There was a small article in the New York Times today about obesity in children. The article basically stated that the growing rate of obesity in children is creating higher blood pressure levels that could foreshadow a huge generation of heart disease. It is more the long term effects on over weight children.
I have had a weight issue since day one. The neurotic jewish girl in me made me think about dieting from the second I woke up until when I went to sleep at night. I weigh myself every morning. I think about what I am putting in my mouth. I certainly treat myself, plenty, but I do know what is healthy and not healthy.
We talk about this at home. We talk about caloric intake, exercise, eating healthy. All health related not weight related. There is a big difference here. Some of us have the joy of being born with thin bodies and can consume anything. This does not necessarily mean healthy.
Our society has made food available at every corner. Supersized so you are getting the most for your money. Tasty medications for kids, snacks shaped at your favorite characters. 200 years ago, people plowed the fields, worked on the fields instead of at the gym and ate what they made. Now we are a world eating food filled with god knows what. Hey, it is fine once in awhile but not daily. How do we teach our children that in the home and at school?
Our oldest is in the middle school play. The week before the play they have to stay late 3 nights in a row making sure the performance is ready for action. Last year, all the kids were consuming food for dinner that was purchased by the adults that were there to help. What did they eat? Pizza, chips and sub sandwiches. Needless to say, by day 3, everyone felt disgusting. This is obesity training at its finest.
The past year, I have decided to cater the middle school play’s dinners during the last week. These kids are eating a healthy well-balanced meal every night. To me, that is extremely important.
I know that most people say that they don’t have time to make a meal. They don’t know how to cook. Broiling a few pieces of chicken or a piece of steak, tossing some lettuce together with a salad dressing or throwing some vegetables in the oven for 1/2 an hour isn’t that big of a deal.
Whenever I travel around the country, I am amazed by how heavy we have let our children get. It breaks my heart. I was a fat kid. It sucked. You did not feel good about yourself. Teaching our children how to eat healthy – again, they learn from example – has to be one of the most important things you can do.
Otherwise, as I read today, we are all going to have to pay the price.