Happy Days and The Dual Working Parents

Yesterday, I wrote about the fact that in 40-50 years ago, the obesity rate in America was 1/3 of what it is now. With the advent of all of the high tech support (smart phones, more science info, development of “diet” drinks/foods) we would think that the obesity rate now should be far less than we had none of this “help”. I am not certain that any one factor is the most important reason but I will start with one of the “biggies”…the dual-working parents.

Turning the clock back to the days when the “Fonz”, in his leather jacket, was providing all the street-wise advice to Richie, we did not see Richie’s mother leave the house. Back in those days, the Dad went off to work, children to school and Mom stayed home and took care of the house. Cooking meals was part of those responsibilities. Yes, back in the “Happy Days” there was a great chance that meat and potatoes ruled the menu and dessert was offered up.

Fast forward to our era: How many families with young children do you know where both parents aren’t both working? Reality is that the cost of living, especially in areas such as ours, mandates that both parents need to drive revenue to sustain the household. And no offense to my fellow males, but females now dominate law schools, medical schools and many graduate programs, so the traditional role of “man makes more $$$ than woman” is most definitely being switched. The pressure on “Mom” has never been higher. Not only does Mom still have all of those instinctual nurturing needs to take care of the children, spouse and household, but now she also has to provide lots of $$$ as well.

How does the dual-working household impact on weight control? Quite simple: Meals are often not planned and “fast foods” are often sought to satisfy dinner needs after both parents have had a long day at work, attended soccer practice and there is simply no time for either parent to prepare a healthy, fresh meal.

The solution? Well, reality is such that neither parent can quit their respective jobs because all of the combined $$$ is needed to meet the monthly bills. However, perhaps the parents can devise a game plan switching days in which one of the parents is responsible for ensuring a “healthy” breakfast, lunch and dinner for all for all of the family members. This ain’t easy, but it must be done.

Tomorrow I will discuss Happy Days and restaurant choices.

Dr. Robert Posner One of the world’s leading medical weight loss researchers, Robert Posner, MD, operates his state-of-the-art weight loss clinic, Serotonin Plus, in the heart of Burke, Virginia, in the suburban Washington area.

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