Hands off my junk food!

Yesterday, First Lady Michelle Obama made her first public speech about her Let’s Move program. The program aims to reduce childhood obesity and increase the healthiness of American youth. This is a much needed effort considering that childhood obesity has tripled in the last three decades! If America is to have universal health care, obesity must be addressed because it places a ridiculous strain on the human body resulting in an excess of medical needs that tax payers would have to cover. I applaud her efforts to reduce childhood obesity, but in her speech yesterday, she continuously requested that food companies improve advertising techniques and start trying to sell healthy food to kids.

Not advertising junk food may help, but it comes down to the parents. When I was a kid, all I remember seeing advertised were cookies and candies and watching Cookie Monster. We ate them, I don’t remember any obese kids. But then again we didn’t have video games like there are today. I could eat an entire bag of chips in one sitting because I had been outside running around all day – like a kid is supposed to. The problem in fighting obesity isn’t just the food that is being sold or the junk food kids eat, it’s the laziness of the parents who don’t force their kids to play outside instead of sitting in front of a tv or computer.

So parents…set an example for your kids by playing outside with them or at least force them outside, lock the door behind them and then sit on your lazy ass and eat your junk food. I promise kids can occupy themselves in the backyard, don’t worry. But please don’t be like her because this won’t help anybody.

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6 responses to “Hands off my junk food!

  1. It is correct to say that parents are the most important influence on a child in shaping his/her lifestyle, but I think that poverty also, is the underlying force driving the obesity epidemic. With healthy foods being more expensive and at times completely unattainable for many in poor communities and depression also intrinsically linked to lethargy, it is undeniably and unfortunately harder than just getting more healthy foods aired on TV or asking parents to play outside with their kids to tackle this horrendous epidemic.

  2. You and Bill never cease to amaze me with your blog. I thoroughly enjoyed your latest post about Canada and its budget. Your link to the US Energy Commission was very informative and makes me think that the US should take some lessons from our northern neighbors.

  3. To follow up on MZ’s comment, I agree that there are multiple reasons for the nation’s present obesity epidemic. One thing that I have witnessed first hand in affecting children and their level of activity is the amount of homework burdening them daily. The nation, which continues to push its students to achieve more earlier in their lives in order to “remain competitive” with the rest of the world, has to ask itself, “At what can we continue to push our youth?” By no means is this problem only associated with young children, just look at the plethora of diet books/TV shows out there aimed at adults. Simply put, the United States’ obsession with “productivity” and “progress” prevent individuals from having a fulfilling life. I am convinced, after having traveled to the Middle East, that humans were not meant to be stuck indoors for 8 hours each day, 5 days a week, nor were our children meant to remain prisoners inside the home, glued to their virtual worlds on computers and in TVs.

  4. Agreed we’re not meant to be in the grind Capitalism has put us in, but at the same time other advanced Western nations don’t have the same obesity problems the US has.

  5. How about TV, Ipods, video games? Kids used to go out and play all day. Now there are too many spectator “sports.”

  6. Here’s the problem with “going outside” to play — Have you ever tried to catch a frisbee or avoid a tackle while eating a Hot Pocket?

    Until they figure out that conundrum, I’m stuck with the Wii.

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