Saturday, January 7, 2012

Hot Topic: Childhood Obesity

I saw this ad that is being run in Georgia on the  news this AM. It is a direct plea to parents to help their kids with diabetes, hypertension, and heart issues.
It melted me.
We have been there.
The boy was obese for a number of years. He went back into the gen school population ate the cafeteria food and piled on the pounds. He was upwards of 210. His cholesterol was in the 290's. He was a fat kid. We watched his weight....we were careful at home we tried.

At his doctor's request we got a LOT of expensive blood work done. It was all out of network and cost us an arm, leg and several chunks of hair. The doc called us while we were on a trip and told us that if we didn't alter the boy's diet and exercise MORE the boy would die by the time he was 20. The boy couldn't keep going like this.

We cut out everything. No juice, no pop, veggies were purreed and stuck in EVERYTHING.....most of the time you didn't know you were eating a veggie. Jessica Steinfeld's book was helpful in teaching us HOW to puree the veggies.....we froze them and eat them ALL the time. No fast food, no junk food, all baked if we had chips. Reading the food labels and comparing at the grocery store.

The boy cooperated. What we did; we gave "carte blanche" to the doc. I told the pediatrician to tell the boy whatever he wanted to make the diet happen. Anything went I didn't care WHAT it was the doc said, just say it and make the boy want to loose the weight. The doc did and the boy did and he lost weight. The boy lost weight and we were getting phone calls about it, and you know what? The boy is better, healthier and happier at the weight he is now that he was when he was heavier.....

THIS is about the parents being parents. It is OUR JOB to make certain the kids are healthy, not overweight and eating appropriately. Which means if it is easy or fast it is crap; don't eat the junk food, the fast food or the other garbage, school cafeteria food is OUT ....avoid it.

An early diet example: the boy was at a school activity for a class. He had brought his dinner, and was told to go to a fast food place to eat. Much to the teacher's chagrin the boy refused to buy anything. Later he told me that he was tempted but he was scared. At the time he told a classmate, "This food will kill me. I can't have it and if I eat it I won't stop." The classmate encouraged the boy NOT to get anything and wait until they got back to the buses and eat the food he had brought. He needed the help at the begining of the diet. He had NO will-power and staying OFF the fries, deep fat fried food and other crap was difficult. This was hard for about 6 months. Then it became easier.....soon it became a habit. Now it is a rare every 6 month treat......most of the time he doesn't even finish it and now it does make him sick so eating fast food is not with out its poor side effects.

This ain't no popularity contest and I will say here and now I am not out to win friends with the boy or anything. He was a porker and needed to watch it. We were watching him get bigger and didn't know what else to do about it. We were scared, and having scared parents....well you know it is bad then. For those of you who don't like how I write about the boy- maybe you need to think about how you react to what is being written. IT is the facts, kids in this country are FAT, they eat junk and they are going to die young.

The cuter half and I walk down the street and we wonder if doc's have given what we call "the talk" (you need to go on a diet or you will die) to other kids. We see overweight kids out and around. Some have trouble riding their bikes down to the park....others need to get off the power scooters and RUN.

No more video games, no sitting on their butts....OUT of the house, I don't care if you are pulling the legs off ants; I want you out running, playing basketball, kicking a soccer ball and out from underfoot. Go mess in the garden....dig up whatever you want, but don't come in the house until  you are sweaty and need a shower. We turned off the video games, we turned off the TV in the bedroom....we tell him to go run or if he wants to go to a gym he can run there too....just get out of the house work out and come home.

Ours won't die young from obesity; he is on his diet now, eating veggies first, then fruit, then meat then starch. He is FULL. He doesn't require snacks, we rarely have cookies or goodies in the house....go get a piece of fruit.

Childhood obesity is managed at home, then the kids mangage themselves at school...We've done it and we have worked darn hard....all 3 of us.

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