“One Tubby, Tubby, Two Tubby, Tubby”

Louisiana has lots of tubbies:

Louisiana children are perhaps the fourth most obese and overweight in the nation because they get little physical activity at home or in school, says a study released this week by LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center. . . .

Peter T. Katzmarzyk, the center’s executive director for population science, admits his study data — gathered from 1997 and 2003 reports — are old. But, he said, there’s little evidence newer research would show any difference today. In those studies, 36 percent of Louisiana children were found to be obese.

“I don’t like to do national comparisons,” Katzmarzyk said when asked to compare childhood obesity in Louisiana to other states. But “at 36 percent, Louisiana is fourth or fifth in terms of obesity in kids.”

I don’t know about other schools, but at mine part of the problem is what we feed the students. A lot of things have changed in education since I was a kid, school lunches are not one of them. Greasy stuffed crust pizza, frito pie, hot dogs; eating that kind of slop every day can’t be good for you, even with the side of mushy carrots. Since about 90% of our students are on free lunch, their parents will never provide a healthy alternative, either. Then, only an hour or so after lunch, we have a ten minute break during which they can buy candy and sports drinks. All of them do, of course, (wait, I thought they could not afford to buy food every day?) which not only forms bad habits and adds inches to their waistlines, but also makes the next class tons o’ fun as the teacher deals with twenty kids on a sugar high.

Still, I however fat “Louisiana’s children” may be, this won’t be an issue in my house. For one, my kids have my genes, and at 28 an age somewhere between 30 and 40, I still wear the same size jeans I wore in high school. We’re fairly active people, too. Which means that until they’re old enough to go play on their own, they will be as well. They’ll never have a t.v. or computer in their rooms; I plan on limiting the household total to one a piece. Hence, no worries about spending hours playing Madden. As for diet, so far my son is pretty much a vegetarian. His choice; he just will not eat any meat. Nor do we let them have sugary snacks and drinks. We even cut their apple juice with water.

That makes us sound like horrible parents, but my kids are very happy. And we both think life is much better when you’re healthy. Hopefully, the stuff we do now will lead them to choose to be active later. On the other hand, when they get older, if they want to sit in front of the boob tube all day eating cheetos and drinking cokes, that’s their decision. For now, though, we’re trying to ensure that when they are old enough to decide to be healthy or not, they’ll only have to choose to stay in shape, rather than having to choose to get in shape.

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One Comment on ““One Tubby, Tubby, Two Tubby, Tubby””

  1. Suzy-Q Says:

    That’s funny, after seeing you all ‘bike it’ to breakfast last Sunday, I mentioned to Jen how I thought your kids were going to be healthy, athletic kids because of the example you two give them. I can’t tell you how many times were out and about and I point out TONS of obese kids. It kills me to see it. I was a little husky from not eating right when I was little but I was outside every day playing sports and jumping around till our mom made us come in. So I worked it off. I’m 27 now and still the same size I was in high school. I only hope parents start changing their habits for their kids before Big Brother decides to do it for us. Heck, it’s already begun!

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