I just watched a pretty good morning TV segment on childhood obesity with an expert offering tips on how parents can offer their kids better food choices. Then…..the commercial directly after the segment was a Cereal company outlining how their cereals are part of a healthy way to get their kids going in the morning. The cereals were many of the popular junk food cereals that should absolutely be avoided as a choice for everyday consumption by children.
This scenario was no different than if there was a segment on alcoholism followed by a beer commercial…no different at all!
So much emphasis is put on childhood obesity, so much funding for programs yet kids keep getting more obese, less active and disease prone because the habits and products of the parents and companies who supply our kids with food have not changed one bit!
You can tell kids to eat their veggies and avoid sugary drinks all you want but if more money is being spent by companies producing misleading commercials touting that a little bit of whole grain will make up for a days worth of sugar in one small bowl of their cereals….the obesity crisis will only get worse.
The habits of the parents, school, teachers, school administrations, companies and organizations who supply our kids with food have to drastically change because kids model their behavior after the people and culture they are immersed in…period!
We can spend all the millions of sponsor dollars on flashy cartoons, public service announcements and lip service campaigns we want but NOTHING will change until the daily habits of adults are overhauled and changed for good.
There are many variables to consider with regard to achieving this seemingly insurmountable problem but I do know that it doesn’t start with cartoons, dressing up in animal suits, misleading food commercials and a song dance telling kids to eat veggies and fruits! It starts with changing the behavior and habits of the adults who are supposed to be leading by example with regard to making consistent physical activity and common sense eating at the foundation of the core values we instill in our children. Without proper health, there is no foundation!