This morning I read
Coben describes his angst at having to follow the “cool” parent in the snack line up who brings Ho-Ho cakes and Hawaiian Punch. Even if Coben took the time to slice 50 orange wedges, the kids would never eat them.
What happened to the post-game cold glass of water and the feeling of satisfaction after a game well played? We’re a society obsessed with food, and waistlines reflect it.
Unhealthy eating habits can lead to obesity resulting in diabetes and heart disease.
Coben’s Op-Ed piece reminded me of my friend Olivella’s recent visit from Italy. She stood agape in the cereal aisle at my local grocery store. I don’t eat cereal other than oatmeal. We were perusing the aisle at her request. She had not visited the U.S. in 15 years, and had heard about the breakfast cereal phenomenon. What she saw blew her mind. “There are so many different choices! At our co-op In Italy you can buy three or four kinds of cereal, and that’s all. And they aren’t packaged in these brightly colored boxes – clearly intended to grab children’s attention.”
A few weeks ago I listened as a man shopped with his young son.
Dad: “Want some chips to eat on the way home?
Dad: “Are you sure?”
I almost jumped in on the discussion “Why are you pushing this junk food on a kid who doesn’t want it ? Why don’t you just admit that you want the chips?”
None of my business; I resisted.
When it comes to our food-centered culture, I’m with Coben. He urges parents in his son’s soccer association, and parents nationally, to stop providing the post-game and stick to water.
If more parents spoke up about what their kids eat, the cereal aisles might shrink – and so would our waistlines.
Related Issues and Answers columns
Anorexia in boys
Anorexia in girls