Junkfood Science: Time for a refreshment break

July 15, 2008

Time for a refreshment break

Occasionally, a refreshing voice of reason slips into mainstream media. Jan Dymond of the Labradorian in Canada, wrote a thoughtful column about her grandsweeties and what little girls endure growing up today, surrounded by this obsession with obesity... especially when those little girls come from solid built people.

No two bodies are the same

I come from solid built people. We are descended from people who needed to be built tough for the northern climates we settled in after leaving the beginning point of the human race in Africa. Thin, fatless people would have never made the rugged climb up through Europe into the Highlands of Scotland... my grocery choices aren't made with the intent of keeping the children in my care model-thin. That would be an impossible goal. They, too, come from strong thickly built people.

However, we live in a time where two huge impacting pressures are ganging up on our wee ones to make them feel guilty about every sign of pudge or bulk; the beauty industry and the health industry. One wants to empty our wallets for all the wrong reasons, and the other wants us to not need it so much. Both use guilt to promote their cause. And that guilt is doing nasty things to our kids.

My younger grandsweetie has the muscular arms and legs that you would expect an active outdoor-loving child to have. She has a great complexion and the brilliant eyes that good health brings. But her body has a growing style that means growing round before growing up, if that makes sense. It's as if her waist has to gather the bulk it needs to stretch another future inches of length. She's just stepping into puberty, and... having a hard time believing she will ever own a body worth loving. And that is not only sad, it angers me.

Because of the push to be thin, even healthily thin...because of the plethora of messages coming at our kids to avoid fat and being fat...kids are hurting kids. And that's not fair. I guess I lost it when I listened to a tearful little girl tell me about how the kids on her school bus hated her because she is fat...

Her complete Just a Thought column is here.

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