Biggest Loser Families

If you have been watching the current season of Biggest Loser, (and you know I would never miss a single episode of this show!) you have gotten to know a few families, in addition to the regular contestants on the ranch. This season, three teenagers were chosen as representatives of the childhood obesity epidemic in the U.S. We have met their families, watching them learn about the reasons behind their weight gain.

In every case, these young people did not miraculously gain weight in a vacuum. All of the parents are also overweight, if not obese. There is absolutely no question in anyone's mind about how these innocent kids became so unhealthy.

Is it possible to raise children in this country without feeding them junkfood? Should we consider it child abuse to allow no sugary treats into our homes?

Once upon a time, long, long ago, sugar was actually scarce. It was an expensive commodity which most people could not afford to eat on a daily basis. Children might receive a few candies in their stockings at Christmas or on their birthdays, but this was about it. Sugar could certainly be a part of their celebrations back then because it was consumed so rarely. And childhood obesity was also rare.

These days, soda machines are found in every school. School cafeterias offer not just a wholesome (?) meal, but all kinds of additional junkfood "snacks" and "treats." These are sold FOR PROFIT in order to make money for the school cafeteria! (Did you know this???) I'm not sure why anyone thinks that a child who just ate a nutritious lunch would immediately need to turn around and purchase a "snack?"

Last night on Biggest Loser, we were invited into Biingo's home (in my own state of Maryland!) to observe him trying a meatloaf filled with pureed vegetables. Apparently Biingo "hates" all vegetables, so his parents have simply stopped making them. (His parents may not have gotten the memo that THEY are actually the ones in charge.) Knowing that this meal was going to be filmed and aired on national (international?) television, you might think that these parents would try to clean up their act and present (at least a facade of) healthy choices. But sitting right on their dinner table were glasses of hideous neon pink punch! No one even mentioned this huge faux pas. Whatever it was in those glasses, there was no way it was an appropriate beverage for a family of obese people attempting to lose weight.

My point? It all comes down to choices. Over and over again, every single day, every time we open our mouths and push something into them, we need to make the right choices. Are you drinking water? Are you drinking enough of it? Are you eating whole foods? Are you eating a rainbow of various vegetables? Are you getting some type of lean protein at every meal? Are you getting a small amount of healthy fat (from fish, nuts, olive oil, coconut, grass fed dairy?) Are you getting enough sleep?

If the answer to any of the above questions is no, then you know what to do. Focus your attention on what needs to change and FIX IT! Do it for yourself, for your own health, but also do it for your family. For your kids. For the people who need you.