Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A rant in which far too many quotation marks appear.

I came accross two interesting articles this morning on one of my fave pet subjects: childhood obesity and how to stop it before we raise a generation of people so fat and sick that they don't outlive their parents.

The first one was about targeting daycares to battle childhood obesity by regulating the foods they serve.

I had never thought about daycares since mine have never been in anyone elses care. Turns out that few states regulate what daycares serve to the kids. My own brief experience working at one recalls memories of cheap sugary soda, generic cookies, popcorn, and other absolute crap so it was an interesting, sobering read. 

My only probelm with the article was this line: ""Everybody is always pointing fingers at us parents saying, 'You should do better.' A lot of other people are feeding our kids," "

Well, y'know, whose fault is that?  If you absolutely must put your kid in daycare, then it's up to you to ask what they'll be eating.  Also, how you fed your child from birth and at home has molded her taste. If you are one of those "she'll only eat chicken nuggets and mac and cheese so that's what I feed her" people, then you made that bed for yourself.

Sorry, but that irritates the CRAP out of me. I have an insanely picky 7 year old, but y' know what? He gets exactly what the rest of the family gets. Some nights he will, quite literally, eat nothing at all save for the one bite I require that everyone take from everything on his or her plate.

But I know he will not starve himself. No child will.

Going without a meal or even two won't harm any normal healthy child one bit. There're kids in this world, right here in America, too, who eat once a day or less.  A well fed, normal, white, middle-class, child missing a couple of meals of his own free will is NOTHING.

The whiners need to buck up and acknowledge that THEY are creating the monster who will only eat 3 foods, not the languishing victims of an unfortunate twist of parental fate.

ANYway ... The second article this morning made me want to tear my hair out for a similar reason; the parent-as-victim attitude.  The gist? I quote: ""Parents might be contributing to the overweight epidemic," " 

No, really?! YA THINK?!

This stunner was delivered by Dr. Elsie Taveras, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Harvard Medical School.  She went on to say that parents "do this unwittingly".

I believe that some do. 

After all we have a broken government health recommendation that says that in order to be fit one should cut out healthy fat and meat - what we evolved over 2 million years to eat - and instead load up on sugars in the form of grains. 

We have a common belief that chronic cardio will "burn calories" so we eat like pigs then go run, bike, treadmill, spin, etc ad nauseum to punish ourselves and "work it off".

We also have a society that has taught us that we should get dessert and sweet treats all day, every day (60 years ago, we would get something sweet - a slice of pie, for example - once a WEEK.  Now we nom sugar on our breakfast cereal and in our coffee, eat candies cakes and cookies at work, have dessert at the restaurant after supper, and end the night with a 'comforting' bowl of ice cream. All because we "deserve it" and would feel "deprived" if we didn't.)

(and so many of us wonder why we're overweight!)

 But here was the kicker, the phrase that made me want to tear my hair: "the point is not to make parents feel guilty about contributing to their children's weight problems" .

Uhh ... why not?  Is guilt for doing something wrong not an appropriate reaction?  If I scream at my kids for something they didn't do I am immediately contrite and apologise. Furthermore, I try very hard to correct myself so that I don't do it again.

If something I was doing made my children ill, I would never forgive myself. If Dr. Clemson, our pediatritcian, told me I was making my kids unhealthy by doing something, I would immediately 1) feel guilty and 2) stop farkin' doing it.

Parents bear almost all of the responsibility for obesity in young children (Older kids who have their own money and are mobile are a whole 'nother story.)  Parents hold the key IMHO to ending this epidemic, but they must be blamed. They must be made aware of what they are doing, not sheltered from the truth. This is not about saving anybody's feelings.  These are adults.  They'll just have to cope.  This is their kid's health we're talking about. We must point the finger (and help, of course).

But the sad truth is that most of these parents are unhealthy themselves, walking carboholic heart attacks waiting to happen.  Their "comfort foods" mean more to them than their health.  They're feeding their babies what they eat: over processed, chemical laden, sugar, carb, and high fructose corn syrup filled CRAP, frozen food, and fast food, and not moving out in front of the television any more than it takes to wee and get another soda.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 2:24 pm   1 comments


At 7:28 am, Blogger moonduster said...

Don't forget that some parents are just too LAZY to cook decent meals for their kids. (Okay, some people might just be overworked, but if they are working so much that they don't have time to take care of their children's health, then something needs to change.)

I agree, Blue. My husband thinks that he has to buy treats for the kids to have as "dessert." I'm slowly getting him to come around to my way of thinking. If they want something sweet, I have apples, oranges, bananas, strawberries...


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