Childhood obesity is a hot topic in the media. Statistics from the Center for Disease Control indicate that 17% of children and adolescents are not obese. That is over twelve million children. Everyone has heard about the Let’s Move initiative or Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. But what is being done for the kids who no longer fit in because they are skinny? The kids who are quickly becoming the minority? The kids who still fit in standard sized airplane seats and roller coaster rides?
Below I’ve listed some foolproof advice for those kids to become more like their peers. These tips and tricks will help parents put their kids on the path to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and a lifetime of overall ill health.
1. Discourage your children from drinking water. Instead, buy loads of juice and soda. Make sure that sugary beverages are available at all times so they are never without this insulin rush!
2. Have a television in your child’s bedroom. Nothing screams “I care” quite as much as having a TV as a babysitter. See if your child can beat the national average of watching five hours of television each day. Imagination, be damned.
3. Try to eat fast food as often as possible. You want to lay the foundation for the addiction to sugar, fat and salt at an early age. This will ensure life-long weight issues. Practice excuses like, “Healthy food is just too expensive” or “I’m too busy to make a salad!”
4. Avoid fresh vegetables and fruits. Kale, bok choy, sprouts and beets should be considered foreign objects in your kitchen and on your dining room table. Kids should be confounded by broccoli.
5. Buy heaps of processed food. Use this simple rule: If it can remain in your pantry for two years, then go ahead and buy it.
6. As a general rule, disregard food labels. However, if you do happen to read one, make sure that (1) you can’t pronounce the majority of ingredients and (2) sugar or high-fructose corn syrup tops the list.
7. Grass-fed meats, seriously? Does anybody really know if all of those growth hormones and pesticides really disrupt the endocrine system? I mean, really?
8. Make sure that the grain-free, pesticide-free, animal by-product-free food you buy your dog is of higher quality than the mac and cheese you feed your children.
9. Discourage your children from playing outside, joining recreational leagues, or trying new sports/activities.
10. If your children do play sports, make sure to show up with a cooler full of sugary and salty snacks containing no nutritive value whatsoever. Wash said snacks down with a massive energy drink.
Good luck to you as you embark upon this journey! Be brave; this adventure of ill health is not for the faint of heart, or the strong of heart, or the fit of heart, for that matter.
(A side note to parents: make sure your insurance premiums are paid and up-to-date!)