So, let me make one thing clear: childhood obesity begins in adulthood.
At first blush, that makes as much sense as the bumper sticker that proclaims, "Insanity is hereditary. You get it from your kids." Of course, that placard is humorous; the wellbeing of society is anything but. The unvarnished truth is when we get down to brass tacks, children to not become obese by choice, but rather by the (in)action of adults.
Before, with great high dudgeon, mothers and fathers converge upon this establishment carrying pitchforks and hoisting torches shouting for my removal, let me add with great haste (spoken as a father as well as a formerly obese child), that I am not placing fault entirely on the parents. Oh, indeed, there is blame to spread far and wide. However, we are the primary and first decision makers for our children. We set them on their path. We instill upon them our moral guidelines. We are the where the buck - or cookie - stops.
I know that in today's two-working-parent-I-am-really-exhausted-at-the-end-of-the-day world, fighting the influences heaped upon our offspring is overwhelming. I grok that these influences are powerful, selfish, misguided, even mal-intended. Yet, I think that as a society, we stand in a circular firing squad aiming at those on either side; in effect - pardon the mixed metaphor - fiddling as an overweight Rome burns in its own deep fryer.
Parents place fault with the media for an endless wave of advertising aimed at those too young to discern accuracy from hype. The media passes it to the schools for poor meal choices and vending machines full of sugar. Our educational system holds responsible government for inadequate funding, forcing subsidized income provided by the vendors who place the goodies in the machines, who then shout, "lack of control" at the parents. Circle complete; nothing is accomplished.
We have seen the problem and it is all of us. Someone has got to do something; no longer can we wait for "the other guy." It therefore stands to reason that since my children are the most important people in my life, I am the end of their line. I must step forward first, figuratively and literally.
I resolve, that before I collapse on to the softness of the couch at the end of a long day, I will take a 10-minute walk with my kids, giving them the example of activity and the support of listening. I promise to not bring into our house any product whose label has as its primary ingredient, sugar (or any kind of "-ose"). I agree to eat a little less and pay attention a little more. In effect, I will stand taller, striving to be the example I want my children to become.
Role models are not without flaws; however, they take responsibility for them and continually attempt to improve. That's an objective good for children of any age, no matter how wrinkled they might be on the outside.