The only thing that I really know about childhood obesity is that it is on the rise. That’s what a few headlines have told me. The headlines try to say it in clever ways like “Childhood Obesity a Big Concern” or “Childhood Obesity is a Weighty Issue.” Overall, though, I am pretty clueless about most of the details.
This doesn’t surprise me; I’m clueless about a lot of things. Like why there isn’t a perfume that smells like bacon. Or why people have a hard time calling me Matt and not Mike or Mark. Or how my youngest son manages to break his glasses on a weekly basis.
Even though I’m clueless about the details, I do know that childhood obesity is a problem that follows many children throughout their lives (of course it isn’t called childhood obesity when they are adults–it’s just plain ‘ol obesity then). And, while I am not a doctor, I am an overweight guy with a few suggestions based upon my keen observations that will help prevent your child or children from becoming obese.
1. Name your child Whitney. I had at least 12 people named Whitney come through my office the other day. I’m not sure if this constitutes a “gaggle” or a “plethora,” I just know that it was a bunch of them. And none of them were overweight. In fact, they were all quite petite. As I pondered this, it dawned on me–I have never known an overweight Whitney. I asked a few others (5 others to be exact) and they haven’t either. This probably doesn’t work with boys, but if you have a daughter and want her to stay skinny–name her Whitney.
2. Never introduce them to Little Debbie Snack Cakes. According to the Institute of Fake Statistics (IFS), 67% of all obese children begin waddling on the road to Chubbyville via an Oatmeal Creme Pie. Oh, it starts innocently enough with the child just eating one every couple of days. But before you know it your darling child is eating a two Swiss Cake Rolls for breakfast followed by a midmorning Honey Bun snack followed by a sugar rush powerful enough to bring down western civilization.
3. Dissuade them from ever becoming repossession agents (aka repo men). I have learned 2 main things from the “reality” shows that my wife likes to watch: Toddlers & Tiaras is the scariest show on television and all repo men are overweight. Even though I have only watched the commercials for the repo shows, I know this to be true. When I was unemployed, I considered becoming a repo man because I look like most of them. Sadly, I didn’t meet the minimum qualifications because I don’t smoke cigars.
4. Keep them away from Shoney’s. The should be a sign over the entrance of every Shoney’s that says, “Abandon good health all ye who enter here.” You may have known skinny people who went to Shoney’s, but I guarantee you they didn’t leave that way. The air in those restaurants is even fat. If you don’t have a Shoney’s in your area, please feel free to include the name of whatever restaurant you desire that leaves customers smelling like fried fish.
5. Eat every meal inside of a church building. All food eaten inside of a church building is considered–devoid of all calories and fat. This is especially true for all casseroles and crock pot food. Take your greasy grub to a church building and eat, eat, eat without worrying about whether it will attach itself permanently to your thighs.
I have dealt with weight issues all of my life and am currently more than a few Klondike Bars overweight, so these suggestions aren’t coming from someone who could fit into a Smart Car (I’m pretty sure those things have weight limits.) I know that the real suggestions include a healthy diet and regular exercise, so please don’t blast me in the comments. I also know something else.
Not knowing and cherishing God is worse than being overweight.
For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things,
holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.
1 Timothy 4:8
I want my kids to be physically healthy, to not have to fight the same life-long battle that I am still fighting. But above that, I want them to know that they are loved by God and to love him back. I want them to be filled with the words of Scripture and with the Holy Spirit. I want them to lead lives filled with compassion for the poor, the fatherless, the widows.
I want them to be like Jesus.
If I had to choose for them to be either overweight lovers of Christ or physically fit people who care nothing about following after Him, I would choose the former every time.
So, I’ll keep trying to show them Jesus in my life, but I’ll also try to keep them away from the Little Debbie’s. Especially the Raisin Creme Pies–those are my favorite.
(What other unique obesity fighting suggestions do you have? What is your favorite snack food? How are you modeling Jesus for the young ones around you? Share away!)