Thursday, September 30, 2010

Do you remember....classroom parties?

Normally, I do not use my blog as a place to complain or sound off.  In fact, I usually leave the cranking to my husband.  But this really ticks me off.

I heard on the news today that yet another local school has banned birthday treats and classroom parties in the name of fighting childhood obesity.  Really, REALLY?

This angers me on a couple of different levels.  First of all, do you really think an occasionally cupcake is how these kids got obese?  No, and there are ways to make these treats healthy.  Put guidelines on them, yes, ok, I can agree to that.  But banning them completely seems so big brotherish.  If a parent wants their child to abstain from treats, let them decide that, not you, school district.  Any parent involved enough in their child's life to make birthday treats is probably an adequate judge of his or her child's nutritional needs.

Secondly, if these schools are so concerned with childhood obesity, why are so many of them cutting gym classes, and funding for athletic activities?  And why do so many sell sugary soda and juice drinks at lunch time?  One school I was at for a job a few years ago served ice cream.  To kindergarteners.  Yeah, I can see your "concern".  Just like that controlling boyfriend I had back in college.  He labeled his behavior as concern as well.

Why were birthday treats and classroom parties ok when we were kids?  Oh, that's right, it was ok, because childhood obesity was not an epidemic when we were kids.  So, this MUST be the cause right?  What flawed logic that is.  Why not look for what is different between now and then, like the hours of video games and television shows kids consume, leading to a sedentary lifestyle by age 4.  When we were kids, we got out and ran and played.  Or maybe it is the fast food that so many people end up feeding their kids, because they are exhausted after both parents putting in 10-12 hour days, that no one has time to cook nutritious food.  When I was a kid, we never ate fast food.  I mean, maybe once every 4-5 months, and it was a treat.  My parents always cooked dinner, sometimes enough for a few nights if they both would be working.

Look, I get the concern, really I do.  You know why I get it?  I was a chubby kid (shocker, I know).  And my chubbiness was because I was a sedentary kid.  I did not play any sports, I did not live in an area with other kids to run and play with, so I sat inside and read all the time.  It was no fault of my parents, who always provided me nutritious food.  And it certainly was no fault of little Sally's parents for bringing in cupcakes for Sally's birthday.