Jacquelyn Johnston, M. Ed. Diabesity Coach
Back when I was still teaching school the kids were the world’s finest experts at having parties. Any excuse was good: if the team won, we had a party. If a major project was finished, we had a party. And what did the party consist of? Here’s a sample menu: assorted sodas, chips, cheesies, and such diabesity-inducing delights. Then the almighty pizza. Store-bought confections. Plus candy of every description. Yay, diabesity! Parents had brought them in, and I could only look and shake my head.
The kids always wanted to know why I didn’t eat. I wanted to know why they did.
I should have given them a test there and then called “Spot the Sugar”.
It was the Friday of the week we dissected rats. The sight of these rodents all over the lab, splayed open in wax trays with organs and intestines laid out on trays for slides—the students’ folders detailing every stage of the dissections—surely this would be enough to put them off. Ah! The assumptions misguided teachers make!
Before dismissal I said they could leave their evaluation folders on the lab benches for me to mark. We would do the safe specimen disposal on Monday, after which they would start dissecting cows’ eyes. Chuckle, chuckle, I hear.
About ten minutes before dismissal there they were, the faithful parents, bearing gifts. The menu: assorted sodas, chips, cheesies, and such diabesity-inducing delights. Then the almighty pizza. Store-bought confections. Plus candy of every description. Yay, diabesity! Ring a bell? Mamma Mia, thought I, no wonder half the nation’s kids are obese, and the rate of Type 2 Diabetes is rising exponentially.
So what’s my beef about pop? All my best-laid lesson plans on sound nutrition, all the videos I had shown about the effects of sugar and foods that had a high glycemic value, that converted themselves to sugar as fast as greased lightning; had I been I talking to the wall?
Well, on came the music, LOUD de rigueur. Chomp, chomp, guzzle, guzzle—everything was inhaled in no time flat. When the janitor came in with his vacuum, he joined in to fun too.
What on earth had they learnt that semester?
I know I had learnt that it was deathly hard to buck the trend. That if adults regard pop and chips as party staples, kids will follow suit. I would have to work a lot harder to get this generation to make the paradigm shift. We had a nation’s lives to save.
I should have advised the kids to go into a career as party planners.
What’s standard party fare for you? Let me know in the comment section, OK?
Jacquelyn Johnston M.Ed.
Professional Health Coach and Educator,
Solutions and Support for Optimal Health
Richmond, B.C. Canada