Yes you heard me correctly, babies on a diet! It is kind of “ironic” that when I opened up the online Fargo Forum this morning this was one of the first articles I found. It is ironic because my wife and I were just discussing the other night some issues with regards to children’s health and I mentioned that if some things don’t change we are going to see a rise in childhood diabetes that will reach epidemic proportions. Maybe I was being overly dramatic, then again maybe I wasn’t.
My friend Tracy Frank wrote that “obesity in children has become a serious health problem in the United States, to the point where even babies are at risk.” Are you kidding me! Babies! Babies need not be at risk for obesity, right? Well as it turns out, we are getting overweight and obese at a much younger age.
Where I am from, almost 19% of babies and toddlers under the age of 2 (yes that is 2 YEARS OLD) are considered overweight or obese! In fact, childhood obesity has more then tripled in the past 30 years? The article goes on to explain what the effects of child hood obesity are, Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and orthopedic problems, you know all those common ailments that affect our older population…ya, they are now affecting our toddler. Hell before you know it, your toddler may be on high blood pressure medication. Fun times for sure! You can read the article in it’s entirety HERE.
I have a few personal comments here though that I would like to add that Tracy didn’t happen to mention in her article, probably because she is a reporter for a large newspaper and certain comments are probably not acceptable. I however, am not a reporter, and this is my blog and I can write whatever I want! So here goes……
What the HELL are we doing out there? Are you kidding me? High blood pressure? Sleep Apnea? Orthopedic problems? Holy shit…there are two year olds walking around out there with canes and high blood pressure! If they are like this NOW, I fear what their health problems are going to be in 20 or 30 years….IF they are even around in that time frame. Who is to blame for childhood obesity. Yup, WE are! If you are able to read this blog, those of us who are old enough to read and know better are to blame. How on earth did we allow this to happen! Have we gotten so busy in our lives that we cannot even feed our children properly? Make no mistake, I am NOT going to sit here all high and mighty and say that I am the perfect parent and I feed my children the best foods all the time, I don’t, nor does my wife, but I will say that we have limits and we control what they eat and when they eat it.
Why did we get to this point? Crappy food, video games, vending machines in schools (get rid of them), little to no activity and in 2 parent households a lot of our children end up in daycare where sometimes they are not being fed properly. Hell when they hit school, sometimes they are not fed properly. Have you actually looked at a school lunch menu lately? Take a look, amazing! Children tend to tell us what they want and don’t want and like or don’t like. Last time I checked, I was the parent and I decide what they eat and what they don’t eat. God bless my mother, even though at the time I didn’t like it, she had a relatively simple rule, you eat what I make, you eat whats on your plate or you don’t eat and you go hungry. The choice was completely on us kids. She fed us properly, we were not allowed to play video games (The commodore 64 and Atari systems were totally the rage back in the late 70’s and early 80’s). There were NO options. We didn’t have junk food in the house, if we wanted a snack, we had a piece of fruit. I don’t recall one time, ever going to a McDonalds. NOT ONE! We ate dinner every night around the kitchen table. My dad wasn’t always there because of work, but my mom was and so were all of us kids.
Oh, I can hear it now, well life is just too damned busy now to be able to do any of that stuff. We all work, have after school stuff to do. I agree, life is just “busier” now than it used to be. I get it! Does that mean though, that our children have to suffer with Type 2 Diabetes and sleep apnea because we are busy?
How do we fix this problem? We need to change the way our kids think about food. Plain and simple. Food is subsistence that supports life. Ice cream and cookies, though enjoyable to eat, do not help us to sustain life. There is almost no nutritional value in that stuff. Candy…don’t even get me started! Food is all about making choices and we as the parents need to make better choices! Our kids do not decide for us. Our children do not tell us what to do, we tell them what they are going to do. Take it or leave, my job is not to be their friend, it is to be their Dad or their mom. The decisions we make today for our children will live with them for the rest of their lives! Everyone wants to complain about healthcare in this country and what is so screwed up. Well, make no mistake, if we do not fix this problem with our children today, the healthcare problem is going to get worse and our children are going to grow up unhealthy and in greater numbers than our system can support. It is my opinion that the only people who can fix this problem are us, the parents. Take it or leave it, you wouldn’t feed your kid something would kill them, but we have no problem feeding them a meal from a fast food joint. I am not quite certain what the difference is.