Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Children That Ate America

My last post was about a class that kids sign up for to get comfortable with playing outdoors. That sad subject was still fresh in my mind when I saw this cover for the current issue of Time magazine, so that's probably why I laughed out loud. Oh, Mylanta! I know that kid! I see this kid every time I visit an elementary school. He's everywhere! And he's starving. He's not counting the minutes till school is out, he counting the minutes till lunch. Forget about Lord of the Flies, it's now Lord of the Fries!

You can read the article about the widening of America's youth here.

Simply put, American kids are turning into human garbage disposals. Listen to this: 14% of kids 2 to 5 are already overweight. Those are toddlers, people. Almost 20% of 6-to-11-year-old kids are obese in America. Not chubby. OBESE! Ever wonder where's Richard Simmons has been lately? Some kid ate him!

Hey, you raise a nation of kids on Fat Pants Donuts and American Idol and this is what you get. Once again, it's our old friend, the bane of America, the dang electronic cyclops, who's not just lurking in the living room any more, he's now lurking in every flippin' room in the house. I haven't seen any numbers yet, but I wonder how many homes now have TVs in the bathroom, so little Carl Jr. can keep watching SpongeBob while he keeps the wheels of fast-food commerce turning? (Oh, I think I just made myself nauseous—somebody crack a window.)

Just today, I was entering 7-11 with my son when a five-year-old chubster was exiting the store with a Slurpee bigger than my head! And in his other chubby hand he clutched a bag of Sizzlin' Picante Flavored Doritos that was bigger than my first car! (Okay, it was an economy car, but still!)

America's kids spend nearly six hours a day glued to a screen. That's a lot of the idiot box, a ton of video games and a lifetime of Internet time-suckage. Not a whole lot of time left to practice layups, but more than enough time to practice eating Lay's up.

I can envision a time when we're left with a nation of kids that can't jump a fence, dig a hole with a shovel, or skip a rock across a pond. Has America gone soft? I'm not sure, but the least those little porkers could do is crack a book while they're working their way through the next box of Double Stuff Oreos.

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