Thursday, 7 June 2012

A strange insight into obesity and its causes

Although I have been plagued with obesity problems ever since my late father stopped driving me to university in 1997, I have never understood the cause of obesity in children so well as with this article by Rod Dreher.

As a child, I used to think advertisements really told one what was the best, despite protests by an aunt of mine which I outlined in my previous post. However, reading Sandra Bloodworth et. al. has placed that idea out of my head, but still I am prone to believing what I am told about a product if it can be justified much better than was the case with the old Toyota adds I watched as a boy. Such behaviour has certainly had its costs for me, especially in terms of finances, because I will readily seek anything remotely rare or collectible, or even something I suppose to be like that but which in reality is anything but. This can also be seen with food, where McDonalds, Hungry Jacks and KFC advertisements stick with me more than adds by Toyota or Mitsubishi. That, along with my tendency to gallop round the countryside on buses during the late 1990s and often still being out when no other restaurants are open, may account for me taking so easily to them as a source of food.

However, the stunning thing about Dreher is how he shows clearly the influence parents can have on eating habits. He says that parents today have far too much trouble stopping their children from eating junk food when it is advertised on television. Maybe my parents were not tough enough on me when it came to drinking milkshakes and eating chocolate bars and should have offered me better food that was tasty so I did not turn so quickly to junk food chains. I imagine though that such would have been tough in cloistered Melbourne suburbs where food is very simple and hearty - though often fatty because of Australia's glut of land.

Dreher also points out that school teachers - to whom I will confess I was rather distant - offer a valuable example for kids trying to learn healthy eating and fail to do anything at all. When I had to decide what to eat for myself, I took to what I knew - which caused my mass to grow in a year from 80 kilograms to 120 kilograms, where it has remained with some up-and-down variations since. It should be where it was in 1996 when I was fed at home, and I know but cannot do anything. Maybe I should be aware that my temper tantrums were totally unjustified and I was treated too leniently - telling!

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