In recent years as I have driven past my neighborhood high school and as I have wandered shopping centers, I have noticed a huge increase in our youth being overweight (which why should I be surprised, look at the majority of Americans). Honestly I have seen it everywhere I look, but in those places specifically, I have mentally taken note that it is a problem.
It used to be that there was the one of two known “fat” kids in an entire school of 1000+ kids. When you walked through halls of high schools you saw thin active kids and occasionally saw one kid who was overweight. Now it would appear that the overweight and the obese are in the majority.
What has happened?
Oh that’s right, places like McDonald’s and other fast-food joints have become even more of a staple of a regular diet. If you want to argue that point be sure you watch “Super Size Me” first. Add the completely nutritionally-vacant, calorie-bloated foods to the fact that P.E. has been dropped from many of our children’s school programs and you have a serious problem. Instead of sending kids out to play, we allow them to stay inside watching tv and playing video games. Instead of having meals at home that were at least somewhat healthy, Americans have turned to anything fast and easy for a meal. Now in place of an afternoon snack consisting of a few (and I mean a few as in the number 3) crackers with peanut butter on them, kids are now coming home from school and gorging themselves on multiple snacks from a box. Snacks that probably have the words “healthy” or “low-fat” plastered across them but unless you actually took the time to read the nutritional content on the back of the box, you would never have realized how much worse that snack is for you then just cutting up some cheese and apples for your kids instead.
It is pure laziness and the constant search for easy and no-hassle things that has led our families to a lifestyle of sloven behavior that ends with obesity.
So when I saw the outrage towards a controversial book entitled “Maggie Goes On a Diet” (not even published yet, may I add) which was written for girls in their youth, I was disgusted. People all over America were saying what a horrid thing is was to share with our children, daughters in particular, that by eating healthy and exercising they could be thin and happy. And I don’t even care about “thin.” I care about “happy”, and and in there “healthy.” I was disgusted because as Americans we have a problem of overeating and not exercising. I was disgusted because the book has not even been published yet people are throwing a fit. I was disgusted because it seems that people aren’t allowed to have a different opinion and to voice it (or in this case, write about it). If you don’t like it, DON’T READ IT.
Interestingly books like “The Eat-Clean Diet for Family and Kids: Simple Strategies for Lasting Health and Fitness” and “The Monster Health Book: A Guide to Eating Healthy, Being Active & Feeling Great for Monsters & Kids” are not being ridiculed. Why is that? Did we get a little more personal this with book and directly speak about the forbidden subject of fat kids? Did you see the title, “Diet for Family and KIDS?” DIET for kids…..that’s right, this book is apparently fine for our children.
I am sure I will take crap for that statement, but I will not apologize. The thought of my children growing up as one of the “fat” kids is absolutely horrifying to me. For the record, having my child suffer from an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia is equally as horrifying. Not one of them has a medical issue that would cause this and “if” they were to turn into the “fat” kid it would be completely because of their parenting or lack thereof. There is a huge difference between a child having a genetic disorder or some other health-related issue that causes them to gain and retain weight and a child whose parent just lets them eat anything and everything and does not maintain a healthy lifestyle for them.
It seems to me that someone–this author–needed to step in and educate children because many parents have apparently stopped teaching their children how to live healthy lives. So if this book is anything like I think it is, good for the author for taking the time to share with our youth how they can begin living healthy lives, unlike their fat, lazy and overweight parents.While I am mixed on my thoughts in regards to the actual book and I will reserve judgment until it is published and I have had a chance to read it thoroughly, I do believe that people are seriously missing the point. WE HAVE A SERIOUS OVEREATING AND WEIGHT PROBLEM IN AMERICA AND IT NEEDS TO STOP!!!!!!!!!
All kids like junk and if they are given a choice between a cupcake and an apple, they will choose the cupcake. I would too if I didn’t realize the effect it would have on my health. Even worse if they are given the choice to have a second cupcake, they will. So where is the responsible parent? Why is there no one there saying NO to this kind of behavior?
I think people are too just afraid to speak the truth or ACCEPT the truth. I have a friend whose preschooler weighs more than my other friend’s high schooler–seriously, this is NOT OK. I know the mom of the preschooler would love to say her little one is super cute and squishy but the truth is that he is extremely unhealthy. And she is to blame. Wake up America, it is not cute to have a roly-poly overweight toddler. In fact it is seriously unhealthy. You are setting your sweet, little baby up to have an extremely unhealthy and most likely short life. Baby fat, yes. Weighing in more than elementary school or high school kids, NOT ACCEPTABLE!!!!
I understand that parents are worried that this book will give their children an unhealthy complex and cause a rise in eating disorders. I would never condone behavior that encourages starving yourself or any other eating disorder. However suggesting that a child “go on a diet” and become healthy is completely acceptable. In fact, I wouldn’t even call it a diet–I consider it “nutrition for life.” If parents were handling the situation and teaching their children how to be healthy, this would not even be an issue. There would be no need for a book of this kind to even have been written.
So what is the solution?
Stop making excuses and blaming others. Take responsibility and teach your children how to be healthy. As a mom, I know how hard it is to recognize where you may or may not have failed your children. But we are not perfect. We will make mistakes. The key is that we recognize our mistakes and we take responsibility and correct the problem.
It is so easy–stop making excuses and teach your children how to be healthy. 🙂
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