Sunday, September 11, 2011

Who to Really Blame for America's Child Obesity Epidemic

CHILD OBESITY - The BLAME GAME COP-OUT: 30% of American adults are over-fat, and child-obesity is alarmingly on a steep rise. Sadly, many parents are quick to blame everyone and everything for their child's developing obesity problem. Perhaps it's time to point the finger in the mirror.

Last week alone, I saw Mom's on TV blaming the Fast Food Industry, Video-games, and Soda-pop, as the reason that "little Johnny" is over-weight. Last I heard it was a free country, and nobody "makes" us eat the way we do. Perhaps some adults need to blame their own gluttony for being over-fat, and their own - lack of - positive role-modeling skills for the reason their kids are on that same path. It may be a tough pill to swallow, but allowing our kids to "run a muck" is the parenting path of least resistance, and therefore - unfortunately - the path to many parents choose In the Malls, at Little League games, and in the Grocery Stores, I (myself) witness more and more kids controlling their parents, instead than the other way around.

The Government may run our country, but, as a parent, "you" are the Sheriff of your own town (i.e. household). You should both, establish the rules, and find creative ways to enforce them. I "get it", it's often hard to control what kids eat while trolling malls with their buddies. However you should hardly complain about that if "dinner" at home each night is a "Pizza-Pocket" or frozen Buffalo wings - and later that night a bag of Doritos and a few cans of Coke while they lay on the couch texting their friends all night.

By the way, whatever happened to dinner-time being a "all-family-members-included" event? Somehow along the way, American families have lost their heads-of-household, or more specifically, their authoritative figure. Instead, many too parents often opt for a more liberal parenting approach, attempting to be more of a "buddy" to their son or daughter. Cupcakes, ice cream, and hot dogs makes kids happy, and god-forbid, we should insist on our kids eating things he or she doesn't like. Allowing little Johnny to balk - at will - at Mom's evening meal offering, is a parenting faux pas. Food "tastes" are developed throughout our growing years. I am not suggesting that parents be so ridged that their battle-cry becomes, "it's either healthy food, or go without", no, not at all.

Bottom-line: Healthy eating for kids begins at home. More specifically, it begins with responsible parenting. Is the fact that your own little Johnny is a 120-pound 5th-grader, really the fault of school lunches and soda-machines in the lunch-room? Give me a break.

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