Though misguided anti-obesity campaigns aren’t having the desired effect on their targeted demographic, they are making a big impact on another group: children. As a result of the unhealthy fixation on “junk” food by health officials and activist groups, countless children have started dieting, restricting their food, and focusing on their weight. And measures that would have once seemed absurd are becoming increasingly acceptable:
Gyms now offer personal trainers and pint-sized cardio machines for 3-year-olds. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that “Children as young as three have personal trainers and mini-exercise machines to help fight childhood obesity.”
Fat camps, like the UK’s Too Fat To Toddle, target children under the age of 5. This seems to fly in the face of new research demonstrating that young children are suffering from an overzealous application of “healthy eating” rules.
Elementary school “health” classes are teaching kids to obsess over their food. In a letter to the school’s administrator, one parent in a Chicago suburb highlighted just a few of the unintended consequences of these lessons:
The kids were to enter their height and age into a computerized program, which informed them of their “ideal” weight and percentage of body fat. They have been instructed to count their daily caloric intake. Wednesday night I picked up a pizza on the way home from (my 2nd grade son’s) little league game and (my daughter) was frantic because the box didn’t indicate how many calories were in each slice.
All of these extreme measures are mostly likely setting up our children for failure. Many diets recommend eating less than 1,200 calories per day, the same intake used by health organizations to define starvation. And despite the severity of these regiments, researchers estimate that the failure rate among dieters is greater than 95 percent.
Not many parents would admit their kids to a medical treatment that had a 5 percent or less chance of success. But we’re still allowing obesity “experts” to teach these myths to our youth. Enough is enough. It’s time Americans stand up to food cops and their over-the-top campaigns, for our own health and that of our kids.