Fit vs. Fiction's Blog

Keep YOUR body image issues away from MY kids!

As strange as this may sound..a few weeks ago, I found myself PROTESTING the new “Healthy Eating Plan” that was starting at my sons’ school. It’s not that I have a problem with their school encouraging healthy eating, it’s that in their effort to do so..they were actually about to do something very dangerous.

I get it.

Childhood obesity is an issue in our society. Kids are playing too many video games and not engaging in enough physical activity. Kids are eating more “Junk food” than “Good food”. The government is taking a stand against all the evils that are leading our kids down a path of overindulgence. The problem is that they have NO IDEA what they are doing and as a result could potentially cause a lot more damage than they could ever imagine.

Back to my protest…The “Healthy eating Program” at our school was going to run like this: Once a week, a student from each class would be selected to inspect all the lunches in his/her class. The children who had lunches that contained ZERO “snack” food, would be given a raffle ticket. This ticket could be used to earn them prizes later on. The students who were found to have snacks in their lunch bags, got nothing..except maybe a little teasing followed by inevitable shame, but no raffle ticket.

There are so many things WRONG with this plan, it’s hard to know where to start..but how about this:
Putting foods into GOOD and BAD categories is a mistake. We have to stop Demonizing and Glamorizing food. It’s just FOOD. The minute we attach emotion to it, we are giving it way more power than it deserves. The child whose mom had the audicity to send him/her to school with “Bad” foods like a few cookies perhaps, will feel like they’ve done something bad and in turn will feel like THEY are bad; which ain’t good.

The other problem is that this is a great way to introduce kids to the concept of hiding and then gorging on food. Let’s face it, if a kid wants the ticket, but also wants the Gummy Bears his mom packed, he’ll either eat them quickly before the inspection..or hide them until he can sneak off into the bathroom and it them in private. Sound healthy to you?

I explained to the teachers involved that a healthy, balanced meal CAN include some foods whose ONLY redeeming quality is that they taste REALLY good!

The minute you restrict an item of food is the same minute that item becomes more appealing.

We don’t need to teach how to EAT, not how NOT to eat.

After our discussion, the program was put on hold until a new plan was put into action that concentrated on Balance and moderation and encouraged a variety of foods.

I have to admit, I felt quite victorious.

We live in a FAT PHOBIC society where young men and women are more afraid of gaining weight than dying. The lengths they are willing to go in order to achieve and maintain a physique that is completely unrealistic has them headed down some very dangerous paths.

I’m sorry, but our school boards are NOT helping. I was speaking at a high school recently, where they had removed all the pop from the vending machines…and replaced them with Diet Pop! Great message there,guys…sugar is BAD..but chemicals are GOOD? Well, at least they won’t make you fat,right?

Too many “experts” give out advice that is based on their own body image and diet issues and don’t even realize it.

I got an email last week from the mother of a 12 year old girl who was bothered by the fact that their school’s gym teacher was playing episodes of “The Biggest Loser” during gym classes to “Inspire the chubby kids”. Really? Seriously?

IF schools TRULY want to help their students grow into the healthy,happy and fit individuals they deserve to be..they need to EDUCATE themselves on how to do so. Don’t eliminate one problem by creating a different one!

Let’s teach kids what being fit really means and not just what it MAY look like. Healthy bodies are NOT One-size-fits-all!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: