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The dog that didn't bark in the night.

This morning's Boston Globe has a column by Derrick Z. Jackson, entitled "Diabetes and the trash food industry." Jackson notes the explosion in Type II diabetes, especially in children, and goes after the factors that contribute to kids developing this condition. It's a passionate, detailed piece, and it thoroughly excoriates most of the causes ofr this epidemic.

After I read it, though, I felt like something was missing. I felt that Jackson had neglected to discuss one factor that ought to dwarf all those other influences. So I went back and read it again. And a third time. I even had my computer search it for a certain key word, and it confirmed my own thoughts -- Jackson was, by omission, exonerating the single greatest factor in childhood behaviors.

Apparently kids these days have no PARENTS who can not buy or take away their video games, get them to eat healthy foods, encourage them to exercise, take away their TV privileges... you know, do the kinds of things that traditionally fall under the category of "parenting."


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Comments (7)

There ya go, you durn extre... (Below threshold)

There ya go, you durn extremist, blaming us poor parents, [munch] [gulp of beer], who slave all day [flipping TV remote] so they can support their family [more chip crumbs fall on shirt] instead of the bad influences in our society [kicks dog away from chips bowl and spills a little beer, then curses at no one in particular] has on our poor kids.

Oh. You mean the stuff my ... (Below threshold)

Oh. You mean the stuff my mom and dad would do?
I knew they were odd, but didn't know how odd they were. Imagine insisting I go outside just because it's a nice day.

Hmmm.Frankly the p... (Below threshold)


Frankly the problem I see in many parents is an overwhelming fear of having their kids disappear. I have several, mostly rational, friends and this is something that they have on their minds almost every single minute of the day. It's a fear, made much worse by the media IMHO, that's become almost irrational.

And it's all over the place.

Either America really needs to rethink how to deal with sexual predators, particularly those that prey on children, and decide whether or not to just kill the bastards (two thumbs waay up!) and be done with it or we're going to see parents become even crazier. A couple of my friends have gotten cellphones for their under 10 child. Why? Mostly to keep in contact and to be reassured that everythings ok but also just in case of a kidnapping attempt.

But if this is replicated across America, and I think in many cases it is, then this is probably a leading cause. Parents are keeping their kids indoors and playing video games out of fear. Frankly why else would parents want to have their kids indoors? When I was a kid my father would constantly yell at me to get outside. I'm sure everyone has had the same experience.

*shrug* just my $0.02.

The parents of guys (and gi... (Below threshold)

The parents of guys (and girls) that I played with growing up in the late 60's and early 70's, had us all on very long leashes. Everything we did was oriented to outdoor activities and very little time was spent indoors with the exception of really cold days in winter.

I recall being punished by having to stay in the house while friends were out playing in a backyard or playground. Cripes, today you have to punish your kids by telling them to go outside - and then you don't want them going too far from the house because we fear that you'll never see them again.

I noticed with the housing build-out here in southern NJ, there are few new parks, playgrounds or rec areas, so we rely on school athletic programs for the kids to get exercise - then they play computer games at home.

Ed is right about the fear of having your kids' disappear - it's the first thing that comes to mind, and protecting the predators like they're an endangered species is the reason.

Parents, we who have either... (Below threshold)
micheles Dad:

Parents, we who have either taken the mantel,or had it thrust apon us, all must endure the simple fact. WE are going to ( insert 4 letter word here for Fornicate Under Consent Kings) up. That being said, I truely believe that many of the influences today are shaped by our experiences as a child. I myself was a homebody, and I have no problem with my child going outside. Ironicly, most of her friends DON'T. My kid ( no bragging needed here ) would happily go walking to school or friends house or on a bike. I even live in a fairly quiet neighborhood. Problem is that according to some reports I have heard of ( third hand of course) is that these are the ideal neighborhoods for preditors to stalk.

Catch 22. So I went a different route, I call the parents of those houses, to tell them that she is coming over or if her friend is coming over to our house. More often the latter ( My kid can be a bit wearing on some parents)

Now to tie this back to the topic of diabeties.

Michele wants to go do stuff all the time, and she gets hungry, yes for CHOCOLATE icecream ( it runs in the family of course) and PIZZA ( I like to think that she enjoys an ethnic diversity of food) along with CHINESE NOODLES.. and when she is really adventureous.. CUCUMBERS.. Go figure. Her diet and her exercize are still high.. and this kid has no real body fat. ( this may change of course once she hits ( WAIT FOR IT ) P.U.B.E.R.T.Y .

till that time, I will make sure she gets exercize when I can, ( she models my weight lifting) and I am fussy that she eats a real dinner BEFORE desert ( point of fact ) parents honestly have to try and be in synch for these techniques to work.

"May your children realize what you have done for them before you die " Parent proverb

It's so true. I have sever... (Below threshold)

It's so true. I have several students (11-12 year olds, with a few 13 year olds - sixth grade) that are a good 100lbs more than me - an 11 year old should not weigh over 200lbs. While non of them have diabetes (yet) that I'm aware of, most of them have bad asthma and breathing problems. To top it off, most of them get themselves out of P.E. class because of the asthma.

I agree that a fear of kids... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

I agree that a fear of kids being kidnapped leads parents to be overly protective. I admit I am more overprotective of my kids-although they can play within a certain area-they don't have nearly the freedom to roam around that I did.

Although, my kids go outside, and we limit TV and video games.

I work in a second grade classroom, and admit I am amazed at what kids bring to school to eat (the biggest shocker was the kid who brought poptarts for lunch-yep pop tarts). I am also amazed at how much time and the types of video games these kids watch. I refuse to buy video games for my kids that are rated teen or higher (my oldest is 12), but there are 7 year old who play grand theft auto and similar. I think I would much rather risk my kids being stolen by sending them outside, than expose them to the explicit sex and violence in the video games other parents are letting their 7 year olds play.






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