Yesterday I was talking with a friend who has two young children about the state of nutrition in America. I told him that this generation is in danger of having a shorter life expectancy due to poor nutrition, childhood obesity, the increased rate of diabetes, and other health problems that arise as a result of poor eating and inactivity. "Well, I don't care what happens to other kids," he said, "but my kids are eating well, so they'll live good and long."
And then it hit me...
I've known him and his kids for years. I see them all the time. We have lunches and dinners together. I've never once seen those kids eat something green (besides cupcake frosting). I've never seen them eat any fruit. Not one vegetable. In fact the only thing I've ever seen the kids eat are hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, french fries, and mac and cheese. No, not homemade macaroni with cheese on it. That chemically enriched stuff that has neon yellow cheese. I've never seen them drink water. Only soda. When they go over someone else's house, they bring food for the kids because they only eat junk. Just junk.
How can he say his kids are eating well? There's nothing balanced about what they're eating. It's all just garbage. And the worst part is that he doesn't see that it's garbage. He sees it as good food. "At least he's eating" my friend said to me once, when his oldest was much younger.
Eating's good. Eating right is better.
The only reason I can pinpoint for why he thinks his children are in good health is because they're not putting on weight. They're really active kids and they don't eat very much, but what they do eat is bad for them. This behavior is definitely going to catch up with them and it's going to be at the child's expense.
So how do we break down the myth that skinny = healthy?