Look out for the calorie cop

A favorite television show my husband and I like to watch together is ABC’s Primetime Show What Would You Do?  In case you aren’t familiar with the show, basically they set up scenarios with actors and see how outsiders would react.  Will they speak up or just walk on by?  I do think that some of their ideas can be a tad far fetched, but I also believe many of them make you think, you should always think.  Whether you get angry or not, if it brought you to thinking, that’s success in my book.  Last week’s episode was not any different.  One of the scenarios was that of an obviously overweight Mom with her obviously overweight daughter at the grocery store with a cart filled with processed junk food.  (Remember they are actors and it was explained to the child that the other person in the piece would be saying hurtful things, but that it was acting).  Who is the other person you ask?  They called her the calorie cop and she had opinions and she didn’t hesitate to share them.  She approach the woman and basically criticized, very publicly, the contents of her shopping cart.  She was very in-your-face with her tactic and, although many people just walked right by, several stopped and came to the defense of the Mom, telling the woman to basically mind her own business.  You can watch the segment of the episode here to get a better feel for what the show is like.

Mostly, I actually agree with everything that is said by the calorie cop actress, however, I do not think it is right to approach someone publicly and attempt to ridicule them in such a way.  What bothered me the most was that the child was with the Mom and having to hear the hurtful things, too.  It’s one thing to speak your mind and voice your opinion to another grown-up, but it’s simply not acceptable with a child present.  It really makes you no better than the behavior that you are criticizing. 
Here’s what I think that viewers should take from this episode: they should think.  Think about what they are putting into their bodies, think about what they are putting into their child’s body.  Your child is not going to look at you some day and say boy, do I wish you had fed me more junk and took me to the local fast food dive more often.  Instead, especially if they have weight issues, they may look at you and ask why didn’t you set a better example and why didn’t you feed me a healthier diet?
Now, before you go all critical of me and my words, I’m one of those kids.  I was fed frozen fish sticks and boxed macaroni and cheese with the occasional mashed potatoes and canned vegetables.  As an adult and a Mom I get that my Mom didn’t know any better.  I get that many parents don’t know any better than what they are doing at the time.  Does that make it right?  Or okay?  In the meantime, our nation’s kids are getting fatter and fatter and I just don’t see how ignoring it or accepting it is doing them any favors, but I also do not feel that accosting a shopper at the grocery store is helpful either.
So what do we do then?

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