The other day as I watched Honey Boo Boo slurp down spaghetti and eat cupcakes on some show or other I nearly threw the remote at the tv. Not just because I hate seeing a child exploited to satisfy our insatiable desire for train wreck entertainment, but also because Honey Boo Boo and Mama June are both overweight. It’s embarrassingly obvious The Learning Channel’s (TLC) latest breakout hit show’s popularity stem mostly from mother and daughter physical attribute.
It was pointed out the two were at a fancy restaurant. After the meal, perhaps before too, I didn’t see the whole thing, Alana signed autographs for other little kids who apparently look up to her. I don’t have a problem with Honey Boo Boo being a role model. What I hate is obviously no one cares about the child’s diet. The mother admits to giving her “Go Go Juice”, a potent elixir of Red Bull and Mountain Dew that supposedly contains as much caffeine as two cups of coffee, to get her pumped up for pageants.
Normally I’m of the opinion parents should be their children’s role model. However, speaking from the perspective of a Type 2 Diabetic, and knowing that childhood obesity is fast becoming an epidemic in these United States of America, TLC’s offering of Honey Boo Boo only perpetuates the problem.
It is a highly recognized fact that obesity is linked to Type 2 Diabetes, hence the reason it’s often referred to as ‘adult on-set diabetes’. People tend to exercise less as they grow older. The weight gain and other mitigating factors eventually cause the chronic disease to manifest later in life. Believe me I know from whence I speak.
Now days due to a high carb high fat content diet, often accompanied by a sugary beverage, and plain old lack of exercise, Type 2 Diabetes has become more prevalent in children. Type 1 Diabetes, something a child could be born with is one thing, Type 2, is a totally avoidable boo boo.
To make matters worse, recent studies are finding the disease is much harder to treat in children. Often their bodies quit responding to oral medication. Then if it hasn’t already, the big gun, insulin, enters the scene. Make no mistake, diabetes is chronic and must be managed. Type 2 diabetics of the mind they only had a ‘lil taste of sugar’ have suffered the consequences of their naïveté.
Health issues ranging from heart disease, eye problems, nerve damage, amputations, high blood pressure and kidney failure have schooled many a naïve diabetic the hard way. The longer a person has the disease, the greater the risk. So theoretically, people who develop diabetes as children may suffer its complications much earlier in life than previous generations who became diabetic as adults. The thought of children suffering such ailments earlier in life is sobering indeed.
A lot of folks are of the ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ school of thought when it comes to diabetes. Not me. Knowledge is power. If someone had sat me down and had given me the cold, hard facts, I would’ve fought harder to avoid getting diabetes in the first place. As disease goes, diabetes is chronic – I know chronic sounds so doomsdayish – but diabetes is controllable.
While Honey Boo Boo chugs ‘go-go juice’, sucks down garbs of spaghetti, and eats cupcakes, parents realize you and not TLC must be a positive guiding force for your children. Type 2 diabetes in children is an avoidable boo boo. Encourage children to eat healthy foods, get plenty of physical activity and maintain a healthy weight.