Let’s battle the bulge

DKS Editors

We’re a country that has an obsession with food.

It’s surprising that the country’s motto hasn’t been changed yet. Not because secularists are angry with “In God we Trust,” but more so because the country’s most popular phrase has been “I love pie” for so long.

We like the sweet, the salty, the fatty and any other flavor or variety of food as long as it isn’t good for us.

But it’s too late for us older Americans. Tax soda, we’ll still buy it. Ban trans fats, we’ll just eat more of the classic kind of fat to make up for it. We’re set in our ways.

But we can still save the children.

Clichéd as it may sound, the children are our future. And we don’t want for them what lurks in the future of the average American: high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.

According to the Portage County Obesity Prevention Coalition, 39 percent of students in the Kent City School District are overweight or obese. In the age of fast food and videogames, this could be hard to change, but it’s critically important.

If the threat of a shorter, more painful life isn’t enough to keep us healthy, maybe the staggering cost of health care will.

It’s worth it for us as a country to invest in keeping our children fit. Let’s encourage fitness and healthy eating, especially among kids, even if it costs taxpayers a little cash.

We need healthier school lunches, mandatory gym class and vending machines in the halls featuring something other than treats pulled straight out of Willy Wonka’s factory. Learning early on in life is the best way to create change, so why not use public schools as a breeding ground for healthy habits?

Who knows, maybe the younger generation will grow up with a serious hankering for the leafy greens and an addiction to the exercise room, instead of a craving for chocolate and a butt-shaped groove on the couch.

It’s a long shot because delicious food is indeed delicious, and inertia does keep us chained to the television far too often. But let’s give the children a chance. Let’s give them an apple when they ask for some sour apple candy.

Let’s buy them a football when they ask for the latest Madden video game.

It won’t be easy to turn around this obesity epidemic in America, but the fight is one worth winning.

We’re on the road to ruin, with a jumbo non-diet soda bulging in the cup holder. Our gluttonous habits are set in stone. But let’s give the little kids a chance to live a long time and avoid the plague that is obesity.

Less is sometimes more. We just need to convince the kids, and let’s face it, ourselves.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.