Press "Enter" to skip to content

American obesity begins in childhood

Obesity is as American as the stripes on our flag. These colors never run, because last time I checked, running is really hard. And that’s not what we Americans are about. No, we Americans want that Oreo milkshake so bad, we will use every fiber of our lungs to defy viscosity, and suck that straw so hard, we will suffocate and die, right there on the Jack in the Box floor.

But alas, I myself am an enabler to this epidemic. I work at Fenton’s creamery, an establishment known for its delicious self-made ice cream and years of loyal customers.

Fenton’s is a happy birthday on steroids. That is, until you start working here, and the ice cream appeal melts away, revealing an alarming trend in our customers. There are so many overweight people who enter our creamery, at least half the customers cannot physically fit into our booths. You think I’m kidding.

I have seen a 7-year-old girl order a 12 piece fried hot wing dish, a basket of extra crispy curly fries, swallow countless soda refills, and demand an extra cup of fudge to accompany her three-scoop Sunday. Her family thought it was cute. I was disturbed.

Why was her family letting her do this? Where was the voice of reason? Better yet, how long was it going to be before this little girl, soon to be a woman, was confronted by her doctor with the diagnosis of type 2 Diabetes, or cardiovascular disease? Then it won’t be so cute. This woman will look back on her childhood, resenting those years of indulgence that have now shortened her life expectancy.

Now listen, I will emphasize the fact that many have no control over their weight, be it from genetics, medication, or limited access to fresh food. But I’m not talking about those people. I am referring to the ones who can, who choose, then suffer.

Perhaps our flag colors should run, or go for a bike ride at least, despite the old American slogan. Because patriotism is a pointless practice when you’re dead.

-Daniella Pineda, senior