Take a walk through your local mall and start people watching. It’s really eye-opening to see how many kids are overweight today.
According to the Centers for Disease Control:
“Approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2—19 years are obese. Since 1980, obesity prevalence among children and adolescents has almost tripled.”
Georgia tried a controversial ad campaign that was ended as quickly as it started because the focus was on shaming the fat child (see pictured ad.)
I’m not an expert or a nutritionist but here’s my opinion anyway: I think it really has to do with the parents more than video games or prevalence of fast food chains. And blaming the kid makes no sense: they don’t do the food shopping!
When I was a kid my mom was thin and active. My brother and I were also thin and active. When I was in middle school my grandma got dementia after having a heart attack. My mother quit her job and stayed home to care for her. That’s when the weight gain started.
As the years wore on the strain on our family grew and my mom began eating more. We ate McDonald’s on Fridays and sometimes pizza midweek. PAC-Man on Atari replaced baseball outside. Cheerios were replaced with Coco Puffs and the entire family grew fat. Plus my mom quit smoking and then really gained weight.
I was ten years old in the doctors office and remembered him raising his voice to my mom saying, “Not an ounce! The kids can’t gain any more weight. NOT AN OUNCE!” My mom tried to formulate an excuse, “Well, it’s just before a growing spurt…”
“NOT AN OUNCE!” he said.
It was the wake-up call my mother needed. She cleaned out the cabinets. Good-bye Coco Puffs. Farewell Pizza Hut. Hello Jane Fonda‘s Workout video and vegetables at dinner. Guess what? We lost weight.
Personally, I know I need to do better with my own kids. That’s why I’m starting to read all the nutrition blogs and I’m checking out Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, which teaches parents how to cook healthier meals. Here is the link:
Are you like me and need a little work to make a fit family? Or do you have some healthy tips you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you!
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