Saturday, August 30, 2008
I have a full beard. Well, I had one until last Saturday. I trimmed it back down to a goatee. Or van dyke. Whatever. I keep going back and forth. I had one in my profile photo. Then I grew it out when I got fired. But the point is that no one noticed. Not my in laws who are visiting this week. Not my parents, who I saw a few days ago. Not my kids. Not my wife.
Much has been said about the obesity epidemic in the United States. And many fingers have been pointed in many directions. Too much TV? Not enough activity in schools? Kids becoming more and more sedentary? I don't know if it can really be called an epidemic, despite the numerous stock images of fat kids we see on the news all the time. I see just as many fat kids today as I did when I was a kid. I recently spend a couple of days at the Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos, had a great time, and saw the standard number of boys with boobs and fat little girls with their fat parents. Epidemic? I don't know.
It has certainly driven some companies to jump into action. Corporations have launched numerous programs designed to get kids more active and do some good in their communities. Kudos to Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network on that front. Other corporations have caved to public and government pressure and decided to stop marketing junk foods to kids. Perhaps the biggest boom has been seen by the publishing industry. A search of the term "childhood obesity" on amazon.com reveals over 3300 books. One of the most popular books is the 2007 "Dangerous Book for Boys". This book was released to much acclaim as it sought to return boys to the active, adventurous little moppets they were before cable TV and
handheld video games. It was so popular that there are updated
versions and kits for both boys and girls. Has it worked? Well, the book is still very popular but any gains it may have made are sure to be erased by something I saw the other day. This book, designed to get kids out of the house and into the woods making
their own fun is now available as a CD Audiobook. So stay indoors, kids! Put on your headphones and listen to people tell you about what you could be doing instead of reading about it, you fat, lazy bastards.