The Disturbing Truth

My sister sent me this video, apparently it has been banned from YouTube and you DEFINITELY won’t be seeing it on any American television channels, they say it is too disturbing. Of course it is disturbing, but it makes you think, which is what we should be doing more of.

The disturbing part is the truth;  the truth is that one in three children in American are overweight or obese, and 34 % of adults are overweight and another 31% are obese.  This isn’t about being about something as shallow as being thin or attractive, this is about people’s lives.

“In a recent government study, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that obesity is fast approaching tobacco as the top underlying preventable cause of death in the USA.”

The only promising thing about this statistic is the word PREVENTABLE. Obesity is killing people, but it is preventable.  While consuming drugs, alcohol, or tobacco is a choice to be made by an adult or a teen, what children eat is often not their choice, and the poor food choices they do make are often due to a lack of knowledge, and bad habits passed down from parents.  The bad habits we are all trying to break didn’t all form in our adult lives, we learned many of them as children.  Were our parents purposely passing on bad habits?  No, it is my firm belief that parents have the best of intentions, they just are not equip with the best tools and knowledge.

One day, a mother speaking of her struggle with obesity told me, “I used to eat the same thing when I was their age,” referring to the junk food her children eat without gaining weight.  It was everything I could do to keep my head from exploding off my shoulders and jumping up and down like a mad woman, but I have a little more tact than that.  Not much.  But a little.  I think I said something along the lines of “Well they’re lucky to have a mother like you who recognizes how hard the struggle with weight gain is, and will lead them down a better path.”  Did this woman realize she was leading her children down the same road road of trials and tribulations she was traveling on?  No, she hadn’t made the connection yet, but  I hoped to help her recognize that, without blaming her or making her feel guilty because she wasn’t purposely leading her children astray.  No one means to be part of the problem, but we should be making every attempt imaginable to be part of the solution.  Luckily, the solution is within our grasp.

What we teach our children, students, nieces and nephews, or our friend’s children, is merely the beginning.  Children are wonderful students and teachers; the lessons that are instilled in them at home (good and bad), will be carried with them for a lifetime.  They will then pass on their knowledge of a healthy lifestyle to other kids and adults, and ultimately will lead by example.  Whether they lead by good or bad example depends greatly on the habits they learn at home as a child and teenager.

Again, I do NOT claim to be the “child whisperer,” or begin to understand how difficult being a parent must be–I’m just here for support. 🙂  Everyday I eat lunch with my students and most days they make fun of how strange my food looks or smells, but everyday I offer them a taste if they seem curious.  Depending on how curious or hungry they are, some days I have a taker.  One day it was eggplant… and they liked it.  One day it was asparagus… and they liked it.  One day it was spinach… and they liked it.  The best (or the worst) part was; for many of these kids they had NEVER had or heard of eggplant, asparagus, and now that Popeye ain’t around, even spinach.  But they LIKED it.  Don’t underestimate your kid’s taste buds!  They say (the child whisperers, I guess) to re-introduce a food to a child, no matter how much they hate it, multiple times because their taste buds change as they mature.  So, this goes for you too– if there is a food you didn’t like when you were FIVE, give it another try!

Children are born to play–we are ALL born to play, but we LEARN a sedentary lifestyle!  Help your kids, and yourself, by teaching them how to lead an active lifestyle.  Put a limit on the amount of “screen time” the children get and put on the snow boots instead!  It may be cold, but did you ever notice how young children sledding or playing in the snow don’t seem to notice how cold it is, while adults stand around complaining about the winter?  We are BORN to play and live a healthy lifestyle, play with your kids.  You will burn calories and build relationships!

If there are foods in your house that you KNOW you or your child shouldn’t eat, that you KNOW are pure sugar, or packed full of man-made fat, don’t overlook it any longer.  We have a responsibility to the children in this country to create a safe, healthy environment for them to live in.  Safe from a future plagued with obesity and diabetes and safe from the food and inactivity that will lead them down this path.

I realize this hasn’t been the most upbeat and happy post, but truth must rear it’s ugly head at times.  After all, I did promise you No BS!


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Christee says:

    Holy crap! That video IS disturbing, but on the mark!

    1. Lauren says:

      Isn’t it, though? I knew you would like it…quick and to the point. Still makes me anxious just watching it, even though I know what happens at the end.

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