Lessons from Greece
I’m in Greece. Today I have climbed the Acropylis been absorbed in the amazing history and extraordinary architectural skills of the Greeks, the ravaging by the Turks, the battles with Persians, the plundering by the Scots, the occupation of the Nazis – to mention but a few. The horrific battles these people have endured..
And then I sat in a cafe in what has become the country with the worst childhood overweight, obesity statistics in the world. 50 % of kids here are officially classified in either of the ‘O” groups. The first school group of kids, about 6 years old, to walk past us looked okay, until the stragglers followed through with the teachers - mmm – the bigger kids at the back – mmm about 25% I guessed. Then two other groups came past around 16 and 13 years old respectively, and then it hit me… I saw for myself what the statistics revealed – every second kid was too big.
At the same time as the last of the second group straggled past, it was 36oC and they were really puffing – and carrying the extra weight their puff was more pronounced than the front of the group, our meal was delivered. Our second day and our second meal to totally over deliver. The plates groaning with overload. My mind flew into a calorific calculation, assessment against the plate model, the traffic lights and the outdated pyramid model ( yes, I am in Greece historical models are okay here) but with every model this meal before me totally violated the rules or guidelines. From the menu the food looked great, but the portion size of each meal was excessive.
My first reaction was, “take half of this away and all will be fine”, or to lean to the table next to us and tell them to come share with us. Two weeks of this and I will shunt into the 50% ‘O’ category. My son’s eyes lit up, this was what he would call a ‘pig out’ for the second day in a row.
This nation is at battle, no – it’s not the Turks or the Romans this time, it is the waiter with the charming smile and hospitable gestures. This enemy is so friendly you do not even know he is your enemy. Portion distortion at its worst. Couple this with extreme heat and your desire to sit rather than move and it is no wonder the ‘O’ battle is raging.
As a spectator, it is hard to know who are tourists and who are locals – but no matter who they are, the adults walking past are equally plagued by the ‘O’ epidemic. Protruding bellies and and overweight waddles inflict more than one third of the adults meandering past. It seems the exception rather than the rule to see someone who looks fit and healthy.
The outcome of this battle is not instant death, and you can’t just whip out and win with an overnight surprise invasion, history shows the sword can solve lots of things especially if you are the one wielding it …
This battle is a slow one, inflicting slow pain with a slow arduous path to return to glory. This battle is only going to be won with will power, education, parent support, kids who are food savvy who know how much and how often to eat …
I say slow, but in Greek terms this battle is faster than many they have known. In a land where it can take up to 700 years to build a building, the obesity battle of the past 15 – 20 odd years is nothing. I just hope for their sake they can turn it around…
The rest of the world is watching Greece, not only their dire financial situation, but as our health statistics march quickly behind theirs – any lessons we can learn will be welcome …
This entry was posted on Friday, June 15th, 2012 at 7:44 am and is filed under Kids food tips, Parenting tips, What's New.... You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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