Childhood Obesity – Our Responsibility

Last week, I worked the volunteer cafe at VBS. Our job was to keep the refreshments flowing for the 100 or so volunteers that came to help. The tables were stocked with traditional goodies- cookies, brownies, donuts, and the like, but I also made sure there were healthy choices too- hummus and pita chips, vegetables, fruit, and whole grain pastas and breads.

I was saddened by how many overweight youth came through that room. And even those that weren’t overweight still loaded their plates with high sugar and high fat items. I’m talking about 4-6 cookies, a brownie, chips, and lemonade. May I will be brazen enough to say that overfeeding a child is just as much a form of  abuse as is starving a child in the name of punishment? We think nothing of it when a parent placates their child with food. We even think it’s cute for a child to be called “chubby” or we say, “There’s just more of him to love”. Allowing food to be a satisfier in times of emotional need leads to a cycle that is truly difficult to break. In the same way, if we fail to educate our children in nutrition, be it due to  “ignorance” or apathy, we have also failed to steer them down the path that will keep them healthy and strong in the life God has given them.

According to the Florida Hospital, the number of children in the United States who are considered overweight or obese has doubled, from 15 percent in the 1970s to nearly 30 percent today. An overweight child can face numerous health conditions including…

*high blood pressure

*high cholesterol

*diabetes

*asthma

*heart disease

*depression

*low self-esteem

My heart breaks for those youth and children that I saw who are already struggling with weight. Their precious bodies must begin now to work harder, putting strain on their hearts, lungs, liver, kidneys, and their emotional well-being. As a mom, I encourage you to educate yourself and help your child, your grandchild, niece, nephew, or your students to make wise choices now so they have the best opportunity to live a full and abundant life! This week is dedicated to our children and the many ways to help them make the best choices possible.

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2 Comments

  1. The Loaded Diaper by Christina George

     /  June 14, 2011

    I totally agree with you. I just posted an article on my blog about 2 morbidly obese TODDLERS that were at the park yesterday while we were there. It made me so mad. Poor kids!

    Reply
  1. Raising a Healthy Child « Whole to the Core

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