Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The President's Wife vs Fat Kids

Michelle Obama has declared war on Childhood Obesity. Today she is scheduled to release the details of her public service campaign, and evidently it's going to be more than: "Hey kid, put down that Twinkie, turn off the TV and get your chubby little butt outside!"

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and nonpartisan government surveys say that one out of every three children in America is overweight or obese. One out of every three. ONE OUT OF THREE, WOW. Also, that number has more than tripled in the last 30 years. So, when I was a kid only one in nine kids were obese. One in nine seems to high to me. I have three kids now, so statistically speaking one of them should be a little porker.

Another study, which included 8,550 4-year-olds from around the United States, found that children who ate dinner with their families more than five times a week, slept for at least 10.5 hours a night, and watched less than two hours of TV a day were 40 percent less likely to be obese than children who did none of those things. They also found that each of those three things was effective by itself, and that their benefits were cumulative.

Now you see, this is where Mrs. Obama's troubles start. That is just a whole lot to ask of parents. I mean, who has time to actually waste on raising these slobbering heathens? Is it not enough that we took three minutes to conceive them? My wife personally gestated every one of our kids for almost nine whole months. Does our commitment to the little buggers extend past that? Alright, O.K., sure we should put a roof over their head, and throw some Doritos in front of the TV for them to gnaw on while they veg out. I mean most of us parents ARE willing to provide the basics. But past that?

Americans are too busy and important to be bothered with things like Quality Family Time, Structure, or Nutrition. I mean we have much better things to do than to take an interest in our children's well-being.

Cable is expensive, why do you think TV costs so much if it's not a qualified baby sitter?


wesley's mom (sue) said...

As the parent of an overweight child I appreciate the idea of a war on obesity (though I don't know why she has to pick on little kids, there are plenty of obese adults out there if the first lady wants to fight). We try monitor what our daughter eats and keep her active but it's hard, and it does take time and committment from us. Which is FINE, that's our job.

On the other hand once your kids start school quite a bit of your control over what they eat is gone. It upsets me to see what she is offered to eat there.

To begin with her school is part of some breakfast program that brings food into the class room every morning. It's rarely fruit (unless you count applesauce) it's often things like "chicken" biscuits, cinnamon rolls or pancakes. And since her teacher doesn't want to waste, if there are leftovers they have the option of an extra serving--of bread. Lunch is no better, and honestly, you can put carrots on the tray but you can't make them eat 'em. Also there's the fact that when adults want to reward kids, candy seems to be the prize of choice.

Then there's the issue of being overweight just becoming the norm for kids and adults in this country.

Have I said too much? I probably have. Sorry. My comment is as long as your post.

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