Since it happens to be Childhood Obesity Month and I happen to be wanting to get my child and I in better shape and avoid childhood obesity in my home, I thought it might serve me well to look into the Food Pyramid offered by the government. It did serve me well, but not the way I thought it would. If anything, it looks as if the government is trying to perpetuate unhealthy eating habits. Nice to know that this is the guide that is being given to our children in school as well as the standards that most health facilities use. One actually has to wonder if childhood obesity is a goal that’s being aimed at to feed the medical industry and the FDA. But, I digress.
What I found was that if I fed my child by the standards of the Department of Agriculture, not only would he have childhood obesity, but he would likely develop diabetes in a hurry. Thanks, but no thanks. Sadly, I even raised his weight and lowered his activity level in order to calculate what an overweight, inactive child should be eating.
Under the circumstance, in a supposed effort to lower the amount of childhood obesity cases, the FDA recommends that a child of 4’2″ at 90lbs and less than 30 minutes of exercise a day (pay attention to that part) should be eating under the guidance of the plan below. Keep in mind that I exaggerated his measurements to present him as overweight and under active. Also keep in mind that this is a daily diet plan.
Milk: 3 cups (not on your life)
Grains: 5 ounces (Oh good, carbs that the proposed child does nothing to burn off)
Vegetables: 2 cups (over 1/3 of which should be starchy)
Fruit: 1.5 cups (Make sure you get those at the local grocery chain so you can have plenty of dye, wax and pesticides as well)
Meat and beans: 5 oz. (Well, we wouldn’t want him to get an overload of energy with all that protein now would we?)
Oil: 5 tablespoons (umm..gross?)
Now, let’s look at a couple of basic facts.
Humans are the only mammals that drink milk beyond infancy, unless we humans interfere with the diets of said other mammals. There are actually plenty of ways to get vitamins and calcium other than milk. Whole milk is especially horrible, containing fats that only babies need for their brain development.
If this child is supposed to eat as much grains (carbs) as he or she does in meat and beans (protein), do you realize that if a child eats one hamburger on a bun, he has met his or her quota for protein for the day, but not for carbs? Remember, this is also an inactive child. When are they supposed to burn those carbs off? Can you say road to diabetes?
Since over 1/3 of the vegetables are supposed to be starchy, we’ve just fed that child a butt load of carbs for the day. Okay, now we don’t just say diabetes, but you may as well go ahead and get that glucometer.
The fruit intake is great, unless you get it at the grocery store, where pesticides can seep through the skin of any fruit along with the dies.
When it comes to meat and beans (protein) compared to the carbs, the math just doesn’t add up. If a child is under-active, you not only need to encourage him or her to be active, but you also need to feed him or her more protein than carbs so that they will actually have the energy to get off the couch!
Five tablespoons of oil? In my house, that would actually be quite a bit. I would suggest if you do use that much oil, you do so in the form of olive oil and other natural oils.
Many children refuse to eat certain foods. While there is personal taste to consider, there is also habit and addiction. Carbs are addicting and a child who was raised with unlimited amounts of carbs is going to continue to crave them since his or her body is used to getting them in large amounts. Such a child will also eat more often than one who is on a diet of more protein than carbs, since the protein will actually fill them up.
It might just be time for parents to start thinking for themselves, rather than letting any organization lead them and their children into a world fraught with consequences including childhood obesity. In fact, eating healthy and being active with your children is a great way to bond with them even as you both develop healthy habits. Don’t let childhood obesity from unhealthy eating habits lead you and your family down a road of ceaseless medical issues.