Andrew e-mails to hep us to article about kids who fear food and the parents who foster such madness:
SODIUM: that's what worries Greye Dunn. He thinks about calories, too, and whether he's getting enough vitamins. But it's the sodium that really scares him.
"Sodium makes your heart beat faster, so it can create something really serious," said Greye, who is 8 years old and lives in Mays Landing, New Jersey.
Greye's mother, Beth Dunn, the president of a multimedia company, is proud of her son's nutritional awareness and encourages it by serving organic food and helping Greye read labels on cereal boxes and cans.
"He wants to be healthy," she says.
"He" wants to be healthy? You mean, YOU have a warped obcession with him being healthy so you've installed baseless fears in his mind to make yourself feel better. Nice work mom. By the way, what the hell kind of name is "Greye" anyway? If this kid isn't getting his arse kicked on a regular basis on the playground I'd be shocked.
I'm forty and I don't give a rip about sodium, calories, or if I'm getting enough vitamins. Why? Because I've been blessed to be in good health, I eat in moderation, and squeeze in exercise when I can. The fact that an eight-year-old even knows why sodium is supposed to bad for him is sick, just sick.
Dunn is among the legions of parents who are vigilant about their children's consumption of sugar, processed foods and trans fats. Many try to stick to an organic diet. In general, their concern does not stem from a fear of obesity--although that may figure into the equation--but from a desire to protect their families from conditions like hyperactivity, diabetes and heart disease, which they believe can be avoided, or at least managed, by careful eating.
While scarcely any expert would criticize parents for paying attention to children's diets, many doctors, dietitians and eating disorder specialists worry that some parents are becoming overzealous, even obsessive, in efforts to engender good eating habits in children. With the best of intentions, these parents may be creating an unhealthy aura around food.
"We're seeing a lot of anxiety in these kids," said Cynthia Bulik, the director of the eating disorders program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "They go to birthday parties, and if it's not a granola cake they feel like they can't eat it. The culture has led both them and their parents to take the public health messages to an extreme."
For God's sake people. They're kids. They'll have plenty of time to be obcessive food freaks when they're older. For now, let them be kids. And let them eat birthday cake.