As parents and children make their final preparations for Easter Sunday, some nutritional nags are plotting an offensive against two enemies they say go hand-in-hand: the Easter Bunny and his stockpile of CMDs (Candies of Metabolic Destruction). Their primary objective? To drive the rogue rabbit underground before he detonates his candy-coated obesity time bomb.
No, we’re not talking about First Lady Michelle Obama’s effort to re-brand the White House’s traditional Easter Egg roll in conjunction with her anti-obesity crusade. (Encouraging kids to keep moving, with or without eggs in hand, is a critical message.) This particular Easter Scrooge is Australian doctor Nathan Grills, who gets his jollies scolding children and their parents about enjoying special treats on major holidays. According to Grills, the candy-giving Easter Bunny is a bigger health threat to kids than Santa Claus:
Given the [Easter Bunny’s] potential for good, it could become a public health pin-up bunny, supporting campaigns that encourage children to eat the recommended daily five servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit. Chocolate egg hunts could become brussels sprout hunts! After all, the EB itself would advocate for this change, given that bunnies do not digest chocolate particularly well.
Grills claims this hippity-hoppity public menace is responsible for supplying kids with candy that allegedly condemns them to a lifetime of obesity and an array of debilitating diseases. But in his giddiness Grills is still capable of some critical thinking. He cites two key conditions (not Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny) that are ultimately responsible for triggering metabolic meltdowns: excessive consumption and lack of parental regulation.
A tradition of sharing candy baskets one Sunday per year is not going to make anyone’s waistline balloon. (We’re not telling parents anything they don’t already know.) The key to maintaining a healthy weight is moderation, and how better to define “moderation” than a once-a-year celebration? If you want to get some pre-or-post-meal exercise, try hosting an Easter egg roll on your front lawn.