I’ve been reviewing recent data on the phenomenon that threatens to bankrupt us all and damage our quality of life: the well known childhood obesity epidemic. My web site intends to be nurturing and positive about diet, toward avoiding childhood obesity. But occasionally, I think a good dose of reality (call it fear if you will) is appropriate.
My next several blogs will be an appeal to parents to take a cold, hard look at this threat to our children’s well being—and our role in it as parents. I could take up my gripe with the media (whose job is to entertain and inform), the advertisers (whose job is to sell), or the fast food and processed food industries (whose job is to appeal to our tastes).
The fact that 35 percent of our kids are overweight and headed toward disaster isn’t the fault of any of those entities. It’s the fault of parents—whose job is to protect and nurture kids.
The media, advertisers, and junk food industries would all shrivel and die if parents would quit supporting them. We give them life and turn them into the monsters they’ve become by watching, buying, and eating what they provide.
Yeah, I wish the earth would crack open right where all the McDonalds sit, and that they’d all fall into the center of the earth. At 3 a.m. with no people inside, of course. But that would not solve our problem.
And I hope parents whose kids aren’t overweight will pay attention, too. Some kids are being fed a diet that will lead to obesity later, when the child’s metabolism changes or they begin eating more of the junk foods that are their staples. But a lousy diet may be causing other issues, such as being underweight or having allergies or digestive problems.
Yelling at the media and the fast-food giants won’t help. If parents don’t solve the problem of avoiding childhood obesity, no one will.