1/31/07 – I, like many Americans, could stand to lose a few pounds. That's no secret to anyone. I need to eat less junk and exercise more often. But I am an adult and I am responsible for my own health and well being.
This is not the case with children, and that is what makes the childhood obesity crisis so sad and maddening. Ever see a child in a restaurant or mall food court just stuffing their faces with artery-clogging junk as their parents sit idly by? How on earth could a parent allow their child to eat like this? We are not even talking about what the child eats when they are apart from their parents. It is what they eat right before their very eyes which makes me hopping mad. Do you ever feel like reaching over to the parent, get in their face, and ask "What the hell are you thinking!"? Wouldn't that feel good.
Some people get angry at the sight of a parent spanking an out of control child in a toy store. I do not. But I do get quite angry when I see a parent letting their child eat whatever they want, whenever they want it. Children do not know any better. A child will eat itself to the point of vomitting if you let them. You need to regulate what they eat and how often they eat. They rely on you to take care of them and if you let them eat 4 cheeseburgers a day and all the greasy, fatty foods they want, they will assume there is nothing wrong with that.
That is why I support of what British social workers are doing to help combat childhood obesity. They are placing children on a child protection register if their parents do nothing to help them with their obesity. Good! How is letting your child become grossly overweight any different than verbal or physical abuse? You are literally killing your child slowly by facilitating a dangerous and unhealthy lifestyle.
Here in the States, a billboard campaign aims to shame parents into thinking twice before feeding their kids junk. The billboards are harsh, but necessary. It used to be called tough love. Maybe, just maybe, if a parent stuck in traffic sees enough of these advertisements, they will look in the rear view mirror and think about apple dippers instead of fries on their next visit to our favorite fast food clown.