I saw something downright appalling the other day.
It was a fat child.
Before you start penning those letters or firing off e-mails with indignation that I should say such a thing about the poor little fella, let me explain. His weight was the least of his problems.
My husband Bud and I were in the grocery store and ended up in an aisle behind a woman pushing a shopping cart with her son inside. She was complaining and griping at the boy because he was riding in the cart, that he wouldn’t get out and was eating all the food.
Sure enough, the tyke was opening packages and eating the food as fast as momma put it in the cart.
He appeared to be an intelligent young man and was having the time of his life laughing at his mother as he stuffed his face. He looked a bit like Pugsley Addams of “The Addams Family.”
You’re probably thinking this was a 3- or 4-year-old that had his momma wrapped around his little finger.
This boy was somewhere in the 8- to 10-year-old age. Big enough to go bear huntin’ with a stick.
No, I can’t possibly know all the factors that led to that scene. Maybe the woman was a new stepmother being tested by the child. Maybe there was a hidden camera catching my reaction on film.
My thoughts were:
First of all – Isn’t eating food before you go through the checkout considered stealing?
Second – Most little children demand to be let out of the cart. I’ve never seen a big one demand to stay in.
And last – Why would a 10-year-old boy have such little self-esteem that he would allow himself to be pushed around in a shopping cart? His friends might have seen him! What horrors! My kids would not have gone along with it – that’s for sure.
I could think of dozens of other questions, but it’s doubtful that I’ll ever figure out the answers to these.
Several weeks ago, I received a press release from the Department of Public Health that provided the results of a 2007 survey. It looks at indicators such as diet and physical activity to determine health and lifestyle habits of Kentuckians.
Our fair state is consistently ranked among the top 10 for obesity and obesity-related diseases, such as diabetes, stroke and heart disease.
About 70 percent of Kentuckians are overweight or obese.
The report says we sit – way too much.
Almost a third of Kentucky adults reported they did not participate in any physical activities or exercise such as running, golf, gardening or walking, other than their regular jobs.
And, of course, we eat too much. But why? Is it because of stress? (That’d be me.) A lack of will power? Hormones? If so – that’s what is pushing your cart – just as surely as young Pugsley’s mother was pushing his.
I sympathize with anyone who is battling the bulge. I know exactly how hard it is to get rid of those first five pounds when you have 20 or more in front of you.
But at least try to help yourself, by changing eating and exercise habits. It’s a great time to make that your New Year’s Resolution. Get out of the cart, or the next thing you know, you’ll be stuck in it. And you’ll be no different than the young man I saw, getting bigger and sicklier by the minute.