Thursday, April 30, 2009

Obesity in Children...Fast Food At Fault or THE PARENTS?

My ears tire of people and their opinions that have no traces of common sense in them. I hate to hear someone who is NORMALLY educated "sounding" get on their soapbox and say something stupid like "commercials on television are making our kids fat". *sigh* Commercials can't do ANYTHING but make your kids nag you about something they as the parent should have half a brain enough to know that just because your kid wants it, doesn't mean they HAVE to have it.

So some lady who was up in arms about the new Spongebob Burger King commercial was talking about how it objectified our little girls and the usual conversation of the media being responsible for putting negative images out there to...our children. She mentioned that some of the commercials also could be blamed for the obesity in our children and that is where I just tuned out. 

McDonald's, Burger King, and Wendy's have ALWAYS had commercials since their doors opened. Some commercials are catered to entertain children, others are catered to entertain adults. Every now and then, the lines are crossed to pull the entire family into the entertainment. Take for instance the commercial that was SPECIFICALLY manufactured to get kids to eat healthier from McDonald's. The little boy dressed up in B-Boy gear, bringing a boombox to the dinner table, dancing to Cha Cha Slide while eating his apples....while dipping them in caramel sauce. I guess parents were happy with that...instead of your kid getting fat from eating chicken nugget meals obsessively BECAUSE YOUR DUMB ASS WON'T STOP BUYING THEM FOR THEM, now their teeth will rot out of their skulls because they can't stop eating that caramel sauce...with their healthy apples.

Commercials and advertising do not MAKE kids fat...parents who don't give a f*ck about their children's health ALLOW their kids to GET fat. When was the last time you saw a 5 year old go work for 40 hours a week, cash a check and tell their parents, "I eat what I want cause I work 40 hrs a week"? You've never seen that because kids don't work...parents do. I understand that it is easy to stop by some fast food spot on the way home, grab dinner, and get on with your life but if you REALLY cared about the welfare of your kid AND THEIR HEALTH, you wouldn't doom them to a life of obesity like that. Some children are blessed with a speedy metabolism that allows them to burn that crap off as easily as they put it on but if your kid ISN'T and spends more time in front of the television and computer than is healthy for even an adult, you're gonna have some obesity issues on your hands.

Another thing...if you are obese and have bad eating habits, 9 times out of 10, your kids will be too. It has NOTHING to do with the commercials that are being aired on TV.

Me, my brother, and sister used to get all excited when we'd see Happy Meal commercials and IMMEDIATELY run into the other room to beg for that ride to McDonald's. Did my mom say, "Oh kids, please don't force me to take you there"? Did she even get up and say "Sure, grab you coats, let's go"? No. Unfortunately for our naive and unaware asses her response was usually, "You have plenty of toys already. That's all you want a Happy Meal for anyway" or "Are you hungry? You really hungry? Ok, go in there and make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, grab a banana, a glass of milk, and sit down somewhere and eat it". Sure, we HATED her for all of 2 minutes for ruining our dream of McDonald's but we ain't never been obese a day in our lives.

My dad...he'd just laugh in our face , walk us to the refrigerator, point to some carrots and celery, a jar of peanut butter and a container of ranch dressing and tell us if we're REALLY hungry, we knew what we could eat. When we'd sulk back to the living room, he'd laugh again and say, "Guess you weren't that hungry, huh". And the truth was...WE WEREN'T HUNGRY; WE JUST WANTED IT BECAUSE WE SAW IT ON TV.

I won't lie and say my parents NEVER let us eat fast food but it was WITHIN REASON. It wasn't EVERY TIME we said we were hungry, nor was it EVERY TIME we saw a commercial and felt we needed some fast food in our life.

Some people make the mistake of thinking because they eat crap all the time and aren't obese, they are okay. The issue here is NOT being's being healthy and if PARENTS were more concerned about their children being HEALTHY, they wouldn't allow their children they supposedly love so much to eat a slew of unhealthy food. Fast food sometimes is okay...all the time to the point your child looks like that kid up there, well, you should be beat twice daily for killing your own child slowly.

11 points of view:

NightFall914 said...

Last paragraph summed it up perfectly cuz that's what being done.There slowly killing a child that doesn't know any better.

CraigJC said...

It's def on the parents. But i wonder how much of it is a financial issue. Dem Happy Meals are way cheaper and quicker than the 30 minutes it takes to stand in line buy, cook, etc. It's tough though.

AssertiveWit said...

Craig: at the end of the day, it really is how much value you place on your health and your child's health...there are inexpensive healthy meals that can be prepared at home that only take 30 minutes to prepare. And last I checked, fast food ain't that cheap LOL I think about growing up...there were 5 people in my family. My parents could EASILY spend $20-30/per visit, when eating fast food. Imagine if a parent (with that many kids) does that even 3 times a week...THAT'S a waste of money.

If a parent is going to CHOOSE fast food on a regular basis over providing something healthier for their children, my point is, they have no one to blame but themselves. I know my child's health is more important to me than me trying to hurry up and get home to watch them eat crap. People just be lazy sometimes and it's easier to blame someone else than to accept accountability for why their kids have poor eating habits.

Ms_Slim said...

I definitely agree with this post. I'm also glad that you mentioned metabolism levels too, because as you stated, SOME folk just burn said fast foods...and SOME just can't get rid of it like a bad smell or something. Either way, like you said, it's in the best interest of the child to instill a sort of balance when it comes to these things. Too much of ANYTHING is never a good look.

And the excuses (as the guy above me mentioned) is also something else iHate. Grab some quick fast food at 5 bucks (or more) per meal each day...or get it in in the kitchen for a half hour or so and have a meal that last for 2 or 3 days. What a dilemma........not. Our world wants everything so quick and fast, we've become lazy...and wasting money consistently at that. Stop being lazy and cook for your child and stop wasting money on things found on the dollar menu.

I also look at this issue and apply the effect of media to other aspects of child rearing. Too many parents blame media (bad music, television shows, etc)on how their kids turned out or how technology has taken over the child-rearing. Um...that makes no sense to me lol. Sure media is a factor....but to the point where parents aren't even held accountable? GTFOH. I've always argued that that never made sense. Like Cosby has always said, parents are a major root to EVERYTHING when it comes to a child's upbringing.

Good post!

Anonymous said...

i saw the film super size me!! it's definitely something lol shame on it all!

AssertiveWit said...

Slim: I made sure I mentioned the metabolism because a lot of thin people think because they aren't "fat" they are afforded a right to eat crap. It's more about being healthy and whether or not you want to be...and if you care about your kids health, you know?

It is a little more money to eat healthier but after you calculate the money you'll shell out for other expenses that are related to bad health, it doesn't even compare. A parent with a child who has diabetes spends more money on health care and preventive measures than a parent who has been teaching their child to eat healthy from the get go.

And the media...HA! We could talk about that all day...parents are ALWAYS responsible first and that's where I'll sign off. LOL

Kimb0: I saw that movie too and every time I eat them fries at McDonald's I feel I stopped eating them like they were going out of style and limit myself to maybe once a month. I mean, people can eat what they want but blaming others for their health conditions? That's just retarded to one's forcing you to eat that crap.

Yoda said...

Preach girl preach!! I agree wholeheartedly. My parents didn't allow my siblings and I to eat fast food or unhealthy food very often. Granted we all have high metabolism on our side, we still played outside like kids should do instead of sitting in front of the T.V. too much. People seem to think the media has some mystical power to make them succumb to whatever new drug, toy, food, fad, whatever they are trying to push, when really all it takes is a little effort and willpower. Another great post as always, I enjoy reading your blog.

Jay_fever said...

Hell yeah! These "punk ass parents" (C. Bernie Mac) make me sick. What does that say about you when you let a damn child order you around? Where is the self accountability? Nobody wants to take responsibilty anymore...smh.

Mocha Dad said...

It's definitely the parents' fault. My cousins daughter is only 10 and she is morbidly obese. What bothers me the most is that my cousin is a nurse.

Diamond~Star said...

I agree with you on this. I have a friend who has an overweight daughter. She wil get mad when she see the girl eating too much at home, say some things that pretty much lower a child's self esteem (she'll say something like "If you didn't eat like a pig you could lose the weight". Yet, give it at least a day or so later, she is taking her daughter to the fast food restaurant after school to get what she want. **cringe**. I tell her over and over that she as a parent has to be the one to make changes in their eating so that her daughter can lose the weight. I know this conversation could go on for days.

Great blog!

Sugar Bunnie said...

great post

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