- Mom is tired so she stops by Dairy Queen on the way home from the late afternoon soccer game. She orders a Blizzard for herself and dipped cones for the children. There are some chips and leftover slices of pizza at home if anyone gets hungry before bed. Lately she’s been too wiped out to care.
- Junior is sitting in front of the computer munching on Doritos for supper. Dad and Mom don’t mind because they are lounging in their lazy boys watching the news while eating cheddar melts and curly fries. Later on they plan to dig into the two quarts of fudge ripple and butter pecan ice cream that’s in the freezer. Cooking and setting-the-table for dinner are obsolete words in their household.
- Baby is teething and cranky but the frazzled Mom has discovered that McDonald’s salted fries do the trick to quiet him down every time. Her two-year-old is also a happy camper when eating a Happy Meal in Playland. Mom has found the perfect place of serenity to escape to while eating Big Macs and chocolate sundaes at the golden arches.
- When the new parents held their twins for the first time, they had ideals for excellent nutrition. However, one by one, those ideals were tossed by the wayside in the flood of social events and birthday parties. Hotdogs, donuts, cake and ice-cream took over the best of logic and common sense. The pressure to fit in overcame the desire to be healthy. Today their teens eat chicken nuggets, cheeseburgers, or pizza pockets most nights of the week.
In a study conducted by RAND Corporation, alcoholism increases the risk of chronic illnesses by 12%; cigarette smoking increases the risk of chronic illnesses by 25%; and obesity increases the risk of chronic illnesses by 67%.1
We have laws established to govern and prohibit the sale of both cigarettes and alcohol to minors, yet gluttonous eating that leads to obesity and poor health is practiced everywhere; especially by adults who are setting the example and leading the way by promoting the dangerous lifestyle.
An infant is encouraged to eat French fries that develops into an addiction for salty, high fat, processed foods in the preschool years; which snowballs into craving bags of chips and slices of pizza during the pre-teen / teen years. Chronic fatigue from malnutrition is replaced by Pepsi, coffee and energy drinks that become the drugs of choice through college and beyond. Over time, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, fatigue, and depression become the accepted and expected, All-American diseases; stimulating the economy by keeping drug reps employed, pharmaceutical companies in business, and surgical suites well staffed.
When a faulty crib or playpen is recalled a wise parent returns the product.
When crossing a busy street a careful guardian holds a child’s hand.
When danger lies ahead a prudent caregiver changes paths.
A victim is one that is [intentionally or unintentionally] injured, harmed, or destroyed by another.
Are children the innocent victims of our vices?
1 RAND Corporation; “The Health Risks of Obesity”; © 2002
image credits - Flickr: babies by paparutzi; Pepsi Max by Lord Biro