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Hold the Mayo

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After Alex and I finished dinner I turned on the TV while I cleaned up the kitchen. There wasn’t much to clean up - the remnants of a spinach, tomato and feta cheese pizza, some carrot sticks with low-fat ranch dressing and skim milk. A news report caught my ear and I listened as the reporter talked about the results from a new study that was just published in the New England Journal of Medicine. It was not good news. The study found that this generation (our kids) is projected to have the first-ever shorter life expectancy than the previous generation due to the rising incidence of childhood obesity. In other words, our kids are expected to die 2 to 5 years sooner than their parents because they are too fat! Check out these reports here and here or just Google “childhood obesity and life expectancy” for more. It should come as no surprise to anyone that America is getting fatter. Not just fat, fatter. Remember when you were in grade school and there was maybe one or two kids at the most who were fat? They got teased and definitely chosen last for kickball. Today, what’s the big deal? The fat kids don’t even stand out from the crowd anymore. Don’t start squawking that I’m mean and insensitive and all that. People who are fat, know it. Like me, for instance. I’ve been trying to lose the same 5, OK 8, pounds for three years. My goal is to eventually weigh what my driver’s license says I weigh. But being fat is no longer a self-esteem or “value” issue. It is a serious health issue and now we have passed it along to our kids. There are a gajillion reasons why and I’m not going into them all here. But the biggest reason of all? Yep, the common theme this week - parents who are not paying attention to their kids and what their kids are eating! Kids do not have a lot of control over what kind of food is in the house or what kind of food is put in front of them to eat. That’s their parent’s job. And there are plenty of resources available to parents who want to make some changes so their precious children will live longer than they will. One of those resources locally is the Mesa County Health Department’s new Shape Down program for kids and their parents. You can call (970) 683-6650 for more information on that one. Anybody know of other resources? Post a comment to tell us. Gotta run because today is Cookie Day here at work and there are about fifteen varieties calling my name!

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