Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Why Make the Kids Suffer For Momma's Sin?

We've all been hearing how Mississippi is the fattest state in the Union. Big surprise. However, if Houston were a state, it would pass the Mississippi like Mario Andredi to an elderly Chinese Lady driving a 72 Honda civic.

So what does the Mississippi State gov. do to solve their straining zipper epidemic? They increase the physical activity of the kids to 150 minutes PER DAY and basically starve them. So now, the kids will go from burgers to a celery sandwich, followed by a billion sit-ups in less than a week. Uh huh. I predict mass chaos and extreme mood swings. Why? Why? you ask... "But Seth, won't a celery sandwich followed by a ton of crunches lead to a much healthier life?"

And I reply, "Yeah, my friend, if it weren't for the grand mound of robed mamma cooking them a pound of fried everything upon their arrival at home."

After the kids finsh their day of total starvation and passing out from excessive situps, they come home to be suddenly be filled with a solid 2 hours of perfect concentration after eating mounds of starch and carbs and fats, which will aid them in their quest to play every video game invented. This will be followed by a huge crash and a comatose sleep, their Twinkie-crusted game controller clutched and nestled to their bosom while they dream of taking baths, nibbling away at their giant half-Twinkie tub.

So what should Mississippi really do, if they really wanted to fix the problem? They should visit every home that cannot afford nutrition and offer them a subsidy. Even though I don't understand the whole "can't afford healthy food" bit; you can grow a garden and save thousands per year on veggies. We did it my whole younger life, in the poor suburbs, during a drought, and bought only the things we couldn't grow or make. Granted, the clothing part sucked. I did wear a few pairs of pants that were less than stylish - try homemade neon blue polyester pants with a white stripe down the side, the left knee oddly tighter than the right- but we were poor and didn't balloon to enormous proportions.

Then, the state government should fine Wal-mart a hundred trillion dollars, running them out of business forever. The government would follow suit with every other food joint that sells nothing but pure sugar and fat for 1 penny per pound.

Unrealistic, I know but hey, maybe in situations like this it's time to coin the phrase, "What would China do?"

All I'm sayin' is when studies show that your state is the king of the junk-in-the-trunk mountain, maybe point your porker gun at someone besides your kids and the school system. To be scriptural, "Before you take the french-fry out of thy kids mouth, remove the Quarter Pounder from your own."

I wonder if the people passing this bill to blame the kids ever stop to think how bizarre it was that where signing the bill, using their stomach as a table?

Look down at thine own belly and take responsibility for yourself and your family. Helpful hint: If you haven't seen where your pee pee comes from in a while, maybe its time to lay off blaming the kids, put down the frying pan and plant a carrot.

Don't forget to eat it. (The carrot, not the frying pan.)


Chaotic Hammer said...

Our church meets in the local high school. As we make our way down the long hallway toward the auditorium where we meet, we pass by several soda machines and several snack machines. Without exception, every single drink or snack is sugary, fatty, calorie-dense junk. I don't even think any of the drink machines dispense water (though that shouldn't matter, I guess, since the water fountains do).

I don't know this for a fact, but I bet that the school gets some sort of financial "donation" from the big snack and soda companies to display their goods in high-traffic areas like that.

So while I totally understand and agree with what you're saying about the real problem with kids' diets being caused by their home life, I don't think it hurts to put some emphasis on good eating habits and exercise while in school as an additional way to support the cause.

Let's be honest: We are a nation of gluttons. We eat way more than our bodies need to survive, and frankly we pay the price for this with all sorts of health problems and high medical costs.

I know you're just being a little over-the-top with your proposed solutions here (at least, I hope you are), but I'm not sure that government intervention, subsidies, higher taxes, penalizing private companies, etc. are the right approach.

I notice that both the health-food industry and the "green" industry have grown like crazy in recent years, because of consumer demand. That's where the real key lies in a free-market system. There has to be a demand for cheaper healthy food on the part of the consumer, and that is typically controlled by market conditions -- meaning if there's a lot of demand and competition in that market, the prices will naturally come down. Healthy food is more expensive now than junk food because a lot less people eat it, and those that do are apparently willing to pay the current prices for those products. Greater demand would make the market larger, and more competitors would enter the market, and would want to undercut the current companies' prices -- a win for the consumer.

One more thing -- sort of off the subject but related -- parents need to be aware that vegetarian or other very restrictive diets are NOT healthy for children, especially younger children. These little ones need lots of fat and proteins during critical developmental stages, and a restrictive diet will often not provide these. They don't need all the high-sugar, high-carb junk food crap, but they do need some things in their diets that weight-conscious adults may be deliberately avoiding.

nancy said...

+i couldn't help but laugh while i read this, not that it is a funny situation, but for the fact i just accidently ate my co-worker's double cheese burger. i forgot my dinner of animal crackers, yogurt, banana and water. he, being 6'5" and a former college football player, already thinks i eat crazy, so he wanted to go get me something to eat. i told him to get me a junior burger with no onions. he walked in with the bag, i asked if he had already eaten. i thought he said yes, so i reached in and grabbed the burger. i was half way finished when i saw my little burger in the bottom of the sack under the napkin. so, great big football player ate my tiny little burger with no onions (he loves onions)and i sit here miserably stuffed.
i work in a high school. all the drink machines have had to go to diet or water. the water is 50 cents higher and sits right next to the snack machines filled with someone's idea of healthy snacks (maybe compared to cotton candy).

Susanne said...

See my comment on this subject:


I still love me some Mississippi. :)

Don Boscoe said...

Can't afford healthy food?? Really?? People use that excuse?? Last I checked apples weren't that expensive. And if I remember right from my days on foodstamps. Healthy foods are part of that program to. And you're right. They could grow little gardens...but then they would have to leave the couch and computer and...wait for it...actually do work. OH THE HUMANITY!!

Rob said...

Don't blame fat folks on the junk food industry. Blame fat folks on fat folks. We're fat because we lack the discipline to not be fat, and because we're self-centered.