Personal responsibility is a character trait increasingly hard to find in people of this country. The people of the United States have completely fallen for our “leader’s” efforts to “help” you every time an accident happens, or a negative trend is discovered, or a problem occurs. It’s always someone else’s fault.
A growing and popular topic of discussion in this country is childhood obesity; a problem so pervasive and threatening that we could be raising the first generation ever to have a shorter life expectancy. It’s a war that has drawn the attention of former President Bill Clinton, current First Lady Michelle Obama, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and many others. It’s a serious problem. But if you want to find who or what’s responsible for your child’s heft…go no further than the nearest mirror.
CBS News reported yesterday that a key drug used for adults with Type 2 diabetes, Metformin, was largely ineffective in treating children with Type 2 diabetes. The drug is supposed to help control sugar levels in blood. Obesity is a leading cause of Type 2 diabetes in kids and adults. Since 1980 obesity in children has almost tripled, to over 12.5-million. In the CBS report the studies Director says “If we can prevent them (children) from getting diabetes that would be far preferable than being in a position of treating it.” Doctor Robin Goland correctly points out that historically kids didn’t get Type 2 diabetes. When, and if a child got diabetes it was Type 1, which has little or nothing to do with obesity. Diabetes creates a host of medical problems including poor circulation, blindness, and kidney disease.
In related news a new study reported on by the New York Times discloses that the claims of urban residents around our country being nutritionally disadvantaged because of a lack of stores providing fresh fruits and vegetables is an urban myth, not urban desert. The urban food desert myth was given lots of credibility by…wait for it…First Lady Michelle Obama.
I for one am glad Mrs. Obama cares for us all and emphasizes healthy eating and physical activity. It would just be more helpful if she knew what she was talking about. The article in the NY Times reports that two recent studies have been done about the supposed lack of nutritional foods in poor urban environments, “But two new studies have found something unexpected. Such neighborhoods not only have more fast food restaurants and convenience stores than more affluent ones, but more grocery stores, supermarkets and full-service restaurants, too.” So with availability no longer an issue who’s to blame for kids lack of proper diet and their subsequent obesity? Here’s a hint…they got their money for that McDonald’s Super Sized Bic Mac Meal from Mom or Dad, same as yesterday, and the day before and the day before that.
And lets stop blaming McDonald’s and other fast food establishments for our kids being fat. As Bill Wittle explained in a video blog we posted a couple of weeks ago called, Why It Sucks to Be Conservative, all McDonald’s does is open up for business. It’s something they have been doing with largely the same menu for sixty years. Remember when we were kids and Mom and Dad took us to McDonald’s? It was special and exciting? Why? Because it didn’t happen all that often. For me if I got McDonald’s food twice in a month I was fortunate. Now, it’s not unusual for many families to visit the drive-thru two-three-four times per week. We can’t do that to our kids and not have them suffer the ill effects. Let me remind you, they don’t have the money or the car to take them to McDonald’s. You do. You are also the one whose responsibility it is to say NO when the kids ask. Grow a backbone and do so.
Years ago I heard a news report on the radio in which the anchor told the listeners of a study, a multi-million dollar study that concluded obese people were obese because they ate more than the rest of us. Do we really need a study to come to this conclusion?
Used to be a common refrain from social critics was “how much time kids spent in front of the tv”. Well, I don’t hear that too often anymore, though I suspect its more of a concern. Between sitting in front of a tv show, video games and computers your kids are probably more inactive than they used to be. Combine that with the fear of letting them out of your sight and your kids are zombies compared to our youth. And we watched tons of TV, didn’t we? Telling your kids to “go outside and play” may seem like a punishment to them, sometimes. But you are doing them a big favor.
In this as in most all things your Mom or Dad were right when they told you “all things in moderation”. I personally don’t have a problem with buying my kids “junk” food, any kind of junk food. But eaten in moderation it’s not going to kill your kids. Too much of a “good” thing definitely will. And I certainly don’t mind being the bad guy (when my kids were younger) and telling them to go outside and play. The life you create for them through a little more attention being paid to the things you limit will be so much more healthy and full filling and they’ll be thankful too.
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