Preventing Childhood Obesity

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!)







45 thoughts on “Preventing Childhood Obesity

  1. I have a confession……………………when you got out of the car last night to shoot a few baskets I couldn’t help but take one of the Little Debbie cakes out of the bag next to my seat. I haven’t eaten it yet and I can return it but it is so lovely.

  2. I have never met an overweight Whitney either.
    I am underweight, so, maybe they shouldn’t consider “Kristin” as a name, either.
    I can’t imagine how my life would stink, if I didn’t know God.

  3. When I realized I was wearing “Husky” jeans as a kid I knew I had to shed Krispy Kream and Little Debbies. Very traumatic. I mean you might as well write “Wide Load” across the kids hind quarter. So. . . . just use the prefix “husky” alot when talking to a kid about his stuff. For example: “Hey Joey do you want to play with your new Husky-X Box?” or “Hey Lydia, It’s bed time. . . go brush your teeth with Husky-Crest, put on your Husky-Barbie pajamas, and climb into your ginormous Husky-bed.

    You keep calling a kid “husky” I can guarantee they will be on the road to skinnyville. By the way. . . anyone besides me think it ironic that “skinny” jeans are so popular now?

  4. 1) I have known an overweight Whitney, but on the whole I’d say you’re right on here.
    2) True story.
    3) Also true, at least from what I’ve seen of commercial advertising shows about Repo men.
    4) I didn’t know Shoney’s was still open… Where I live they have all disappeared.
    5) I must beg to differ here. I don’t know where you live, but here in the deep South it is commonly acknowledged that church dinners are the best place to get greasy, fattening, calorie-laden foods. It’s pretty much a point of pride down here.

  5. Isiah 55:2 “Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.”

    I don’t know about you but a Shoney’s Hot Fudge Cake is what the Prophet Isiah was talking about…….because I did eat that which was good.

  6. Well let’s see…There’s a Cheesecake Factory about 15 minutes from where I live. If I really want to fight obesity, I go in there! I kid you not! A single slice of any one of their cheesecakes or deserts will cost me $45. Now the question is…am I really that hungry?

  7. You crack me up, Mark.

    Our kids think we’re horrible because we don’t allow them to drink soft drinks very often. They drink water and milk, mostly. You’d be surprised how many calories kids drink rather than eat.

  8. I can attest to point #5. My little sister routinely ends her prayers by staying “store this as energy and not as fat”.

    My favorite snack food is gummy…well anything. Gummy cokes are the vice of choice at the moment (just ate half a bag at lunch). But I’ll eat that whole shelf in the grocery store if I could.

  9. This was a most excellent post. Eat like a skinny person is my unique tip. Not the skinny person with the mutant metabolism, but the ones who forget things like eating lunch. My favorite snack is Chipotle. Ok it’s not a snack but I eat a lot of it. I don’t snack I just eat too much at meal times.

  10. I kid you not. I knew someone who told me that if you pray before you eat a pastry that God would remove the calories. I’m not gonna lie. I tried it. It didn’t work.

    When it comes to spiritual food, I want my children to really dig in and enjoy what God has to offer. It’s my job to offer what God provides. I just hope I’m doing a decent job at it.

  11. I’m a soda junkie–my son is picking that up from me. Go dad! Ok, not really–that’s bad. I also like desserts, but eat them at work–away from my family.

    Beyond that, I try to read the word & pray with my kids every night. Course the 12 year-old feels like he’s too old now to have dad put him to bed.

  12. I hear drinking the water in the Dominican Republic, or Mexico will shave at least 15lbs off of you, it will also cause you to take about a week extra off of work.

    Actually, I didn’t hear that. I lived it.

    Favorite snack has to be popcorn, but I already shared that over at projectmathetes so I’ll say my favorite snack is ice cream.

    I model Jesus in a white robe, with or without sandals and I gaze off in the distance. Wait, what?

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