Wednesday, February 27, 2013

heated topic...

I was listening to one of our local radio stations this morning as usual.  They mentioned that a few of our local schools were taking children's BMI measurements and if they fell under the overweight or obese category, they were having a letter sent home to parents regarding this issue.  The schools mention the risks for overweight and obese children such as heart disease and diabetes and then offer up ways to help their families eat healthier and exercise.  
   And then the debate began...some parents from these schools complained that the overweight kids were being bullied from the children that did not receive this letter, basically it was singling out those students at risk  

The listeners were texting and calling in regarding this issue and the DJ's had their opinions too.  The DJ's said that parents are in control, but the school should step in to a certain point because some parents are misinformed when it comes to healthy living but some parents are in fact, lazy.  Well that made listeners angry...I was sitting in my driveway at this point, I was not missing the rest of this issue.

One caller said it was none of the schools business what happened at home, they were the parent and they'd deal with things on their own with their children.
-I had to disagree on this one, I do think as educators and schools they have an obligation to step in when they see the epidemic of childhood obesity, they are watching these children each day in comparison to the whole.  They see how these children suffer socially, physically and emotionally so I, being a former educator disagreed with this caller.  

Next it was, what about single parents that work 2-3 jobs and have no time for physically activity or healthy eating with their families.  
Oh wow, this made the DJ's fire off...they said parents are lazy.  They know good foods from bad but the parents choose the easier route because of tiredness and other reasons.  They said kids should be involved with after school sports instead of video games while their parents are working/busy.  And if money was an issue, they can just simply get outside with their children or show they healthy things to do while they are at work...
   -On this one, I was torn.  I am a child of a single parent, she did the best she could and was busy juggling work and being a parent.  I think she did good but yes, after school while she was at work I'd sit in front of the TV for hours while munching on as much junk food as I could find.  Was that her fault?  No.  Plus a lot of children go straight from school to daycare due to parents working late, when do these children get to exercise other than the 30 minutes of PE they may be getting each day, but most schools don't even require PE 5 days a week anymore :(  Budgets.  
   But these DJ's and callers suggested that the sports after school could take the hassle from parents because they could come home from work, pick them up for after school practices and go home thus not allowing the child to sit and home, watch tv, play video games and eat.  
   For me, this one was tough because by the time I was old enough to come home alone while my mom was at work, I was overweight and felt intimidated when it came to most sports, so saying I'd go out for the tennis and soccer team at that age was probably out of the question, sadly enough for me.  
What do you think?

The DJ's went on the mention that they see parents EVERY day in our city and communities allowing their children to drink soft drinks like water, have bags of Cheetos and then going home and playing video games. He said what's wrong with a family bike ride and if your family has financial issues, they can afford a bike from a garage sale and ride together, every day after school/work. 
   -For me, I agree because I observe parents and what they feed their children as well as things they choose to do with or without their children.  It's like a lot of people in our area don't choose to be active for whatever personal reasons they may have and their children suffer because of it, so this one was hard for me too.  I also see that children learn from OUR example and if the one that is set is not positive, our children may suffer because of it.  
   Also, watching Biggest Loser this week( ya know I bring points up with this show often, because I think it opens so many viewers eyes) when Sunny was confronting her mother about her obesity issues and that she was enabling her daughter to losing weight and showing her right from wrong from her struggles.  I am sure so many children with obese parents feel that way.  Maybe they fear their parents will die, or they are saddened by the fact that their parent can't ride bikes, roller coasters, do active things with them...that's sometimes hard for children and we don't always realize the consequences.  
   But there's so many issues to take into consideration on this topic because I was overweight but neither of my parents were.  I struggled with emotional eating but my parents didn't.  I often think my father leaving and never truly BEING THERE for me is what triggered me to lean on foods.  They were always there.  I could depend on them more than I could on my relationship with my father.  Sadly enough, I think that's where it all began for me.  

I think it was a heated topic for listeners, the DJ's and the schools that are choosing to send these letters home regarding the health of their children.  Also, these parents probably don't want to admit that their child is not healthy or not the norm, so they get defensive which is a totally normal reaction, I think.  None of us want to admit failure, it's a hard one to swallow.  
   The DJ's were stressing the importance that it should be an issue addressed, no matter what and I agree, especially the area that we live in.  I feel that active living should be stressed MUCH more these days, our world is too revolved around social media, video games, movies and while these things are FUN, we should also be exposing our children to healthy foods and active lifestyles before it's too late and our younger generation is in more trouble than they are now...very frightening. 
And I worry too, that parents that aren't overweight or struggle will be unable to relate to those children that suffer from obesity because although the parents are fine eating cheeseburgers each week, their child obviously has underlying issues that must be addressed and need more healthy examples in their lives.  
Your thoughts on this issue?


And moving on...
My kindergartner had his first day of Running Club-Fun and Fit Club yesterday morning.   It's a before school activity that involves running or walking and tips on healthy eating and healthy snacks for after exercise.  I knew I wanted my boys involved in this when I was a teacher at this school.  It's a HUGE success and lots of children look forward to it each week.  I LOVED the first day.  Lots of parents who are actively involved, cheering on the kids and the kids are EXCITED to exercise!  Yay!
As the child completes a lap (5 is one mile), they receive a mark on their hand.  The kids push hard to get as many "marks" as possible and they can also log home miles.  The outside/home miles got my boy SO exciting, he came home from school yesterday and we went running!  


They also receive this necklace with track foot beads....they earn a bead for every 3 miles completed.  At the end of the season, they earn awards, medals etc.  He was PUMPED!  
  After only one day, we were having dinner and he told me he loves baseball so much but RUNNING is his favorite sport ever!  He ran 6 laps in 10 minutes and said he would make sure and get 10-11 laps on Thursday...precious how hard he wanted to push for this!  He says he wants to compete against other kids and try and run more miles than the fifth graders!  Woohoo, way to find that competitive side, Jake!  LOL!  
Honestly though, he's a lot like my husband...he doesn't show excitement the way myself and my youngest son do, so it's hard to gauge whether or not they really like or enjoy something.  Well it's a given that he's happy with Running Club and we can't wait to see where this semester will take him!  
*I also think I need to look back in my college books and figure out more about track.  He says he wants to join a local track team and I am CLUELESS but you better believe I'll learn and ask around...
A lot of you, my readers are former track stars...pointers and suggestions?  

And a few eats...
Yesterday after my workout which was a 5K in 32:12, my fastest yet!  and protein shake, it was time for 2 egg whites/1 egg on half sandwich thin, neufchael cheese and an orange!

Last nights dinner was quick and easy since I had a lot of errands to run with baseball's Opening Day is Saturday and I'm team mom :) 
So I made the boys their quick and easy pizza and hubby and I had the NAAN bread topped with salt free/sugar free sauce, and leftover lean beef patties from camping, torn up along with lots of veggies...I piled zucchini, carrots, green beans, cauliflower on top of the sauce, then the meat and popped in the oven at 450 for 20 minutes!  It turned out ultra crispy and DELICIOUS!!!  My husband went on and on about how great it was and I kept laughing because it literally took like 5 minutes to prepare!  Love meals like that!


5 comments:

hiker mom said...

Hmmm, that's a tough one. Sadly I think most parents are in denial about their child's obesity problems. I have a friend whose daughter is obese and she always wonders why. Then I see what she feeds her (candy, chips etc.) and I feel like screaming! It's really sad. And, yes, most will get defensive if someone brings it up. Not sure what the solution is or if the letters would help. Interesting topic.

Theresa Benoit said...

Way to go Jake! How fun for him! I wish William's school had something like this but really, they just have gumbo! Ha! And your pizza looks delish! Yum!

Christy @ My Dirt Road Anthem: A Runner's Blog said...

This is a toughie, but I do think parents sometimes need an outside look at their child. It is a little hard for me since I don't have any experience with the issue personally.. I did meet an obese lady over the weekend at our local bountiful baskets, like a CSA I suppose, she had just started getting the baskets and was excited to have fresh fruit in the house because she never did before and her kids were discovering they liked oranges.... I was at a loss for words. but it did explain in part why her two boys were so overweight, they weren't getting fresh fuits and veggies at home before. So sad, it is such a staple at my house I can't imagine.

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Bridie Sellers said...

Schools have every right to step in where a kids health is concerned. They are required to report abuse right? It's a stretch to say that letting a kid get overweight is abuse, I know that's controversial....but...parents need to take responsibility for all aspects of their childrens health. All the after school and day care programs that my kids have been in, make sure the kids get lots of opportunities to be active and run around. If they are coming home to an empty house, parents can make sure the house is only stocked with healthy foods. They can create incentive programs for the kids to do activities like vacuuming, or other chores while home alone- it at least gets them moving a little. I come down hard on the parents, because I had a single mom, and we had very little money, but we understood that we needed to eat healthy and be active. She sacrificed for us to have those essentials. I don't think parents that let their kids get overweight are bad or don't love their kids - it's amazing how uneducated this country continues to be about health. And it is precisely because we are so uneducated that the schools SHOULD step in and provide some tools and guidance. Controversial? Heck yes. But when has a huge change in the right direction ever come without controversy? I think that means they are doing something right.

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