Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mixed Signals

It seems like every day on the news there is a story about the obesity problem in America, especially among children.  I heard just the other day that now teenagers are beginning to have gastric bypass surgery to help them control their weight.  I find it interesting that this has become a national problem as opposed to an individual one.

A news story I saw last night focused on how a school is helping children combat this problem by creating games that include the names of the fruits and vegetables that children should be eating.  I believe the idea is to make healthy foods "fun."  What the program did not appear to do is to provide the students with these foods to actually eat and learn to like.  After watching the news story, I was left with the impression that the kids would know about games to play and know the names of the foods they should eat but that their eating habits would not really change.   Wouldn't it be more effective to educate the parents so that they can begin providing their kids with healthier food choices?

It's no wonder that people no longer know what food to eat.  There are constantly news stories that tell us to eat one food, and then another story comes out to tell us not to eat it.  One day nuts are good for us, and the next they are too high in fat.  Mixed signals are also given in the commercials.  Can you name one commercial for a fast food restaurant (or any restaurant for that matter) that includes people who are overweight eating the food? 

This issue has become more important to me now that we are raising our own child.  I want to make sure that she eats well and know how to exhibit self control with the foods that she does eat.  I hear of so many stories of kids who will not eat a variety of foods that I wonder what our future will hold.  I am trying to do better job of eating a variety of healthy foods now since I am feeding her breastmilk and I hope that she will develop a taste for the different fruits and vegetables.  


Tracy said...

While I agree with your comments about food and children -- I think a lot more of the problem is in activity level, even more so than food.

You rarely see a true "farmer kid" (one that actually works on a farm, not just live in the country) that is overweight despite huge appetites. They spend most of their days outside and are constantly busy and active. I think the same can be said for any city kids that is heavily involved in some physical pursuit (soccer, ballet, gymnastics). So although watching foods is good and right, physical activity is even more important, IMHO.

paconard said...

I definitely agree with you that activity is important as well. There again the school system and society sends very mixed signals. They are worried about the weight of the students, but they chose to cut out PE and recess.

I can remember spending many of my evenings and summers outside playing with the neighbor kids, riding my bike, going swimming, playing softball, or going to the roller skating rink. Much of my weight gain did not occur until I was in junior high and was not as active anymore.