Maybe you've heard about the First Lady's work in fighting childhood obesity. While preventing a health problem that can be ultimately fatal for children is certainly a worthy cause, some are taking issue with the reasoning and methods used by this government program. I'll leave the political "Why is it the government's responsibility to watch your child's weight?" question alone for now. I'll also leave the "How about if you let parents decide what to feed their own kids," retort out of this discussion. Really, I'm not even going to mention the "I don't even have children, so why should I have to pay to keep your kids from eating like pigs? dilemma faced by many of us.
Right now, I'm going to focus on the logic that TV and computer games (specifically the Sony Playstation) are half the problem.
Yes, it is likely that a lot of children spend a shocking amount of time in front of their "screens," as the program calls it. But how does this come about? In many cases, I would argue that it is because parents are looking for safe ways to occupy their children's time. When I was growing up, we were able to spend much of our free time outside, running around, riding bikes, walking back and forth to our friends' homes, and hanging out at the mall. We no longer live in that world. Many parents no longer feel safe letting their beloved offspring run loose in public, due to the fact that the rights of child predators are now considered as important or more important that the rights of their potential victims.
So, here's a radical thought. How about if those in our government who want children to exercise more start putting their time and energy into making our streets safe enough for the kids to actually do that?
Also see: Michelle Obama Program Blames Sony Playstation for Making America's Children Fat
Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking.