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No wonder there's an obesity crisis
09 February 2009 ~ 18:02A couple of weekends ago on a Saturday afternoon, Mark, my mother & I were in a local pub having a couple of drinks. At the table next to us were a group of three women with three children. We weren't sure whose children were whose, though that is irrelevant for the purposes of my story.
One child was seven years old or so, one was a babe-in-arms probably no more than six months, and the third was a tot in a pushchair/stroller of about one year. All three were very well behaved compared to some of the children you get there, and the mothers seemed respectable. NB to Americans it may seem strange that there were kids in a pub, but this is allowed in some pubs in the UK, especially in the afternoons, though obviously they aren't allowed to consume alcohol.
The baby in the buggy was being fed chips (french fries) by her mother, from a meal that the adults had purchased. She didn't really seem to want the chips, but kept dropping them on the floor. The mother's response was the dip a chip in mayonnaise and give to the child.
Meantime, one of the other women is feeding the young baby a bottle of milk. A one point she put the bottle down on the corner of the table, whereupon the toddler tried to grab it, obviously desperate for milk instead of fries.
The mother of the tot told her 'No, that's not for you.' None of us could quite believe it and my mum exclaimed 'That poor baby!'
Now I don't know a lot about babies as I've never had one, but I know as much as anyone else who is childless, and I did have a baby brother when I was twelve. One-year-olds should not be fed chips! They can of course eat solids, but we are talking about apple sauce and jars of mushy baby food here, not fries with mayo! And they should certainly still be allowed the odd bottle of milk when they want it, for comfort if nothing else.
Those women were lucky that little girl was so good, as I can imagine if it was me I'd have screamed for a bottle. Is it any wonder than in the UK and USA there is a huge obesity problem, when parents feed their toddlers french fries? And these were supposedly the good parents. I've seen 'bad' parents on TV feed their babies burgers!
If things get much worse they'll have to bring in compulsory parent classes. I hope it doesn't come to that. If we start feeding kids right from when they are babies, none of these 'fat camps' and such like will be needed.