

I agree with the comments above. Take responsibility for your children's diet. Here or in Jamaica. The mother is to be blamed. Look at her!!!She is also fat. I wrote a blog yesterday about the same article. Don't blame the American supermarket shelves, blame yourselves. I am also Jamaican and I am responsible for myself. I ate properly there and I eat properly here, not because I am exposed to better food but because I know better.

Luke - September 19, 2007 3:36 PM

okay this is stupid. I believe you have the right to eat whatever you want. It is the mothers fault!!! Im not fat or obese but i eat fast food and normal food all the time and i eat alote of it. I love to eat. But they are blaming the food instead of the parents what freakin idiots. Just keep your customs then if it was better. I for personally live by a life style of happy not healthy. If being healthy though makes you happy then go for it. Some kids can't eat as much without gaining weight so they need to keep that in mind!!

SHARON - September 24, 2007 2:37 AM

SHAME ON MOM. YOU NEED TO TAKE RESPONSIBILTY OF YOUR SON'S DIET. I AM FROM JAMAICA, AND EVERYTHING YOU SEE IN THE SUPERMARKET HERE IS THERE; HOWEVER MOST PARENTS PROBABLY CHOSE TO COOK. I HAVE TWO CHILDREN, WHO WERE BORN HERE (7YRS OLD & 5 YRS OLD). THE ONLY THING THEY KNOW ABOUT BURGER KING AND MC'DONALDS,IS WHAT THE STORE LOOKS LIKE OUTSIDE, BECAUSE WE SEE THEM WHEN WE DRIVE. I WOULD NEVER GIVE MY KIDS THAT JUNK TO EAT. WE ARE NOT VEGETARIANS, BUT MY KIDS NEVER HAVE A MEAL WITHOUT THEIR VEGGIES, AND THEY LOVE IT. MY FAMILY RARELY EVERY EAT AT RESTAURANTS, BECAUSE I DON'T KNOW WHO IS PREPARING MY MEALS. MOM TAKE SOME RESPONSIBILTY, YOU ARE THE ONE BUYING THE FOOD. I HOPE YOU TAKE A LESSON FROM ADRIAN AND START TO EXERCISE. YOU ARE A 100% RESPONSIBLE FOR ADRIAN'S PROBLEM, NOT THE MANUFACTURER. MAKE BETTER CHOICES FOR YOUR CHILDREN AND YOURSELF. THEY ARE DEPENDING ON YOU FOR THAT. SHAME ON YOU!!!

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