What’s the matter with kids today?
Well, they’re fat and getting fatter. According to the Canadian Childhood Obesity Foundation, 26 per cent of the little darlings between the ages of two and 17 are overweight or obese.
In 1978, the number was 15 per cent, so the problem is getting heavier, so to speak.
In case you’re not clear on the terms, overweight is fat and obese is fatter.
So now that Canadian parents are raising a generation of porkers, what do we do about it?
Well, we don’t do anything. Instead we demand that the government do something. It’s the Canadian way.
An Ipsos Reid poll published this week shows that a big fat majority of Canadians want the government to: pass a law requiring fast-food restaurants to list calories, fat and sugar content on their menus (90 per cent); restrict the marketing of high fat, sugar and salt content foods to children (80 per cent plus) or ban it altogether (two-thirds).
And they want “resources” to help parents and children become active and healthy. I guess the 52 million plus results on Google aren’t enough.
Let me help. You go to Google, type in “childhood obesity in Canada” and the first thing that comes up is the Childhood Obesity Foundation website, and on every page — you can’t miss it — is the solution, called Four Simple Steps: Five fruits and vegetables a day; two hours of screen time or less per day; one hour of physical activity a day; zero sugar-sweetened beverages per day.
That’s it. No need for government “resources” (code word for money); no need for a Ministry of Childhood Obesity overstuffed with civil servants telling you and your kids how to eat.
It’s time to go on a government diet. Instead of looking for a Super Nanny State to take care of your kids, just follow the Four Simple Steps. I guarantee that if every kid follows the plan, there will be no childhood obesity.
Of course, the real problem is sitting on the couch reading this column. Almost 60 per cent of Canadian adults are overweight or obese (Remember? Fat and fatter?) It’s do as I say, not do as I do, and you know where that gets you.
I’m no better than you are. My own kids are still recovering from a fast-food childhood. Not to mention their parents. But, really, it’s time to stop looking for scapegoats and “resources.” As that skinny Euro guy on the bank commercials might say: Save your kids.