posted by GW Dan
What you are looking at is an infogrpahic on childhood obesity in the United States. It is without a doubt a serious problem in this country. Kids are fatter. Adults are fatter. Health care is at a level that is, when you really consider the price, unthinkable. The battle to make kids healthier is a noble one and should be fought aggressively. Michelle Obama has made it her “pet” project. I write that with no disdain, it simply is how it is always referred. I applaud her efforts. I struggle with weight. I have been an overweight person most of my life. I continue to hope that one day I will get my act together. I worry about the example I will set for my children. I do not want them to grow up with an unhealthy dad and I certainly do not want them to grow up fat. And it is with that statement that I draw issue with the official infographic pictured above.
If you notice, one of the stats listed along the timeline at the bottom of the picture is that the PlayStation was launched in 1995 and has sold 100 million units by 2005. Every other piece of info on this timeline is food related. EVERY single one. Honestly, it is not videogames that have made children fat. Why does this graphic contain no info on the amount of single family homes in this country? Why does this graphic contain no info on the amount of people who cannot afford to feed their families die to the fact that while wages have remained criminally low across the board, the cost of living has gone up? Why doesn’t this infographic contain any information pertinent to the increase of obesity in this country.
The simple fact is this: bad food is cheap and easy. Until this changes, obesity will continue to be a problem. I could go to the supermarket and get a half pound of decent ground chuck to make burgers with for $5.00 or @6.00 dollars. To get non-enriched wheat rolls for those burgers, add another $4.00 bucks. Actual cheese, not processed cheese food, another 3 or 4 bucks. Ketchup, mayo, mustard, any topping, more money. OR, I could swing by McDonald’s on my way home and grab 2 McDoubles, that’s four patties+four slices of cheese+etc., for less than 3 dollars! LESS THAN THREE DOLLARS! Why?! That isn’t right. That is a problem. Eating healthy is damn near unaffordable for most of us. Try doing your weekly grocery shopping at a Whole Foods. It’s insane. Water is more expensive than soda! WATER! That’s your problem.
Should kids get out more? Damn right. It breaks my heart to see parks empty everywhere I go. Active play is certainly down. But, is the fact that Gym class has been done away with in many schools ever considered? Nope, it always comes down to videogames. I know why this is. It’s easy. It’s a scapegoat. “Gaming made my child unhealthy, not my lackluster parenting.” No one wants to admit they screwed up. I get that. But seriously, enough. It’s parenting, not games. I know zero children that have the money for a videogame system. Last time I checked, there were still child labor laws in place. Some places allow 16 year olds to bag groceries. Given that, how are the 15 and younger set getting these games? From adults. If you don’t want your kid to rot in front of the TV, don’t let them. Be a parent. Instill rules and structure. Try playing with your kid. I know that because of family situations being vastly different, some parents aren’t home when their children are awake. They are doing what they need to to provide for their families. That doesn’t excuse any of us. We need to encourage better parenting. That should be Michelle Obama’s focus. Be a parent to your child. Help them don’t placate them. It’s time. The 80’s me first mentality hurt this country. We can change that. We should change that. It is our fault and our mess to clean up. Leave the games out of it. It’s cowardly.
Higher res version here