|Rewind the Future--Stop the Cycle|
Friday, August 15, 2014
Reflections on the YouTube Video: Rewind the Future—Stop the Cycle
There is an obesity epidemic. Frightening statistics are thrown at us every day: 73 % of Americans are either over weight or obese; childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years; and, it is now estimated that 1 out of every 3 people will have diabetes by 2050. These are the facts. It is easy for us to see with our own eyes when we look around us.
What has gotten people riled is that the video shows scenes with a mother over time encouraging unhealthy eating, starting with her feeding her baby French fries to keep him quiet. What mother hasn’t made choices like that? We are hardly perfect and we have a super-sized food culture that actually sets us up for failure. Moms are not the root of the problem but we can be a significant part of the solution.
No mom wakes up everyday and says “how can I kill my kid with food today?” In fact, this is the furthest from our mind. Our dream is to have our children grow up healthy and happy. The reality is we have not understood the consequences of the food we have served our children. It is all too easy to make unhealthy food choices because of the fast food world we live in. Portions are huge. Readily accessible, affordable food is packed full of calories and harmful ingredients we don’t need. And if that wasn’t bad enough, our culture and family traditions have us thinking it is a good idea to over feed our kids because food is the manifestation of our love.
Because we love our children, we have to lead the fight to change ourselves and our culture when it comes to our food habits. We have to because our current ways are killing us and our kids. It starts with us. Parents have an incredible influence on our kids. By learning about healthier foods and healthier lifestyle habits we can begin to make the change and bring everyone along with us.
There are more and more resources available to learn what is healthy and ways to make it easier to implement those changes in our households. There are programs to take advantage of through our employers and through our health insurance that are free. To find out the basics about healthy eating you can go to myplate.gov. There are many websites that offer healthy recipes like myrecipe.com and cookinglight.com. Then there are great resources for revving up your physical activity and exercise like myfitnesspal.com or you can just search on YouTube for great exercise videos—all for free. For kid specific information checkout kids eat right.
For fun tools to engage your kids think about books you can read together like Sammie and Sax in the Land of Quinoa: the Search for a Balanced Meal or give them their own right-sized dishware to support healthy eating. There are even healthy and kid-friendly recipes you can find and have your children participate in the preparation of the meal. Research shows the best way to get kids to try new foods and healthy foods is to have them help prepare them.
Rewind the Future—Stop the Cycle may be an exaggeration and unfair assessment of a mother’s role in her child’s obesity but it is most certainly a wake up call for all of us. We do have the ability to make a healthier world for our children and it starts in our own kitchen. Let’s stand up to the challenge.