What do our children do? Do they run outside, play softball in the street and ride their bicycles up and down the sidewalk? That's what we did as kids. On the other hand, do they sit down at the computer to do their homework, get a few video games in before dinner and then sit down to watch television? For many children, it's the second set of activities.
How does diet affect our children? Do our children eat vegetables grown in their own yard, take a lunch to school and eat fruit for dessert? On the other hand, do they eat frozen waffles, a high fat school lunch and then takeout for dinner? Once again, many follow the latter pattern.
How can we protect our children? The best way is to be more like the first statements and less like the latter. The problem is that it's a very difficult way to go.
As I said in the summary, the biggest problem in the war against childhood obesity is inactivity. There are so many electronic devices available that our kids are more likely to text the person they're sitting next to rather than speak.
Should they give up all of these devices? That isn't really the answer either. Instead, we parents need to set limits. That's the role of a parent. We should also encourage our children to be active.
There's a second part to that. Take replace "children" with "we adults." How many of us still go outside and play? How often do we prepare and eat meals with fresh fruits and vegetables? Our children can't learn to be active and eat well unless they are taught. They need to be taught both by our words and by our deeds.
Here's a suggestion. Get out the old badminton set (or basketball or softball) and play *with* the kids. Find ways to serve healthy foods that can be made quickly at home. When we as a nation of parents can do that, we can end childhood obesity.