Thursday, February 23, 2012

Fat Kids, Superheroes, Bad-Habits and Disney too!

I came across this site which is supposed to help kids beat bad habits. 

It's an on-line game to fight bad habits by Disney who also has an new exhibit at Epcot—Habit Heroes. Epcot's exhibit has kids following two characters, "Will Power" and "Callie Stenics", through a 4,700 square foot attraction to defeat bad characters. Read a fuller description from the Orlando Sentinel.

But it seems to be getting trashed in the news. One of our local weight loss docs here in the city has a blog  that I follow. He is not very happy with this nor with another program from Atlanta, Georgia called Strong4Life campaign. He says that both these are
"demonstrating a complete lack of understanding for childhood obesity"
But even with his credentials as a MD and running a weight loss clinic, I don't agree with his trashing of these campaigns. He does stimulate discussion and blog ideas which I like. Are we to keep Childhood Obesity hidden? We have anti-smoking campaigns where pictures of cancerous lungs are plastered all over cigarette packages. We have anti-drug campaigns that display horrendous pictures too. We have this new campaign for heart disease with "death" stalking women and with a man's voice talking in the background that "he is coming for you". So why can't we bring "fat kids" into the forefront. I do agree with him that it is more than "one" thing that has caused childhood obesity rates to rise so fast but just like us bloggers we are discovering that we have to work on just one change at a time. 

When I was little, there were only a couple of us "fatties". Growing up in the 50's and 60's as a fat child in a family of 4 lean siblings (and friends) isn't fun but neither is now seeing the explosion of entire obese families driven by bad-habits. There are multiple reasons why kids have gotten fatter over the last generation but we haven't yet been able to put our finger on just one thing. You can all blame me if you like as that is the generation my kids (and most of you) grew up in (70's, 80's, and 90's). Were we as parents too lenient? Is it too much high fructose corn syrup? Is is lack of exercise because we bus our kids to school every day? Is it too many videos? Is it our genes? Is it stress? Is it too much K*F*C and McD*s? Is it because we now have colour TV? Is it because we have soft toilet paper? 

Or is it simply that we don't really know what to do. 

I will ask you to think about something. My kids are grown now but many of you still have littles ones. When you see your child is "normal" weight aren't you secretly glad you don't have to deal with it. And if your child starts to gain weight aren't you mortified that you are a bad parent? 

I guess according to some, it is wrong to let kids know that there are unhealthy consequences to life. Some are saying it is up to the parents to teach these good habits, but as we all know, many parents just don't know any more than their kids and some just don't care. When one is raised on fast food, TV and video games, that is what their world revolves around. But then again, doesn't this type of interactive game just encourage kids to have even more computer face time. Hmmmmm. 

Click the link at the top to see the bad-habit characters. Pick your character and play along too. Or just ignore this as crap as we watch our kids die of heart disease, diabetes and multiple other complications associated with obesity. 

Let the discussions begin! 

As to the bad habits in the link above, I'm picking Snacker.

Bad Habit: Too much fatty, processed food
Best Way To Defeat This Bad Habit: Expose her to healthy snacks like veggies and whole grains. She actually likes them. She just doesn’t know it yet! (Let's hear it for Gilly's new fav KALE!)
Bio: This Tooth Fairy Academy dropout never met a food that couldn’t be improved by more salt, butter or chemicals.
Powers: Snacker can fly using her fairy wings as she summons any type of deep-fried, processed snack from thin air using her magic wand. Look out! She tosses fat-loaded food at her victims.
Her Master Plan: Stress as many people out as possible, then offer them fatty snacks to make them feel better!
Habit Hero Special Dispatch: Choose healthy foods for snacking. Some foods high in fat, like nuts, can be good for you, but just have a little bit, not lots. That way you can enjoy a tasty treat and still stay healthy.

But I could also very easily become Sweet Tooth who looks much sexier in her tights!   

Bad Habit: Too many sweets
Best Way To Defeat This Bad Habit: Like Snacker, Sweet Tooth has a soft spot for healthy snacks like fruit, but just doesn’t know it yet. See if you can get her to try some!
Bio: This shapely girl may disguise her unhealthy habits, but in reality her blood sugar is so high you could bake a cake with it!
Powers: As befits her high-class style, she prefers attacking unsuspecting victims in her personal hovercraft, called “The Truffle,” and using her smokin’ hot cupcake shooter to launch sugary sweets.
Her Master Plan: She thinks life is short, or better yet, shortcakes. She wants it to be as sweet as possible and she wants everyone to fill up on desserts so she doesn’t feel so guilty eating alone.
Habit Hero Special Dispatch: Too much sugar can make you overweight, plus it’s bad for your teeth.

Deep down inside we all want to be a Superhero!


Brenda said...

Yes, I am very scared my children will have bad habits. I think the one thing that they have gained with my weight loss is they are old enough to see how hard I have had to work to get the weight off. I hope they understand that it is a battle each and every day. Hopefully I have instilled healthy habits into my home early enough.

Linda said...

I am terrified my daughter will struggle with weight problems. She is really tall and will sometimes plump up and then shoot up again and even out. I don't want to give her a complex by focusing on food, but I don't want to address (which is what my mother did).
It's hard...

Gilly said...

I already see it in my older son...I tried so hard to give him the good habits (for the first 4 years of his life, he thought Shreddies were chips), but the junk creeps in. They love good healthy stuff, but somehow, human nature comes along and effs it all up.

♥ Drazil ♥ said...

Interesting and yes...I worry and hope and pray it's never a struggle for them.

Dinnerland said...

loved this post!!

Theresa said...

I have always worried about this too. My kids are thin, but they both are tall and did get heavy before a growth spurt. I have tried so hard not pass my disordered relationship with food along to my kids. I have never made any foods off limits, but I have taught them to read lables and to know that the less ingredients the better. I just think that kids don't stand a chance anymore. Foods are so chemically altered now to taste so exciting that regular food rarely wins out.

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