Or should I say – chubby. No, still not politically correct. Hum, help me out here people. Maybe something like challenged by gravity. Nah. Let’s go for some French style – food seduce youngster. I really don’t mind what you call it. The fact is that kids are getting fatter by the day. And we wonder why?
The UK just reported that “despite millions of pounds of government money and a stream of media messages, children are more unfit than ever“. I lived in the UK for 4 years and can tell you why they have an obesity problem in the UK (and I bet the same goes for the US). An obesity problem that will kill their children at a faster rate each year. And the problem is pretty obvious. And the solution not that difficult either. Just get out of your nanny-state mindset and look at the problem – and how you are part of it.
For starters – you spend millions of pounds on a stream of media messages. Jeez, really guys. The kids are doing what when you send these messages out? They are sitting on their backsides watching Spongebob Squarepants or Back at the Barnyard (clue – I have kids). And they use the ad break (when you send THAT message of don’t eat to much crap) to quickly run and get a bite to eat. Thanks for giving them a break in between programs to go and fill up. And they don’t sit and read The Guardian or watch BBC News. No. Not rocket science guys. But it happens when a bunch of politicians tries to come up with good ideas – it never ends in good ideas. Same thing happens when Spongebob’s best friend Patrick tries to think. But at least it is funny when he does it. No. You have to get the message into those programs they watch and not in the break in between. Spongebob – guess what he does for a living? He makes hamburgers… What do the kids want for dinner? Krabby-patties the way Spongebob makes it. Just run down to the local McDonald’s to get some then… You have to get Spongebob to make good food fun. Don’t you try it. You will come up with another boring program telling kids what to do. And that doesn’t work. You are not the role model and neither will the character that you invent. Get the cool people who created Spongebob come up with the idea. That’s what they do best. Make eating fruit fun. Not the dreary faces telling people how bad that burger is. That ain’t gonna work. Get with it baby. Be cool and be hip (that is so 80s saying that). Sorry, be hot and be bad. But just don’t put your messages in the wrong place or in the wrong mouth.
But don’t jump on the “blame junk-food” bandwagon. That’s the easy way out. Yes, ban them where you want – I don’t care. Think that will stop kids? It will be like banning porn – the challenge for kids to get it will be just more pronounced. “I dare you to go and buy a hamburger”. Sell bad food like cigarettes or beer and see if that works. Those kids who drink and smoke will now have another thing to try and get – a nice fatty hamburger. And they can try to sell as many salads and apple slices as they want. That is not what the kids want. It is just a way to get the kids there at a young age. They’ll switch to the Big Mac sooner or later. No. Banning them or forcing them to be more responsible won’t work. The best way is to get kids not to want to go there in the first place. Make them the Evil Empire Zurg. Give people a Spiderman toy when they don’t go there. Not when they go there. Get kids to go and play in the park instead.
Of course it doesn’t help that you sold off the school sport grounds for development. More and more acres of sporting facilities are lost each year. Why? Because school funding has gone down the drain. And schools must come up with their own money. And since you gave them power over the assets – what did you expect them to do? Plant a money tree? Easy choice – fire more teachers and give even worse education to the kids or sell some assets? Sell the assets. Who’ll notice? Oh, the fat kid in the corner? He’s just to lazy to do anything. Comes home from school and lives in the high-rise block of flats with no playground. Can’t play in the streets anymore. This isn’t the 50s you know. There are cars in the streets now. Let’s get out the house for a bit and meet up with our friends at the mall for a shake and a burger. Rocket science? I think not. Just stupid government policies and lack of vision.
Instead of playing outside we have to give the kids new distractions to keep them off the streets. Sky, iPod and Wii (at least some action). Nothing else to do but sit in front of the idiot-box and watch a bit of Charlie and Lola I guess. And Lola likes what? Pink shakes. Ever wondered why the young yobs outside are all so thin? No, it’s not because of the cigarettes they smoke. And for sure not the beers they drink. It’s because they are outside. Yes, they might be trowing bricks at windows and spraying graffiti on walls. But they are outside and active – nice and fit from the running away from the coppers. We can learn more from the yobs than from the government messages. Get outside and run, baby, run.
But it is not just the stupid government ideas that should be blamed. No. Parents are just as guilty – if not more. I saw them while in the UK. Sitting and watching Neighbours instead of cooking or doing something with the kids. You sit there and eat your fatty fish and chips from the chippy. And drink your five beers in the pub at night. And what do you think your kids are doing? Huh, I don’t know. I gave them a fiver to go and buy some food. Or, at best, I cooked them some pizza and/or mechanically recovered chicken pieces – all deep-fried. Get off your lazy butts and go and do something with your kids. They are your kids. Not government kids. Take responsibility and act like you care. Eat together and talk together. You live under the same roof and should wake up and smell the burning fat. Go outside and kick a ball or take a walk in the many parks you have. Hell, you can even drive them there if you really have to. But don’t expect government to do everything for you. Be proud man. Are you the same nation who fought two wars? I doubt it. Just grow up and do what is right for you kids. Or else they will turn out just like you. And before you ask – yes, that is a bad option for them. And for your country.
You want to know how to deal with obesity in kids? Just let them play. Just let them play outside. Just let them play outside and have fun. Just let them play outside and have fun and live a full life. Not a full body.