For the most part, even today, children and vibrant healthy creatures. They run, they play, they seem to stay slim not matter what goes in them. They seem resilient. And their parents seem to agree that there is nothing to worry about. The most caring, loving education people in the world seem to think nothing about giving their kids soda, Doritos, Gatorade, artificial sweeteners, and lots and lots of store bought baked goods.
And it bothers me.
I don’t like to say it bothers me out loud too often,because I don’t want to offend anyone or make them feel bad. But I do want their kids to feel good. I see the logic – they feel kids will just burn it all off. Or they feel it’s a treat and they love their children and want them to be happy. And there are many parents who run to the doctor every time their children have a runny nose, yet if their child is overweight, they don’t consider it a major health concern.
Well why isn’t it? Have we asked ourselves why we don’t worry about this? My son’s school has an event at least monthly where a lot of sugary snacks are sold. Why is this ok? Why have we kept this, even increased this, as part of our culture when so many kids are overweight or obese. Is it just because it makes us feel good?
We have a major health crisis where no research, no drugs, no funding is needed to cure everyone afflicted. All we need to do is eat better. And we don’t. Is it because we consider being overweight merely a social stigma and therefore unimportant? Surely most people are cognizant of what will happen to our bodies if we continue that pattern. But it’s a long term problem, and therefore somewhat easy for us to ignore.
As the costs of healthcare rise, and the incidence of diet related diseases increases, where do you want your child to fall in the spectrum? What coping mechanisms will you give them for dealing with cravings, poor body image, diabetes, heart disease, aches and pains, fatigue, low mental capacity and the myriad of other health issues they may face in 20 years? Over-consumption of sugar alone can cause all of this.
You may think it isn’t very serious or that your child is fine. But given our current cultural predisposition to obesity and related illnesses, do you really think the socially accepted “norm” is ok?
Children need love, affection, basic nutrition. Do they need junk food to be happy? Have you questioned this lately? There are healthy lifestyle alternatives that are not limiting and are very practical. Are you ready for a change your kids will thank you for for years to come?
Lynne Bloom is a Health Coach who graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She works with families to improve their lifestyle, health and nutrition. For more information go to www.coachmyfamily.com