Anonymous asks:

Are Girl Scout cookies contributing to childhood obesity in America?

A friend of mine (a father of four in Chicago) updated his Facebook status today with the following statement, "Girl Scout cookies contribute to America's obesity epidemic... why not fruit & vegetable stands?!" Given how popular Girl Scout cookies are, his statement immediately prompted a heated discussion among many parents and teachers in his 500+ friend list. I'm curious what parents and other experts here on think about this topic. Should the Girl Scouts (and schools, nonprofits, etc.) switch to more healthier products for fundraising? Change the ingredients for their cookies? Include a disclaimer and/or encourage exercise with every purchase? What do you think? Is it time to bid farewell to cookies, cupcakes and other fattening treats for club/school fundraisers and events?
In Topics: Outside the classroom, Parenting / Our Family, Nutrition
> 60 days ago



Mar 3, 2011
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What the Expert Says:

Girl Scout cookies are a part of the American culture.  So is ice cream, beer, television watching, video games, donuts, etc.  We must either ban them all, because non of the above items are healthy for us, or teach our kids from the very early age that moderation is the key.

It is easy to say that it is somebody's responsibility to make things healthy for us by altering the ingredient lists, or plainly stopping the production of an item in question.  We must not forget that ultimately it is a parent's responsibility to teach children to make healthy choices from a very young age.  It is O.K. to have a Girl Scout's cookie once in a while, but it needs to be balanced out with healthy foods and plenty of physical activity.  

Suggested readings:

Where does obesity come from?

Has obesity reached epidemic proportions?

Does America have a sweet tooth?

Best regards.
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Additional Answers (2)

Karenmom writes:

Thanks for bringing this to our attention here at  

No, I think that it is very doubtful that selling Girl Scout Cookies or other "treats" have contributed to the overweight problems.  I don't understand why so many want to point fingers and blame something, anything, for their weight gain.  It simply comes down to not moving enough to cancel out the calories.  My opinion.

It's wonderful to have excess to all these goodies, and it's our responsibility to use these treats wisely and to educate our kids to do the same, turn off the "high-tech toys" and go for a jog.

No, it's not time to bid farewell to the treats in fundraisers and we don't need the school to control our purchases.  We are all going to spend X amount of dollars on these fundraisers and I personally look forward to these type items opposed to the everyday items we buy anyway.  Just seems "special".

It's good to know that your friend on facebook is involved in making a healthier America and he is doing his part to raise awareness in others, but his comment seems to be an unfair statement-to me.

I look forward to seeing how others feel about this subject.
> 60 days ago

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Country_dude , Student writes:
Cookies of any kind can contribute to obesity because the main causer of obesity is sugar consumed in large and unhealthy amounts. Ice cream, candy, donuts, cake, pies, and just good old plain sugar could all cause obesity if consumed in large amounts. Eating small amounts every now and then is fine, but just don't eat too much, and take breaks from sugar every now and then.
> 60 days ago

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