Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pondering on childhood obesity

I was just thinking about being a fat kid and how did that happen? We grew up in semi rural Arizona. We played hard, I mean really hard, outside all day unless we were sick. I could climb the highest cottonwood tree in the neighborhood, I wrestled with my brothers, rode bikes through obstacle courses that we made up (and they were tough). We were always banged up, scraped up, cut, stitched, bruised and very, very happy kids. And we were always hungry!!

We always ate breakfast and that was a good thing. Mom made us breakfast, hot in the winter, cold cereal in the summer and it wasn't generally sugary crap. Sometimes it was pancakes or bacon and eggs.

Lunch was usually a sandwich, 3 cookies and a piece of fruit. We didn't eat school lunch very often because of the cost. And they weren't terribly nutritious either!!

We usually had some kind of snack when we got home from school to tide us over til dinner.

Dinner, wow, what can I say? It was generally fried in Crisco. What part of it? All of it!! It wasn't that my mom didn't want to make different things, it was that my dad was King of his castle and dinner would be to his liking, SO THERE!! And his liking was chicken fried steak, french fries with gravy and some horrid vegetable that came out of a can. I hate canned veggies to this day!! Let's not forget bread and butter was served with every dinner. Dinner was served promptly at 5 pm and you had better be there and you had better clean your plate. Hungry or not, like it or not, eat everything on your plate.

My dad never hesitated to tell any of us that we were fat. Maybe not bluntly like that, but the result was the same. At the same time, the King of His Castle insisted that we subsist on the most God awful diet in the world.

We were active enough that none of us should have ever had a weight problem. We not were not picky eaters for the most part, we were just not given good food choices when we sat down to the table. So all of those calories that I burned playing so hard every day were insufficient to counter the french fries with gravy that I was being served for dinner.

Parents, you are responsible for your childrens diets. Feed them all day long, just feed them good things, veggies, fruits, lean proteins. Encourage them to eat when they are hungry and do something other than eat if they are not hungry. Fat kids grow up to be fat adults.

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