Flabby Meal

food and nutrition, people and relationships

Perhaps this qualifies as a “duh!” discovery, but I think I’ve just gained additional insight into why Americans are so dang fat.

Our society typically treats our kids like blubbering (literally) unsophisticates at mealtimes.

Check out the “kids meals” at almost any eatery, and you’ll see:
– lots and lots of fried stuff
– red (and often very fatty) meat
– sodas

I realize that young kids have may not yet have acquired a taste for asparagus tips and tofu strips, but then again, is of much what we ascribe to “kids’ tastes” merely a reflection of a self-fulfilling prophecy?

Translated into English: We assume young children will only eat unhealthy crap, so that’s what our society advertises and puts into Happy Meals, and thus what parents end up serving their kids.

Why isn’t there a “grilled chicken” Happy Meal?
Why don’t kids get a bag of baked potato chips instead of greasy fried potato chips with their school lunches?
Why isn’t juice (not Hawaiian Punch) usually a choice with children’s specials?

And doesn’t anyone out there — corporations or parents — feel the least bit guilty about actively pushing heart-attacks-on-a-bun on Junior?

Here’d be something interesting to figure out:
– How many kids eventually die from alcohol-related injuries or diseases?
versus
– How many kids eventually die from obesity-related injuries or diseases?

In America, we spend bazillions of dollars enforcing ridiculous (and globally often ridiculed) laws prohibiting 16 year olds from having a glass of wine with dinner or a beer at their family picnic.

But somehow it doesn’t seem to bother our collective conscience that we’re fattening up our kids to death… not just allowing them to eat artery-clogging junk, but actively encouraging, facilitating, and celebrating this sort of deadly diet.

Don’t get me wrong… I’m not personally living on a diet of broccoli and water, nor do I begrudge anyone (including myself!) the occasional ice cream or juicy steak or any other food for that matter. Rather, I’m simply disgusted by the fact that we don’t offer our kids any alternatives… in effect teaching them that hamburgers are a “Happy Meal” and that green stuff is something that they’re forced to eat at home (seemingly as a punishment) before they can eat the “good stuff.”

And then we wonder why our kids become Super-Sized(tm).

2 comments… add one
  • Harald Aug 28, 2002

    Maybe it has to do with American food culture in general. When i think of American food i think of greasy food. Is there any American food culture besides fast food?

  • Harald Aug 28, 2002

    And then there’s breakfast. When i visited the US i was surprised to see that people there start the day with pancakes, sausages etc. To us that’s dinner (or at least lunch). Breakfast here in Europe is bread, croissants, milk or orange juice. Maybe an egg. When i had an American breakfast my stomach felt full, heavy and bloated all morning.

    There’s a logical buildup trough the day. Breakfast should be light and basic. At lunch you eat something a bit more special, to boost your moral and get you through the afternoon. Just like snacks, breakfast and lunch are only meant to get you through the day until dinner. And dinner is something special. It’s when people come together. It’s the highlight of the day. That’s what you work towards. Who cares about dinner when you’ve been stuffing yourself all day?

What do you think?