Friday, August 31, 2007

Whose fault is it that little Connor is a cruiserweight?

I was in Dublin for an overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday afternoon, and guess what I found out? Turns out that Irish children, much like their American or British counterparts, have a weight problem. At least according to the Tuesday night edition of the RTE newscast, they do.
The reporter said that a healthy, normal waistline for a 12-year-old boy is 26 inches, which is true. My own waist was only 25 or 26 inches at that age. She then related that school clothes for boys are currently being sold in the 30 to 42 inch range alongside the normal-sized clothing. Similar-sized school uniforms are also being manufactured for girls.
The reporter—a slim, gym-toned woman herself, it is definitely worth noting—then dared to suggest: "It is, however, not necessarily the parents' fault as there can be other factors." OK, granted, there certainly could be other factors, such as a genetic or other bodily problem such as a thyroid disorder or abnormally slow metabolism. But how many little Oompa-Loompas were there even just a generation ago, in Ireland (or Britain)? Certainly not enough to merit a special line of school clothes with only 26-inch lengths but 42-inch waists.
In other words, how the hell can your 12-year-old child have a 42-inch waist and you be absolved of any responsibility?! At what point would you deem it necessary that the little bastard stopped having three bowls of Frosted Flakes for breakfast, six cupcakes for lunch and McCrap or a large pizza for dinner? At what point do you think you'd consider it to Paddy Jr.'s advantage to start getting some actual physical exercise when it takes him ten sloth-like minutes to climb upstairs to bed? Mary have mercy!
But, then again, it's very much in-keeping with the politically correct notion that children and their parents are never at fault for anything. It's that old goon society's fault. These yout's are clearly not getting enough self-esteem at school, so how many more history, English or math classes can we cut to make way for even more hippy indoctrination? So little Johnny O'Farty weighs more than a newborn sperm whale—let's not let that stand in the way of his precious self-esteem, even if hospital visits become routine in his life by the age of 25 and he dies before 50.
If this "parents aren't to blame" malarkey is the attitude we're expected to have, then we as a society will never tackle the obesity epidemic.


kristen said...

I put some blame toward the couch potato epidemic we've adopted in this country. So many kids just sit and play video games and/or watch TV. It's sad. When I was a kid we played outside......a lot. And fast food was a treat (as in not that often); nowadays it seems to be a necessity.

Mouse1972 said...

I think that one of the problems lie with the youth spending more and more time at the computer, instead of going outside to play afterschool these days >.<

East of Eden said...

I would say that in 95% of cases, parents and the life styles they allow are to blame for childhood obeisity. Call me un-PC, but it's the truth!!