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What are your children eating?

Over the weekend, I took a stroll at one of the campuses in town.

Later in the evening, I sat under a tree to read a book and relax in the sunset breeze. After an hour or so of reading, it was time for me to take a break. There I sat; enjoying optical nutrition of whatever crossed my paths.

Then I noticed some young adults moving around the campus. Most of them were fat; or should I say they had a physically magnified image of God? As they climbed up the stairs, you could hear them pant as though they had just outrun a lion.

As I walked back home, the images of the people I had just seen teasingly kept replaying in my mind. I have never subscribed to the ideology of campusers or college students having or working towards attaining the so-called ‘campus figure’.

This tells that I had a bias about the students I saw that evening. Their physique clearly communicated that there was a problem. The problem, which I clearly did not need a medical school certificate to diagnose, was lifestyle-related.

As quite a number of them strolled on their beautiful campus, they had a soda can in one hand and packed fast foods in the other. They munched away as they listened to music through headsets.

They looked the cool modern college student. What they ate was physically manifested in their body sizes. No wonder every step they took, even when they were walking at a snail’s speed, came with heavy panting.

I know chips, spiced chicken and soda define the modern child/youth. However, we easily forget that the same menu, once turned into a lifestyle, leads to an early grave.

A story is told of a professor who asked his students to write down their best dishes. Most males wrote traditional dishes, while their female counterparts wrote the ‘complex’ ones.

The list of best dishes for females were characterized by Spanish macaroni, chips, spiced chicken, hot dogs and French flies, among other Western dishes and delicacies.  

The professor then asked the students to write down the preparation process of their best dishes. About the scores of the females in this class, your guess is as good as mine.

This speaks of a generation that eats because the food has a trendy name, or consuming such is associated with class.

We continue to groan and moan about how strange diseases seem to be on rampage to wipe us off mother earth. We go ahead to assert that our forefathers did not see such plagues. On self-reflection, did our forefathers eat what we are eating today? Did they live the lifestyles we have embraced? Why then won’t we die young?

I shudder at parents who will shamelessly lament that their children can only survive on fast foods because they have failed to learn the traditional ‘village’ food! Such parents have let their children eat to obesity because they want to show them love, and go by the whines of their insatiable cravings.

It is time to get back to the lifestyle basics. This is no longer an issue of status or class; it is a matter of life and death. Our children need to understand that their health is their ticket to the future.

Do not forget that, according to Ecclesiastes 9:4, there is hope for those who are still alive – it does not matter who they are. But this saying is true: “A living dog is better than a dead lion.”

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