Tag Archives: children

Cheatos

A Special Guest Blog By: Courtney Mueller, Co-Producer of “Finding Thin”

It was one of THOSE days at the office: the phone rang off the hook, I had back to back meetings, and emails ding my inbox like a typewriter.  I was forced to sit in my office chair all day and couldn’t find time to plan a proper meal.  I went to Plan B: The Vending Machine.  The Vending Machine glows eerily with an invitation to be self-indulgent.  My “lunch” cost 80 cents and mocked my attempts at healthy eating: I chose the Cheetos.

In minutes I had eaten the whole bag.  I threw the bag in the waste can and went back to pounding at the keyboard.  The evidence of my unhealthy choice was soon all too obvious: my keyboard was stained orange.  Suddenly, I flashed back to my uncle sitting me down last weekend reminding me for the 50th time about the summer when I was three years old.

It was the CCC- the Classic Cheetos Courtney story.  My Uncle had a pool in his backyard where my family would gather to soak up the sun.  I had wrangled up a pool floaty where I would kick my little legs around towards the staircase,  and grab a jumbo-sized bag of Cheetos and run back in the pool. My Uncle said that they never worried about me in the pool as they always knew where I was, as I left an orange-colored trail wherever I had float.

He blames me to this day for clogging up the pool with Cheeto reminance.

I realized while I was cleaning up my keyboard that I resorted to an emotional food choice- one that made me think of simpler times- instead of a heathly choice. Cheetos were always my favorite go-to food to snack on. Back then I would just wipe off my orange stained fingers on my bathing suit and paddle away in my float with a smile on my face. But now, I can see that Cheetos are a junk food, a go to food if I want to make a poor decision.

It is time to be an adult. I need to make time for my health and not falling through the Cheeto-sized cracks.

I cheated myself out of a healthy choice…Cheetos should now be spelled “Cheatos”.

Ronald McDonald Is Getting Fired

A Special Guest Blog By: Courtney Mueller, Co-Producer of “Finding Thin”

When I was little, my best friend and I would rollerblade to our local McDonalds once a week.  Every week we shakily crossed the busiest street in town, rolling with determination towards our favorite meal.  We didn’t mind the threat of speeding traffic, we didn’t consider our journey to be exercise, we just focused on the payoff: Chicken McNuggets, french fries, and hot fudge sundaes.  The golden arches beckoned us closer. The red and yellow colors were as bright as the vegas strip to two hungry 10 year olds.  Fast, hot, greasy food was the jackpot.  As my best friend and I enjoyed our happy meals, we were joined by another friend: Ronald McDonald.

The enemy?

This May, an open letter was sent to McDonalds CEO Jim Skinner from more that 1000 health professionals.  They urged McDonalds to stop marketing fast food to children, implying that Ronald McDonald was a tool of manipulation to to entice children.

They want to fire Ronald McDonald.

Personally, the clown was never really a draw for me. Granted he’s a clown, so he’s automatically interesting to kids.  He also comes with french fries, which makes him more appealing to the terrified-of-clowns-set. Sporting his red and white overalls, giant red clown shoes, and the classic red nose, Ronald McDonald is as recognizable as Santa Claus. But his mechanically waving hand from the parking lot didn’t spur me into a feeding frenzy. It was the smell. It was the taste. It was the immediate satisfaction of greasy delight.

Still is.

I was never there to visit Ronald, I was there to satisfy my hunger.  And there’s something so comforting about ritualized eating.

It would be nice if McDonalds continued to evolve their menus.  It would be nice if McDonalds needs to promote healthy eating. It would be even nicer if we could take the responsibility to lay off the fried foods altogether.

Parents can get out of the drive-thru line and choose another place for a healthier meal. They can even (gasp!) cook a meal at home.  Kids can be taught better eating habits. Americans can even pick healthier choices on McDonalds growing and health-friendly menu.

So why blame the man in the clown shoes for what is ultimately our decision?

Welcome to America, Would You Like a Grilled Cheese?

America.

Of all the things we associate with our ethnicity, food is probably at the top of the list.

American immigrants may be eager to eschew their ethnic dress, music, and language for the sake of acclimating to this culture… but their food? They’ll hang on to that, thanks.

The resilience of ethnic cuisine is much to our benefit, too. The choices in many
American towns used to be limited to ordering a burger or chicken wings  but now customers are in line for bibimbap or chicken masala coorg.

Unfortunately, a recent study suggests that this exchange between the U.S. and its newest residents is a two way street that might be leading immigrants’ kids to obesity.

The study showed that when Asian-American students were made to feel insecure about the American part of their culture- even if was only on a subconscious level-they tended to choose foods that were typically “American cuisine” (fried chicken, grilled cheese etc.) and shy away from traditionally Asian dishes.

The logic by the researchers is that the children of immigrants are so concerned with fitting in, that they are willing to order highly caloric foods to do it.

Getting fat to fit in?

They are willing to get fat to fit in.

I question that logic. American society looks down on heavy people far more than it does on people who enjoy the occasional plate of chicken feet.

Still, it is troubling that children perceive the unhealthy choice to also be the American choice.

So what’s your order?

WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY FOR TODDLERS

First, weight loss surgery was for morbidly obese adults.

Next, the strict rules bended in order to accommodate those struggling with a moderate amount of weight to take off.

Now, we witness the first-ever, pre-pubescent teenager at age twelve having weight loss surgery.

Most experts agree that childhood obesity is genetic and such children carry a high probability of becoming obese just like their parents and carrying on unhealthy lifestyles.

So why not cut the “obese middle-man” out and have the little ones go straight to surgery? Perhaps at the ages of three or four. They wouldn’t really notice all of the pain and side effects that come with the procedure…

Right?

But with this “kidobesity surgery”, wouldn’t their future unhealthy lifestyles still be inevitable? Let alone the years of physical and psychological damage the toddlers would do to their body and minds before they were completely developed.

As an adult, having weight loss surgery seems scary and a very chancy procedure.

If I had weight loss surgery done when I was too young to remember, I think I would have grown up without a choice to live by a different set of rules. A healthier set of rules. Rules that may not have helped aid me to become obese.

Maybe I am wrong. Or maybe this “kidobesity surgery” will soon be on the market.

I would love for some of you to honestly weigh in with your opinions on this “kidobesity surgery”.

Obese Children Causing Santa Serious Injury

With childhood obesity at an all-time high, my holiday wish for Santa this year would be for all kids to be able to sit on Santa’s lap without causing him serious injury.

 

Now since almost one in five children are overweight, Santa must be on the verge of developing a hernia.

 

It really is the job of the parents to decide what holiday treats to keep in the house this season. I strongly encourage them to save their kids from years of emotional and physical problems by storing your refrigerator with the right foods.

 

The holidays should be about heartwarming feelings, friends, and family. It’s not about the accumulation of how many pounds the immediate and extended family can gain in one holiday season.

 

After all, the number one New Year’s resolution is for one to lose weight… and after January 2nd, how long is that resolution truly kept in focus?

 

In the end, do you really want your own child to be bigger then Santa himself?

 

My Dog Blog

I really never gave it any thought before until I weighed my beloved Pug at the veterinarian recently.

It was astounding that she was considered to be obese as I was. Looks like my pug was going to join this dieting journey along side me.

To fix this situation, I immediately changed his food. I also found out that exercise would help.

Sound familiar?

My animals were taking my bad habits. Any snacks or meals that I chose to eat, they ate. I made the terrible mistake of feeding them my table scraps. I never realized that if I fed my dogs the same crap that I fed myself, that they would be in a dangerous health situation, similar to my own.

So now, instead of one person on a diet with the ability to either sabotage or take charge of, it is myself plus one. I’m in charge of my pug and myself. I’m standing alone and in charge of saving two lives. It’s a pretty scary perspective especially if I’m already having such problems on my own diet.

I don’t have kids and my animals are basically my children. It really says something that our habits, especially dietary, set the bar for our children-whether human or a bit furrier. They are following our footsteps, whether healthy of not. My “child” is a victim of my bad habit.

It is time to break the chain and start to make changes.