Michelle Obama Has It Backwards

Friday, March 01, 2013

As I wrote previously, children do not have the power to make choices about the life style they wish to have. When you were a child, did you have complete freedom to eat or study or play any which way? I didn't think so.

Look at the latest study from the Chicago public health officials. It shows that child obesity rates are higher than the national average. The highest rate was a whopping 29.2 percent for sixth graders who were followed by the ninth graders at 24.4 percent. And the other grades weren't that much different. So you have close to 25 - 30 percent of students in this system classified as obese.

Across the nation "only" 17 percent of children and adolescents were in that classification.
And we talked before that changes had to come from the child's environment. When you are a child living at home, you eat what's being offered. Or you make such a scene that your Mom will give you anything to shut you up. Now that's making a "wise" choice.

So Michelle Obama is on the bandwagon promoting healthy choices and more activity. Now that sounds fine and dandy on paper.

She goes on to tell students that they have a choice over what they eat perhaps like this little girl.

But that's the exception. Usually your choice is "do you want fries with that?"

How can you expect a child to even begin to make a healthy choice when the only ones presented are bad for them all around? Is it the lesser of two malnourishing foods?

So now that we have food taken care of, let's turn to the other side of her equation. She is telling children that they have the choice of either playing video games or get up and move their bodies. "These are all choices that will determine who you will become and what you can achieve."

Maybe that's the ideal. And there are plenty of kids who have the chance to go outside and play without someone having to stand guard. It really hurts like crazy when you and your friends are having a good time and someone starts shooting stray bullets. So you have this choice.

Or you can live outside the poverty-striken neighbors and play like this.

Notice that there is grass and dirt and really good stuff to mess around with. Just you and a couple of friends playing for hours until dinner. You must live in a really nice suburb.

As an aside, Michelle admits to the occasional cinnamon roll. But it's OK because it's part of her diet and exercise plan. Do you know of any child that can make that kind of choice?

So we end this discussion with the image of food choice that Michelle has in mind. Little Tommy mulling over which food to eat and appearing to be happy either way he chooses.

And Chicago, Michelle's home town, has one of the largest percentage of child obesity, 25 - 30 percent in a nation that already has a deadly 17 percent. If she can't turn Chicago around then how does that play out around the country?

Kids do not have a chance of choosing wisely. But kids have the right to have healthy people around them to serve as role models.

Your investigative reporter~Jessica
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • MEEMAH2013
    My grandson was four years old before he realized that kids meals didn't always come with apples and that he was missing out on the french fries. And he still gets apples! But not because it is his choice!
    1892 days ago
    I had a five year old child with well educated parents afraid to eat a orange. Maybe we need to push fruits and vegetable like mc donalds does. One person at a time is our only hope. thanks Jessica.
    1904 days ago
    If should start at home but in most places its not so do nothing and continue on are try something whether its perfect or not? I think trying to make things better instead of waiting and doing nothing is the way to go
    1904 days ago
    It all starts at home! I have seen so many bad examples of how parents are with their kids in restaurants lately. Why is that kids always have the choice in kids menus of fried chicken nuggets, hot dogs, mac and cheese, fries, etc. And the parents go right along with it! I think lots of people just have to turn around their ways of thinking before more than the now 64% of Americans are fat! Ban fast food, junk food or else put higher taxes on them and give us more of a price break on organic, fresh, good foods!! emoticon
    emoticon Blog!
    1904 days ago
    Basically, we, the parents, are at fault for our children being obese. Many of my son's friends had terrible diets and would not touch any vegetables. His ex GF lived on chicken nuggets and fries.
    1905 days ago
    Love this blog
    1905 days ago
    I agree but I don't agree with Audisp's comment about eating healthy is expensive---eating not healthy is dangerous--

    1905 days ago
    This is good!
    1905 days ago
  • SAMI199

    There isn't a simple fix,but we can all do our best to be healthy role models.It is a different world from the good old days when you could just shoo the kids out to play & fast food meant you grabbed an apple on your way out the door...

    1905 days ago
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    1905 days ago
    well said Jessica
    1905 days ago
    Great blog! Children do not make the choices about what is being served at meals, any meal, at home or at school. Today, even in the suburban setting, children aren't able to play the way I used to....I used to leave my home in the morning, meet up with my friends, play all morning, eat at someone's house, play all afternoon and the only big rule was to be home by dinner. I wouldn't let my children do that any more and I live in a nice neighborhood near a busy street! No playgrounds within walking distance, no open areas for playing games. Even recess at school is limited now....the children aren't allowed to play games like dodge ball because someone might get injured and then the parents will sue the school system. So I agree that children do not have a choice. They can't drive to a healthy store...I also disagree that eating healthy is expensive. Last time I took the family to a fast food restaurant it cost over $15. For the same $15, I could have made a completely healthy dinner. Remember frozen foods are good for you as well and usually cheaper than fresh.
    1905 days ago
  • LINDA!
    Great blog.
    1905 days ago
    Great blog! Now if only Michelle could read this!
    1906 days ago
    You have a good points.
    1906 days ago
    The last sentence is what the key is. Kids deserve to have healthy adults modeling healthy behaviors for them! Setting limits -- "You can watch ONE SHOW and that's that". I remember getting the death glare from my kids when they had rules imposed like one hour TV viewing. But that's what they needed!

    It really is ashame that not all kids are treated equally -- to a healthy environment.
    1906 days ago
    And lets face it...eating healthy is expensive. I try to eat more fresh vegetables and fruit, and it get expensive. I try to buy what is on sale and go to stores like Aldi's which has a limited selection but great prices, but it is still expensive. I'm fortunate I don't have a family to feed, it is just me.

    Great blog, Jessica!
    1906 days ago
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