Publisher’s ink: Why we can’t call kids the ‘F’ word anymore

By September 26, 2011

Let’s see, how does that favorite little ditty go?

“Hot dogs … Armour hot dogs. What kinds of kids eat Armour hot dogs? Fat kids, skinny kids, kids who climb on rocks. Tough kids, sissy kids … even kids with chicken pox …”

Now of course, this advertising jingle wouldn’t see the light of day in our new order of political correctness. Imagine calling an overweight kid the “F” word. And banish the person who would refer to a little boy as a sissy. Today he’s properly referred to as a young transgender candidate.

When Armour hot dog commercials were popular it was OK to eat hot dogs and describe kids as they were — kids. Although we didn’t quite understand what the ingredients of hot dogs were we did know that kids came in all shapes and sizes.

Not since Arnold Schwarzenegger was dubbed chairman of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports has there been such a heavy emphasis on nutritional value and proper exercise. The “Arnold” may have been a fitness role model then but he lacked the political muscle to force any real change … that is until now.

Our svelte and fashionable first lady, Michelle Obama, has taken hold of the baton (or was that a turkey leg she was last seen devouring) and has begun her campaign to eliminate fast food from our lives … except hers, of course. Thank goodness we have government food police watching out for us uneducated subjects.

Parents of obese children need to take heed. The government has spoken. We’re watching you (or should I say they see your fat kids) and they’re concerned about them.

As further evidence an opinion piece recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association actually calls for removing obese children from their homes temporarily and placing them in foster care.

Dr. David Ludwig, the author, believes this would be in the best interest of the child. He states that this measure wouldn’t cast any blame on the parents but simply be a way of helping them receive the appropriate assistance for their obese child.

Lindsey Murtagh, a lawyer and researcher at Harvard’s School of Public Health, and co-author of the same article, believes this action would be to “protect the child” from what he considers child abuse.

Now isn’t that comforting?

I’m not a doctor or a lawyer, and don’t attest to having any knowledge of why kids today are obese. But I do have common sense.

We had our share of fat kids when I was growing up. In fact, I lived across the street from one. As a sixth-grader he tipped the scales at 250 pounds and I quickly learned to swim clear of him when enjoying hot summer days in his family swimming pool. His impersonation of Shamu, the killer whale, was spot on … on top of me, that is.

He wasn’t an active participant in gym class (remember — that’s the required class every student took in school), didn’t spend endless hours playing video games (there was no such device), but I had a hunch why he was fat … I mean obese.

When your father is the size of a Japanese sumo wrestler and your mother wears a size 12 shoe it’s likely you’re carrying the same genes somewhere in your biological makeup.

We all know there are weight problems in America. It’s not for lack of food. We have plenty, though it’s questionable what the health benefits of all that corn syrup found in processed foods are.

But I digress.

Am I the only person experiencing chills running up and down my spine when I hear anyone suggesting the removal of kids from their parents because they’re overweight? Are we living in China where they dictate how many kids (one) parents can conceive? What’s next? Remove kids from parents because their grades don’t measure up? Just how much money is there in the budget for foster care? After seeing Jaycee Lee Dugard’s experience and how well the parole system works my concern over government intervention is extremely heightened.

Will teachers be mandated to report the parents of obese students to authorities or when little Tommy doesn’t stand up when reciting his pledge to leader Obama? Impossible, you say? How many college professors flunk students who disagree with their radical, far-left viewpoints?

Now that the Harvard crowd and this administration identify child obesity as both a disease and a new form of parental abuse we’ll likely hear them singing another old hot dog advertising jingle. It goes like this: Oh, I wish I we were an Oscar Mayer Weiner … that is what I truly want to be … because if I was an Oscar Mayer Weiner …

Richard Esposito is publisher of Village Life. 

Richard Esposito


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