“F” IS FOR FAT
Along with maths, English and geography, do you want a subject called “weight” on your kids’ report cards?
Hands up all those who, like me, shout, “No!”
The proposal from academic and medico David Penington that children’s weight should be recorded and then feature on school report cards is so boneheaded and wrong, I barely know where to begin.
How about we skip the “Night Before School Weigh-In” – accompanied by the sound of thousands of children regurgitating their dinner down the toilet after perusing websites on dieting, anorexia and bulimia.
And we don’t have to imagine the scenes at school the next day, because in the ’70s a generation of students was weighed during PE classes and their measurements posted on the gym wall for all to see. Now, as parents, many recall the experience as “devastating”.
They became self-conscious, were bullied and developed eating disorders back in the day when there wasn’t even a name for that stuff.
Instead, why don’t we go straight to the handing over of the report card:
“Well done! You got an ‘A’ for English.”
“It doesn’t matter. I’m fat.”
“No, you’re not! You’re clever and smart and …”
“What your mother is saying is that it doesn’t matter if …”
Or, perhaps it will go like this:
“I got an ‘A’ in geography, dad.”
“Who cares? You got an ‘F’ for FAT. You FAIL!”
“Your father’s right. You do need to go on a diet.”
Then there’s this scenario:
“You got an ‘F’ for maths. That’s not good enough.”
“But on Facebook I got an ‘A’ for Anorexia and a ‘B+’ for Bulimia, mum.”
In any event, expect a resounding slamming of doors followed by an echoing silence.
Many public health officials fancy themselves as Mary Poppins – parachuting into the lives of failing families and offering guidance with a firm but loving hand.
But The State is a really rotten Nanny – she’s a capricious, hypocritical, gossipy, vindictive bat.
No sane parent would ever employ a State Nanny to look after the kids.
Because what kind of nanny plonks her charges in front of the TV watching rolling advertisements for hamburgers, sugary cereals, drinks and lollies, and then berates them for gobbling them up? What sort of nanny sells off public open space for development, approves cramped housing with no backyards and then orders kids to go outside and play?
How about the nanny who cuts funding for school sports, then urges children to traipse from door-to-door selling chocolate to raise money for new basketball hoops? And just what variety of nanny encourages families to live in new housing estates with no public transport or bike paths – far away from schools – and then nags them to leave the car behind and walk?
This is the same State Nanny who – knowing full well her record of abject failure to care – launches into the classroom with a set of scales and fat-measuring calipers. Then comes the frown and finger-wag.
“You’ve had way too much sugar and not enough medicine. And you’re not going to like it, but …”
|Page 1 of 2||next >>|