Weight of A Nation Obesity Epidemic Is Weighing On My Behavior
I am stating to freak out. Really. This series of documentaries from HBO on the state of obesity in America is really weighing on my conscience. Have you seen it? Has it changed any of your personal behaviors or those towards your children? It has for me and I don’t like it. It is making me paranoid. Turning me into a food dictator and physical activity general. Plus, it is making me too scared about the health future of Americans. The future of Americans and of other nations who are experiencing epidemic levels of overweight and obesity with their citizens (including France, where we live). I can’t stop thinking about it, watching the films. Yet, that was what the goal was, right? The message to send to all of us? That we need to wake up and smell the coffee on our obesity issue. This obesity health issue that is already devastating and it will be catastrophic in the near future.
Why am I so paranoid? I have worked very hard with my family to fight the environmental aspects that contribute towards obesity. And I feel very lucky because it has worked: 4 lean and healthy kids. We practice what I call meal discipline. Easier to do here in France, many French are strict with their eating. I really shouldn’t worry so much how things will turn out for my kids, they are on the right path. My children have had good taste education, they eat everything that is put down in front of them, they have high amounts of physical activity. Yet, these 4 films “Weight of the Nation” are filled with heart-breaking statistics, stories and struggles. Watching them has made me on edge. Instead of practicing good meal discipline, I have turned into a madwoman:
- Hating the food industry for marketing unhealthy foods for kids
- Upset of the lack of physical education classes for kids in schools
- Mad at Congress for cutting down the Child Food Act and allowing french fries to be served daily on school lunch menus (instead of twice a week), and pizza being looked at as a vegetable
- Frustrated at the lack of healthy foods served to children in school
- Sadness for the children who suffer low self-esteem and ridicule for being obese
- Scared for the health future of our children who will have heart attacks, stroke and cancer starting in their young adult life
Other personal examples of madwoman mommy “me” today:
- Yelling at my teenager daughter for hanging out playing on her DS this morning and missing breakfast
- Rationing the pieces of baguette the kids were allowed to eat during lunch (we had a big Sunday lunch, 5 courses-1 piece of bread allowed each course)
- Encouraging them to slow down on the heavy cream on the strawberries for dessert
- Pushing them outside to play, even with the weather not being good because they were all spending too much time on screens
- Screaming “No! no soda at 6 pm! Even if we had guests over and it was fun time.
My friend, our guest this afternoon, looked at me and said
“Are you okay? You seem really enervé (stressed out)!”
Yes I am. And I don’t like it.
I have decided to write some articles on the Weight of the Nation documentary, as I see it; as a dietitian living here in France. I am really worried about the state of obesity in America. Things haven’t hit rock bottom yet. Maybe writing about it will help me return to normal. Writing and sharing with readers, almost like getting my emotions out of my system and on “paper.” I don’t want my kids being around a mad-woman mommy-me, overly concerned for every bite or drink they put in their mouth. Eating is a necessity, but it also a pleasure and practiced in a relaxed state. Oh la la…!
If you haven’t seen the documentary from HBO called “Weight of the Nation” you can click here to get access to the films.
If you are an international viewer and are having problems getting access to the Weight of The Nation films via the link above, they are available here on You Tube:
Part 1: Consequences
Part 2: Choices
Part 3: Children In Crises
Part 4: Challenges
Maybe we all need a wake up call. Our children are our future, we must do whatever possible to keep them healthy, both in mind and body. A wake up call to move together, as a nation. We can all do our efforts, but it will take more than that. We need to come together as a community, school, state and nation. Our children need to know we are behind them, we care about them. And if we are strict with their eating and push them to move and exercise more and use screens less, it is because we are looking towards their best interests, not because we are punishing them. But as for now, I need to calm down return to being food balanced mommy because normal eating is also enjoying and stressed out mommy is no fun!
If you have any feedback, shout it out in the comment section or via private email to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Have you seen the films “Weight of the Nation?” Let me know your thoughts on the documentary.