The conversation surrounding childhood obesity in America starts with a concerned parent (it’s usually a woman because, you know, guys could care less about diabetes, we live on the edge) who after her child complains about her weight, or even more sinister, looks at her overweight body with contempt, branding the herself as a victim of the easy access refrigerator and cupboard, she and her child become a news story.
Then after the local news affiliate picks up the story because the child can’t walk to school and can’t articulate why she loves to dip her Twinkies in strawberry-flavored milk, we purveyors of morality throw our two cents into the blogosphere and around the office’s water cooler, offering this single mother (you know she a single mother because the news never misses a chance to show how incapable and incompentent women are as heads of households) their sage advice: “She needs to do better … it’s a shame … I bet she’s on Welfare … that’s why we need more men in homes.”
Take for example this story fresh off the Charleston Patch.com presses. A young woman shares her childhood obesity story, which centers around her probably adorable, arbitrarily overweight daughter. She doesn’t want blame anyone, especially not herself, because holding her country’s leaders and cultural disseminators — from Michelle Obama to Tom Menino, Disney World to City Hall — accountable “is all too easy.”
Then on cue, we move into a conversation NO ONE wants to really have, but it’s always a great shit starter: eating disorders. Anorexia, bulimia, bigorexia, pica, and purging are all naughty words for glamorous girls (again, please remember, boys don’t suffer from body image issues; we just create cool words like bodybuilding, emphasis of BUILD, which makes it okay to engage in every single eating disorder — hey, a young man may grow up to be a movie-star governor one day, who am I to judge).
Understanding eating disorders actually means one has to deal with a suffering person extensively for months, years, or maybe even a lifetime, which is way too long to fit inside a hour long A&E Intervention episode. We don’t have time nor do we care that much; it’s all about making sure everyone around knows we’re good people, as long as it doesn’t hit home — like hit our own minds or children’s minds, and especially older people’s minds, which means granny is on the fast track to the assistance living facility.
So good people use the government to solve their problems, begging for a new law to help straighten out and cut the loose ends. More than likely, the conversations begin in academia, where some sterile scholars lecture on the links between childhood obesity and eating disorders.
Hold on, wait, this article actually quotes an expert from none other than Harvard (Obama brownie points):
“Overweight youths are at higher risk than healthy-weight peers for disordered weight-control behaviors and binge eating,” explains Dr. Austin is the director of STRIPED (Strategic Training Initiative for the Prevention of Eating Disorders), based at the Harvard School of Public Health and Children’s Hospital Boston.
Since local and state bureaucrats take their cue from the Obama Administration, who will listen to any advice from an Ivy Leaguer, irrespective of how batty or evil they may be (Larry Summers comes to mind), ideas shoot through the legislature and become laws like this one:
Massachusetts State Rep. Kay Khan, (D-Newton), who chairs the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities, raised the profile of eating disorders on March 6 at the State House in coordination with the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA).
[T]he screening tool of Body Mass Index (BMI) was phased in last year in all Massachusetts public schools as a check for obesity.
What?! So, let me get this straight … Parents in Massachusetts allowed the government to start screening their kids in order to tell the parents — who live in the same house as their children — that their kids have an eating disorder and are showing signs of obesity.
We are clearly living in a society in decline if parents live in this type of deep denial.
And to think in the same article, the author points to a report that showed how minority, low-income parents helped curb childhood obesity by engaging in an ancient practice not suitable for today’s modern world called “responsiveness and nurturing” or, in my words, paying attention and talking to your kids. Shocking, I know.
But we all know this won’t last long for minority or low-income parents, not because their lazy or rather have the State take care of their kids, but because most low-income people do work extremely hard, to the tune of 60-80 hours per week for menial pay. Poor folks are the real philanthropist, cooking your pancakes in the morning, folding your clothes in afternoon, and putting your child to sleep at night while their children have to grow up in a world where they’ll be STRIPED searched at school, fat-shamed by adults, and profiled in articles that get picked by the evening news.
And now we are hearing misogyny war-drum, as politicians want to criminalize single motherhood and probe their vaginas. Because obesity is now a “threat to National Security,” Neo-cons want to take obese children away from their parents and put them in foster care and fat camps until the kids are old enough and in shape to die in some senseless war. And not to forget our beautiful First Lady Michelle Obama, who wants you to tell your kids how important it is to go outside and LetsMove!, plant a garden, and talk to your neighbors about health and fitness in midst of bullets flying, HOA watchmen taking their jobs too serious, and police officers just along for the ride (much love to Trayvon Martin).
Oh how I love America.