In a Chili’s in Jacksonville, Florida, a family of eight are sitting at a table all ready to order. A young man, no more then 12 orders two appetizers just for him. The rest of the family splits one appetizer and he reaches over to take a bite of theirs while devouring his own.
When the food arrives everyone settles down to enjoy their meals, but the twelve year old gets not one, not two, but three full plates of food placed in front of him. The child is already possibly tipping the scales at 250lbs or more. I listen to hear the father say “eat up son, you only live once.”
As I watched the child consume both appetizers, and all three plates of food, it sickened me to the point that I lost my appetite.
A mother goes to prison for 99 years for super gluing her child’s hands to the wall, but these parents are killing their son by a slow, miserable death. I hardly could stay to see if he ordered dessert, but I am sure he did.
At what point do we as parents stop children from consuming 4,000 calories in one meal? At what point are we as a society responsible to help our children to become healthy adults and stop feeding them junk? Why is gluing a child’s hand to the wall a felony but making our children gluttons not punishable by law?
Thirty four children die every hour, with obesity related illnesses. That is 34 too many. Since 1989 obesity in children has increased by 12.5 million a year. The center for disease control is ranking obesity as the fifth killer in children with unintentional injuries, cancer, congenital abnormalities and homicide ranking in the top four. No child should die from being obese, when parents can control their eating habits.
The causes of obesity are complex and include genetic, biological, behavioral and cultural factors. Obesity occurs when a person eats more calories than the body burns up. If one parent is obese, there is a 50 percent chance that their children will also be obese. However, when both parents are obese, their children have an 80 percent chance of being obese. Although certain medical disorders can cause obesity, less than 1 percent of all obesity is caused by physical problems. Obesity in childhood and adolescence can be related to:
- poor eating habits
- overeating or binging
- lack of exercise (i.e., couch potato kids)
- family history of obesity
- medical illnesses (endocrine, neurological problems)
- medications (steroids, some psychiatric medications)
- stressful life events or changes (separations, divorce, moves, deaths, abuse)
- family and peer problems
- low self-esteem
- depression or other emotional problems
If your children are obese, talk to your pediatrician. You owe it to them to be the best parents they can have. Feeding them high calorie meals, because you love to eat, is not helping them in the long run. Love your children and love yourself, by getting help to reduce this issue in the United States of America.