Happy Meals make me sad.

Obesity in children has been all over the news lately because of the 8 year old British boy Connor McCreaddie who weighs 190 pounds, 4 times the amount of a average boy his age. The British government was considering taking him away from his family because they were lumping his obesity in with child abuse. In the end they decided the family would be allowed to keep the boy in their care but must try and get his weight down. I sympathize with the boy and his family and hope they can do something to get him healthy. Something that really bothered me was hearing the mother say he rejects healthy food and will only eat highly processed food and junk food. I have heard this before from many other parents I have known. Some of the them have thin children and some have heavy children, but the common thread is that they don't take control of what their children eat. What are these parents thinking? I must say that I am not yet a mother, but I often feel like one. I have a sister in 5th grade that I helped raise. I have seen first hand what goes into parenting and have done some "parenting" myself. It is the parent that supplies the child with food. Why give them unhealthy choices? If they reject the healthy food and you say okay then and hand them the chips and soda that is not teaching them anything. If the unhealthy food is not in the house then the child can't eat it. You, the parent are in charge of what you bring into your home. If your child has a severe problem with food, how can you supply them with what is making them unhealthy. Children will not starve themselves. They will eat when they are very hungry. So, they may reject the chicken and veggies you serve them at first, but eventually you will have success. Feeding your child food that has no nutritional value is like starving them anyway. Another argument I hear is that they need to keep the unhealthy snacks around for the siblings in the house who do not have a weight problem. Well, just because you do not have a weight problem doesn't mean you are healthy. Why would you want to give your thinner kids the unhealthy snacks. Why would you want to punish the over weight child. The whole family can enjoy fresh fruits, veggies, and whole grains together. The biggest influence a child can have is watching how their family eats on a day to day basis. I have one friend who takes her son to McDonald's every day because that is the only thing he likes to eat. Um, hello, its not about what he likes, its about what is healthy for him. Children don't understand how their eating habits affect their health, that's why we have parents to make these decisions for us then we are young. They don't understand what heart disease, cancer, diabetes are and that they are putting themselves in harms way. It's like helping them run into a busy intersection. Once we are old enough to understand the risks, our diet is in our own hands. Children may not like doing their homework, they may not like doing chores, they may not like wearing their seat belt, but we make them do these things for their benefit. This is the same approach parents should have for their children's nutrition.

That being said, I understand that some children may still have weight problems no matter what. My family has always eaten pretty healthy and I still ended up wear I am today, but my mom wasn't giving me cookies instead of green beans for dinner because I didn't like them. It breaks my heart to see obese children because I know life will be so much harder for them. I know they have no clue what this will do to their health and their bodies. I want to save them. I know they will have to find their way. Hopefully one of the people helping them along they way instead of hindering them is their parents.

On another note, I am glad that the British government is looking into banning ad's for unhealthy foods during children's television. Seeing these day in and day out is certainly not helping our children make wise choices. Would we allow marketing to children for cigarettes or alcohol? Of course not, because they are harmful as it unhealthy food. I am hoping other countries will take this as an example to follow. Our children are more important than the all mighty dollar. Food companies love hooking people when they are young so they have faithful followers as adults. I also wish they would give healthy choices on children's menus in restaurant. Just because they are under 12 does not mean all the should or could eat is chicken fingers, burger, or grilled cheese with fries. They must give healthier options . We give children mixed messages, we want them to eat healthy but all the food marketed to children is unhealthy. When did you last see a commercial for apples or broccoli with Sponge Bob Square Pants as the main endorser? I thought so.


  1. Fresh fruits and vegies will of course solve everything! We know that there was no such thing as obesity before processed foods were invented! And of course we know that his bad diet is the cause of all of his problems because children who are overfed routinely gorw and extra foot taller than their peers by the time that they are eight.
    Of course the simple solution that everyone knows will obviously solve everything because he is obviouslt a perfectly normal child who has just had too much to eat.


  2. Did you read my whole post? If so did you see the part where I said you can eat healthy and still have a weight problem? I do not have any rosy idealistic dreams that fruit and veggies will solve the world's obesity problems but I know they can help in many cause. The main point of the blog was to say that it's sad when the parents say their kids reject healthy foods so they supply the junk food for them. Connor obviously has other issues but his mother is NOT doing her best to help him. If you still disagree, I am completely okay with that. I knew the topic could spark things.