Friday, May 11, 2012

Did The New York Times Inadvertently Find a Solution to Childhood Obesity?

by Rose A. Valenta

I was on YouTube yesterday, when I happened to see this terrific holiday video uploaded by The New York Times in 2006:

This morning, my friend, Erik Deckers, posted a rant on his blog Erik Deckers Laughing Stock about schools canceling bake sales because of childhood obesity. As a parent, he was angry that the school overstepped its bounds. I tend to agree with him.

Then, I began thinking about all the jump rope songs of my youth and how we used to play double dutch in the school yard during recess and after class:

I asked my mother for fifty cents
To see the elephant jump the fence
He jumped so high
He reached the sky
and didn't come back 'till the 4th of July

Cinderella dressed in yellow
Went upstairs
To kiss her fellow.
By mistake
She kissed a snake
How many doctors
Did it take?
Pepper: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10

Okay, so the lyrics are antiquated circa 1950s; but think about it. Why make food tasteless by removing all the “unhealthy” ingredients because some parents don’t encourage their kids to get outdoor exercise? I don’t know about you, but I’m rather fed up with food that tastes like cardboard. Real whipped cream has become an endangered species. I can still remember watching my grandmother make whipped cream – it was delicious and none of us were fat.

First, she would make jello; then she got out a mixer bowl and poured in the heavy cream. She added a teaspoon of vanilla extract and turned on the mixer. As soon as light peaks formed she began adding the sugar. Just before the whole thing turned into butter, she stopped the mixer and let us lick the beaters. After she put all the whipped cream in a refrigerator container, we got to fight over the mixer bowl. It took all of 10 minutes to make whipped cream and you just can’t beat the flavor.

We would then, run outside with visions of that night’s dessert running through our heads and put on the roller skates, or play jump rope, or ride our bikes, or play basketball. There were no calories left to put on weight.

At dinner, we ate healthy food and had dessert. If the sun was still out, we rounded up neighborhood friends and got more outdoor exercise; if not, we played interactive board games or cards. Then, we put on some Rock ‘n’ Roll and danced. We squeezed in the homework.

The Obama administration is going about wiping out childhood obesity all wrong. They should take a lesson from The New York Times and enlist the support of the entertainment industry. Someone like Cee Lo Green to cut a hit Jump Rope Song of the millennium:

I had a contraband turtle.
His name was Tiny Tim.
I put him in the bathtub
to see if he could swim.
He drank up all the water.
He ate the bar of soap.
He woke up in the morning
with a bubble in his throat.


Yo Mama teeth so yellow
She can’t even get no fellow
How many tubes of toothpaste
Would it take?
Pepper: 10-20-30-40-50-60

Please, Mr. President, bring back the real whipped cream!

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