Every generation of parents has a buzzword -- or buzzphrase -- that haunts their every move. For us, it's childhood obesity. You've heard it; you know you have. But have you heard it so much, in such vague terms, that you have more or less brushed it off?
Prepare to be snapped back into caring again. Teach.com, a website run by the University of Southern California's teaching program, has put together an infographic that will scare the pants off of you. Putting solid numbers to the child obesity epidemic, it makes it pretty clear that this is not just some talking point for First Lady Michelle Obama or your local school nurse. It's a bona fide health problem in America, and your kids are at serious risk.
The problem isn't that you're a bad parent. It's that our kids are being targeted by forces that are pervasive in our society. Just take a look:
Scared? I know I am. And I consider myself a pretty informed parent who makes an effort to ensure I serve healthy meals. I've tried to teach my daughter about "good choices," and I do not allow her to watch television on week nights or spend much time watching channels with advertising. My husband and I were even a bit of a joke among our friends because we taught her -- at 2 1/2! -- that commercials are "only trying to sell me something."
But it still sneaks in. She sees some junk in the grocery store, ties it to some ad she saw somewhere, and she waaaaaaaaaants it. She neeeeeeds it. And I'm the meanest mommy ever for not letting her have it. If you read those words in a whiny voice, you are spot on my friend. This is parenting in 2012. We are fighting a bona fide war. And the people at Teach.com have mapped it out for us like no one before them.
What's the scariest part of this infographic? Any numbers shock you?