This post started as a comment over at GeekMom blog, where they have a short post up directing readers to a 'tongue in cheek 10 ways to make your kid fat list', seeing as how the children's obesity epidemic has 'waddled' to their attention. I started this list and by the time I got to #5 I realized I should just post it here.
Ways you can make your kid fat and miserable*:
1) Be fat yourself. Obesity is as genetically inheritable as eye or hair colour, which is about 70%.
2) Be poor so you can't afford nutritious food, which is much more expensive than fast food.
3) Live in an low income/inner city area where there aren't safe places to play outside or any actual grocery stores, just parking lots and fast food places or corner stores.
4) Be a minority; Latin@, Black, First Nations, it doesn't matter. If you are, you and your child are likely to be poor and live in an unsafe place thanks to ongoing inequalities in our society.
5) Restrict sugars and 'junk food'. They'll learn to sneak the calories their growing bodies crave and come to view those things as delicious forbidden fruit.
6) Put your kid on a diet. Young bodies need every calorie and fat gram they can get, so instead of growing well their bodies will slow down, holding onto every calorie they DO get. When the diet is lifted upon reaching the 'ideal' weight, their bodies will demand to catch up and they'll pack on the pounds they lost, plus more. It's millions of years of evolution at work and no child can be expected to stand against that.
7) Don't practise the division of responsibility or teach your kids about intuitive eating or Health at Every Size. Your child will be more likely to succumb to an eating disorder or have other body image issues for the rest of their life.
*Note, I am not implying that fat people or fat kids are miserable because they're fat, I'm saying that fat people and fat kids are made miserable thanks to all the shaming and guilt that comes with being fat.
Also note that the first four things on this list? Are mostly out of our control. Genetics and ethnicity or race are out of our hands. It's a roll of the dice. These things, however, do determine a lot about how oppertunites come our way throughout our lives, how hard it is to get a good job, go to college, get out of poverty, be born into poverty, etc. The first four things on the list are meant to be my tongue in cheek reply to GeekMom and ZisBoomBah. The rest is just the facts. And P.S? There IS NO OBESITY EPIDEMIC, especially not in kids. Check out my links page if you don't believe me.