July 18, 2012

Children Shouldn’t be Getting Fat

When you think of children, what do you picture in your mind? Do you see them running around playing silly games, and hear echoes of them yelling and whooping at each other like little maniacs? If so, that’s a pretty healthy image of them. Unfortunately, in our modern world this healthy, completely natural image has been largely supplanted with something far less appealing. Children these days are getting fat, and not just the extremely small percentage of children who either belong to fat households (where they eat a lot and sit around constantly) or have genuinely fat genes (a rarer group than most people would like to believe). Completely normal, healthy children are simply not burning off as many calories as they take in.

And this problem is not just a matter of the traditional “Buddha belly” that babies often have. A baby tends to double in size in a year or so, whereas growth slows down for older children. A baby needs all the fuel they can get. And while children traditionally needed a lot of fuel because of their extremely active lives, the modern world has rendered them more and more likely to simply sit around all the time, eating bad food and storing away those empty calories as useless, lumpy flab. This has got to stop, or we will see our obesity epidemic rise even further.

This is a problem which we can stop right here and right now. The trouble is, we have a lot of our own habits to combat. When our children have their favorite tasty treats taken away from them, and we try to mandate physical exertion, they will whine and complain about it. And then, when that fails, they will ask us why we do not do the same things in our own lives. When we answer them, we can’t just say it. We are going to have to make changes from the top to the bottom.