Former President Bill Clinton was released from the hospital a few days ago after undergoing a procedure to bypass a clogged artery. In a statement to reporters at a childhood obesity event of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Clinton blamed his poor health on
“the habits I acquired in my childhood, mostly the way I ate and the way it interacted with my own biology and propensity to produce bad cholesterol…I ate too much fried food, too much ice cream, too much everything”. read more…
Fried food – too much fats, too much salt. Ice cream – too much fats, too much sugar. Too much everything – calorie overload. Not a recipe for a healthy life.
What you need to know:
Former president Clinton. First Lady Michelle Obama. Cabinet members. All are involved in some way with our nation’s obesity epidemic. Clinton, like Obama realize that adults who have developed bad habits are much harder to turn around compared to children who have their whole life ahead of them. We all remember president Clinton’s uncontrollable burger cravings. That’s why he and Mrs. Obama are focusing on ways to combat childhood obesity. They’re hoping to affect food consumption patterns at a young age.
Unfortunately the junk food companies know this too. “Get ‘em while they’re young, and they’ll stay loyal to your brand forever”. The consumption patterns their marketing efforts have yielded so far (and continue to shape) will eventually lead millions into hospitals for treatment.
Unless we parents take action.
What to do at the supermarket:
Instead of taking Clinton’s negative remarks of “too much this or that”, let’s focus on the positives, on things you want to get your kids to eat and enjoy. This means real food, with real flavors. Expose them to fruits and vegetables from the minute they can start to chew. Even if they don’t like something, try multiple times, showing them a good example by eating the same. Eventually they will come around and start to eat produce as well. Maybe not everything, but at least french fries and ketchup won’t be your only option.
Get the family into a water drinking habit, relegating sweet juices or sodas to “uncontrollable” events such as holidays or parties out of the home. Tap water is safe, clean, and delicious in almost all parts of the country. And it’s much easier to grow up drinking water than having to switch from soda to H2O as an adult.
By helping your children to develop sophisticated taste buds, you will encourage lifelong appreciation of real food tastes, with less reliance on sugar/fat/sodium. This triumvirate is the lowest common denominator used by the junk food industry to mask all the other band ingredients and make everything seem great.
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