Most countries around the world are now ‘blessed’ or ‘plagued’, depending on your opinion, with ‘The shopping Mall’ These are often the social meeting place and besides the shopping, eating, and window shopping, which goes on in abundance, there is another ‘blight’ on the landscape.
There is the family who have achieved some degree of wealth, or a comfortable standard of living, and like to flaunt this fact. But they often do not flaunt it themselves, but through their children. As the title of this article suggests, children are being overfed, and indulged with anything they desire when it comes to food. In some countries children who are overweight are seen as children of parents who have money
and can afford to feed them well. This is more prevalent in Asia and Africa than in European or Western countries. My adopted country of The Philippines is one such example. Not on a huge scale, but it is visible. Like many countries who are emerging from the the status of being 3rd world, and have sections of society who want to show off to others, and food availability has always been one of the main factors which defines the economic level of a nation.
Therefore, displaying your ability to provide large amounts of food for yourself, and your children in many ways cements your ‘status’. The effect of this is that one’s offspring become the object of this
display. Ones status symbols. Added to the equation is the rise in dining out, and eating fast food, which are also seen as signs of affluence. We all know that the scourge of fast food has affected most of society, but we need to protect our children from this, and don’t set them on the path to future bad health, just for the purposes of ‘one-upmanship’
I remember a couple of years ago watching a program about this phenomenon, in which children of economically stable people had health issues at young ages. One boy was 15, and had his jaws wired together. Another had his stomach stapled, and one more had the health symptoms of a 70 year old, all due to being allowed to eat whatever they desired. A lot this stems from the parents wanting to ‘proudly’ show that their kids come from wealthy or comfortably off families, but at the same time are risking, whether consciously or unconsciously, their children’s futures with this attitude. Not only do overweight kids often grow up to be overweight adults (see image), but they can develop health issues which will stay with them for life, and more often than not, a shortened life.
We are in the 21st century, and all the myths that surround these practices still exist in certain countries. The medical facts are there out in the open for all to see. The medical world has long shouted from the rooftops about obesity and its effects. Maybe it is time for parents to put their children’s well-being first and their superstitions/vanities/beliefs second.