Obesity: An epidemic

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I had written an absolutely brilliant blog for this morning. As luck would have it, my new computer which I decided to use this morning and I are not quite fast friends yet and I accidentally shut down the site and lost it all. I am presently researching obesity as a disease for an upcoming segment of our blog-talk radio show that will air on November 12th. The research has been eye-opening and very sobering to read.

So, winging it for expediency, the gist of the blog was this. Americans are digging their graves with a fork. Obesity is the leading cause of preventable death and we are allowing our children to become fatter than ever. We have the power to change this by doing just a few things. We can first and foremost, lead by example and we can make sure that they eat things and do things that will help them to stay fit and healthy.

On any given day, in any town in the USA, we could look into a child’s lunchbox and see bags of potato chips, packages of twinkies and cupcakes, filled with fat, sodium and sugar as well as soda, juice drinks (which are not juice) and other things that are making them fat and unhealthy.

We are allowing our kids to hang out in the house, watching television and playing video games as we fear the trouble they could get into after school as we are a working society, with our kids fending for themselves for a few hours each day. The cupboards are filled with junk that they of course help themselves to as they don the controller to that video game as though it is a second appendage.

They should be playing outside in the fresh air, running and jumping and riding their bicycles. They are not. They are on the computer or watching the b00b tube and eating junk. They do this day in and day out to the detriment of their bodies. We idly watch this and we are just happy that we know where they are. They are exercising little more than their fingers as they text themselves into oblivion, unaware of how good physical activity can make them feel.

This has become the typical child’s day in society. And, it is killing them slowly. There used to be a disease called Adult Onset Diabetes. It has been renamed by the medical profession and is now called Type II Diabetes because it is no longer just an adult disease. It is now affecting our kids in huge numbers because they are too fat.

If there were an epidemic that was affecting our children that had a known cure, such as a shot or a pill, we would all make sure our kids were protected. Can someone explain to me why the leading cause of preventable death is not considered important enough for us to pay attention? Why are we allowing our children to eat things constantly that could end up killing them? As we sit idly by, our children are consuming the equivalent of up to 29 teaspoons of sugar in a one liter bottle of soda! If they consume a “Big Gulp”, that can be 32 teaspoons of sugar!!

I regularly see kids swigging soda everywhere they go. How can we not see that this is a terrible thing? As we ourselves try to undo the damage we have done to ourselves by going on diets, we are clutching bottles of water and our kids are drinking soda pop right next to us. In the supermarket, we are caving to the requests for fatty sugary snacks rather than telling our children “No, we are buying bananas and cheerios, not cookies and donuts.” We have the power. We buy the food for our families. Don’t we?

I support the effort of the President to get our kids moving again. Not since President Kennedy’s Council on Physical Fitness in the 1960’s has the lack of exercise in children and adults been addressed on any level. Our schools need to make the food in the cafeterias healthy and nutritious. Soda machines need to be moved out and juice and milk should replace sugary drinks.

We must lead by example. We are killing our children. WE need to step up to the plate and show them the way. If we don’t, America will just get fatter and that is criminal. Help them to live life to its fullest.

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2 responses »

  1. Great Blog Joyce! First opportunity to spend some time here, and I am so glad I did. I believe that fighting child obesity is a parent’s responsibility. It’s as important as any other parental responsibility.

    You never cease to amaze me with your many talents! And writing is definitely is one of those gifted talents. So happy to see this blog, my friend. It’s about time!

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