Thursday, November 12, 2009

I Don't Get It

I wrote about this awhile back but then this morning there was an article about childhood obesity online and I decided it was a topic worth revisiting. The article was about some studies that have been done which concluded that today's kids are astronomically more likely than their parents or grandparents to suffer from heart disease. The article went on to say...

"Our study suggests that more of these young adults will have heart disease when they are 35-50 years old, resulting in more hospitalizations, medical procedures, need for chronic medications, missed work days and shortened life expectancy," said Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, lead author of the study. A study released last November at a Heart Association conference found that the neck arteries in obese and overweight children were similar to those of 45-year-olds. The children in the study also had "abnormal cholesterol" and were said to be at high risk for heart disease in the future."

Isn't that horrible? Overweight children have the arteries of 45-year-olds??? I mean, that just makes me sad. It also makes me kinda sick. Sick because, barring any rare medical conditions that cannot be helped, this is an epidemic (yes, epidemic) that is largely avoidable. Childhood obesity isn't like cancer, or autism, or even H1N1 swine flu. Those are all things people are either born with or may contract/develop at some point later in life for no foreseeable reason and which can't be helped. This isn't like that. Today's kids are getting out-of-control fat simply because they and their parents are too lazy to do anything about it. If you ask me, there's far, far too much of this...

and this...
and this.And there's not nearly enough of these...

or this.

I mean, do kids even play outside anymore? Do they still have bicycles and rollerblades and trampolines like we did when I was growing up? I don't really understand what makes any parent think its ok to feed their kid a continual diet of processed, packaged fast food and then let them spend hours on end sitting on the couch in front of the television. My brain cannot wrap itself around the line of reasoning that goes on there because its just ridiculous!

Whew! Sorry. I got a little fired up there. I just think its a horrible failure on the part of any parent who lets that happen to their kid. Children who struggle with their weight don't have easy childhoods. I know they have to deal with self-esteem issues, getting made fun of by other kids, and just a general inability to participate in the physical activities they should be able to participate in at that age. What part of that sounds good, or like something you would want for your child? Why as a parent would you ever let that happen if you could prevent it? I just don't understand.

1 comment:

  1. It's absolutely sickening. Apparently in KY 38% of 10 - 17 year olds are overweight. Take note that this also happens to be when their metabolisms are at the highest level in their lives. There are cases of 2-3 year olds with high blood pressure and high cholesterol!

    There are a ton of reasons for it, but I blame three things. First, kids aren't nearly as active as they used to be. Technology is partly to blame, as is the fear-mongering media, and schools cutting back on PE time while simultaneously making it less strenuous. Second, the average American watches 5 hours of TV every day... I'm still trying to figure out how people find 5 hours of daily TV worth watching. Third is our ever worsening car culture. People act as if walking more than a block is impractical.


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