in Beverly Hills with eating disorders."
The card above is by Callahan. If you like your humour on the black side, I urge you to check out his website.
I discovered Callahan when travelling in the U.S. a few years back and I came across this particular card when I moved my office on the weekend (who knew I had so much stuff?). It seemed appropriate to accompany this post.
Childhood obesity is the topic du jour these days. Every week, it seems a new study comes out to explain why we're facing this epidemic. This week's study highlights working mums as an underlying reason for childhood obesity. A case of 'too many hours working, not enough time to cook or supervise healthy activity', coupled with the 'working mum guilt factor'. Working mum is time poor and so 'treats' the child with all kinds of unhealthy food items. Notice working dad was missing in the equation. Hmm. Went down like a lead balloon in some quarters.
In the hands of the press, many studies serve only to fuel inflammatory headlines screaming of the dangers of the childhood obesity epidemic and to trigger over the top anti-obesity interventions. Remember the lunch box police? The ban on advertising cheese to children? The Supermarket Nutrition Nannies?
I'm not wanting to minimise the problem. It is an issue that will have serious consequences longterm if not addressed. Diseases commonly seen in middle age, Type 2 diabetes in particular, are now being picked up in adolescents. Scary indeed. The flipside, however, is where will all this hysteria will end?
I flicked on the television the other day and happened to catch Oprah's show about children becoming obesessed with weight and appearance. A four year old who asks constantly if she's too fat? Who refuses to eat breakfast because she doesn't want to add any weight? Another who worries she's not pretty enough? With talk of weighing kids in schools, my own daughter has come home and asked if her weight is okay? If you think this is an isolated problem, check out the increasing popularity of the pro-anorexia sites, as documented by Dr. Anonymous.
Will the upshot of this intense focus be a whole new set of problems, where we worry that our kids aren't eating, having driven our children towards to the other extreme of unhealthy eating?