How I eat might be mak­ing my kids fat!

Sackville Tribune - - OP-ED - Steve Bartlett The Deep End

It ap­pears my kids could be in for di­etary doom.

New re­search led by the Univer­sity of Guelph says chil­dren copy their dad’s eat­ing habits, not their mom’s.

And the find­ings of the Guelph Fam­ily Health Study are said to un­der­score pre­vi­ous stud­ies show­ing obese dads have a greater chance of hav­ing obese chil­dren.

Yikes!

I carry far too many ex­tra pounds, and when it comes to my eat­ing, my chil­dren have wit­nessed a lot.

I gen­er­ally watch what I eat and I’m at­tempt­ing to lose some ton­nage, but there are times when my friend Will Power aban­dons me and I suc­cumb to crav­ings.

So my young ’uns have watched the de­struc­tion that hap­pens when I’m con­fronted by a pizza the size of an in­dus­trial floor mat.

They’ve been pas­sen­gers dur­ing my drive-thru di­ver­sions and overheard af­fir­ma­tive an­swers when the teenaged voice in the lit­tle speaker asks, “Would you like to mega­size that?”

And they’ve seen what hap­pens when a bowl of Sour Cream and Onion Ruf­fles en­ters my per­sonal airspace.

Come to think of it, the Buf­fet Bal­let is the only bad eat­ing habit of mine they haven’t ex­pe­ri­enced. That sees me danc­ing glee­fully back for sec­onds or thirds. (Iron­i­cally, we won’t take our kids to a buf­fet be­cause they don’t eat enough to jus­tify the price.)

Like most par­ents, I strive to be a pos­i­tive role model for my kids, teach­ing them right from wrong, to be hon­est, to re­spect oth­ers, to value hard work, not to like the Mon­treal Cana­di­ens, etc.

I had no idea my weight or oc­ca­sional trans­gres­sions were hav­ing a neg­a­tive im­pact on them.

That it could lead to obe­sity and cause them phys­i­cal prob­lems down the road makes me feel guilty, that I’ve failed them a lit­tle.

My kids aren’t obese, but ap­par­ently my habits could steer them down that road.

“It’s im­por­tant for men to take a lead­er­ship role in their health and in that of their chil­dren,” Wayne Har­trick said in a re­lease.

I’ve got an older brother Wayne who has ter­ror­ized me since birth so I gen­er­ally don’t trust guys with that name.

But I’ll be­lieve this Wayne be­cause he’s pres­i­dent of the Cana­dian Men’s Health Foun­da­tion, which emailed me about the Guelph find­ings.

“This re­search sug­gests if a dad eats poorly, his chil­dren have a higher risk of hav­ing poor nutri­tion and weight is­sues,” Wayne con­tin­ues, “so we want men to un­der­stand that be­ing a good dad also means be­ing a healthy dad.”

As if to­day’s par­ents never had enough stress on them – “In App Pur­chases” any­one? – I guess I’ve got to do bet­ter, to be health­ier.

I’ll get right on it, af­ter I fin­ish the Fa­ther’s Day feast they’re up­stairs pre­par­ing.

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