Archived in 2022

Originally posted on 30 Jun 2006

It’s been one of the “big stories” of the past year or so: childhood obesity. American obesity in general, actually, but childhood obesity has that tragic ring to it after which the media lusts so it pops up very frequently in “news” stories. Especially when there doesn’t appear to be anything else particularly sensational going on in the world that day.

We get to hear about how much school lunches suck (which they actually do) and how soft drink machines in school are bad for our children (which they actually are) and how “adult-onset diabetes” is rapidly becoming a misnomer for the disease.

And, of course, there are the plans. The suggestions. The various and sometimes hair-brained ideas of how to slow/stop/prevent this newly recognized crisis. There are many of them, of course. Some involve legislation. Some involve programs to help “raise awareness.” Absolutely none of them seem to involve parental responsibility.

So your child is rapidly becoming out of shape, overweight and bordering on obese. In short: a big porker. What should you, as a parent, do about it? Well, to judge from all of the aforementioned plans, suggestions and ideas you should expect someone else to police the health and welfare of your child. Someone else can teach your child how to eat well and make good food choices. Someone else can make sure that your child is getting the activity that it needs every day. God forbid you should have to take the effort to pay attention to what your child is eating or how it is spending its many non-school hours. God forbid that you should have to pry little Johnny away from the TV.

Here’s one of the latest “advances” in helping a parent avoid paying attention to their parental duties: weighted toys. That’s right, folks. Rather than keeping tabs on your kid and getting him outside to play rather than sitting on his rapidly spreading ass in front of the TV, console game or computer, you can just hand him a toy which weighs a couple of pounds more than normal and hope it becomes the one with which he spends many hours of gleeful fun. He can play with it while sitting in front of the TV, soda by his side and big bag of chips or cookies in front of him. Problem solved! Your child, I guarantee, will not only be thinner but he will also be quite buff by the age of seven. Brilliant!

I could go on and on about the woeful state of children and parenting and even people in general in this day and age, but it would do little good. The only purposes it would serve would be to bore my readers and serve as an outlet for my vitriol and self-righteous indignation. So I’ll let my rant lie as-is for now. The gist of my objections is now known and that’s good enough.