Thursday, September 13, 2007



I really appreciated reading through the funny fake stories posted on the site but it really got me to think about real news stories that prior to actually occurring, would have been unimaginable and seemingly “fake”. Remember, 1984 and Brave New World seemed a bit far-fetched when they were published and they too became reality (to a certain extent).

(drum roll please)

10. Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston split over what appears to be an alleged affair between Pitt and his co-star Angelina Jolie during the filming of their recent movie, Mr. and Mrs. Smith. If Jennifer or anyone really wanted the truth, all they would have to do is check the current blood sample dangling off of Jolie’s neck. For me, I’d rather go long-term with Jennifer and just watch Angelina Jolie’s movies with the sound off.

9. The movie, D.E.B.S. does not debut #1 or even in the TOP 5 for movie box office gross. The Sapphic love story/action film complete with sexy adult actresses playing teenagers in full-schoolgirl attire (plaid skirts!) should have really pulled in the numbers.

NOTE TO PRODUCERS: Release an R-rated DVD version and you’ll make your money back and more!

8. That the reality TV fad would flesh out such legends as Farrah Fawcett, Anna Nicole-Smith, Brigitte Nielson, and the Gotti family. I am formally requesting, no demanding that there be a Brady Bunch reality show featuring the entire family including Oliver living in the original Brady house for 30 days! Remember that you heard it from me first!!!

7. Are you a man or mouse…or both? Ripped from the headlines of one of my own posts, Stanford University has been given the green light to create a mouse with a significant number of human brain cells. For those frightened by this Frankenstein procedure please take heed, the scientists will stop the experiment should the mouse begin exhibiting “human” traits. Mickey, can you please take off my Metallica t-shirt and step away from my blog?

6. Hillary Clinton continues to dress up for Halloween early, as a right-leaning democrat in her bid for the 2008 Presidential election. With her gradually changing viewpoints on abortion, preventive sex, the positive and necessary impact of faith and religion for families and of course her bid to allow the Government to take a larger role in the media’s impact (negative) on children, Hillary is getting second-glances from all involved. I’ll admit that she will certainly make it interesting but how can you take her seriously after she stayed with her husband after he not only cheated on her, but also publicly humiliated her as badly as Bill did with the Lewinsky scandal?

5. After his battles with the FCC and Clear Channel, Howard Stern decides to leave “free” radio for Sirius Radio and it has absolutely nothing to do with his $500 million dollar contract (sic). Honest…hello…?

4. Music artist Michael Jackson actually goes to court to face the charges of child molestation rather than succeed in paying off the alleged victim.

RUMOR KILLER: There is no truth that Michael would sing “Beat It” during his “slumber parties” with his little friends.

JURY STILL OUT: That Michael Jackson gave the idea to the producers of “Homo Alone” after spending the weekend with Maccauley Culkin.

3. Steroid user and baseball oddball, Jose Canseco actually looks like the most honest man in America when his book “outs” other baseball players who used steroids. Homerun hitters, and “coincidentally” the only players who hit more homeruns than Roger Maris and his single season record, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGuire all deny using steroids and call Canseco “crazy”. Actually, McGwire just quacked like a duck.

2. A Florida woman is taken off of her feeding and tube and starved for almost two weeks as a bitter legal battle ensues between her loving parents and her adulterous husband and father of multiple children (sired with his girlfriend). Oh, and the legal battle from the husband’s side is funded with money awarded to him through a medical malpractice suit with the intent to financially take care of his wife’s medical care.

1. The leader of the United States and the free world, President George W. Bush heads the spread of democracy and peace throughout the Middle East and also the Ukraine and is actually demonized by the French (the French!), Germany and our own very warm, liberal media. What’s the frequency Dan Rather?


Kofi Annan, head of the United Nations, whose son Kojo is tied into the current “oil for food” scandal involving Saddam Hussein, would be against the United States going to war with Iraq. Did I mention that the French, Germany, Russia and again our cuddly liberal media agree with Kofi?

Again from my posts, Chris Rock challenges a liberal media audience (Hollywood) with anti-Bush jokes at this year’s Oscar telecast. As previously described, without his trademark raunchy humor and strong language, Rock had no choice but to go for the “jugular” by criticizing the President and throwing red meat to Tim Robbins.


Michael Moore DOES NOT win or even get nominated in the BEST FILM EDITING category at the Oscars. What were they thinking? His film is the most creatively woven tale derived from so much footage it makes an MTV music video seem almost motionless.

C is For Cookie, but P is For Parent and O Stands for OBESITY


Recently, in the news as listed on the ABC News website, it is reported that Sesame Street Workshop is now promoting their ‘Healthy Habits’ program in order to combat epidemic cases of childhood obesity. By introducing this new found health awareness, they hope to better educate children on the benefits of eating healthy and making proper food selections. In fact, they are going so far as to change everyone’s beloved Muppet, Cookie Monster by reducing his cookie intake (think reduced Atkins Diet). Coincidentally, Cookie Monster has changed his tune from ‘C is for Cookie’ to ‘Cookie is a Sometimes Snack’. Sacrilege you say? Think again.

I was born the year Sesame Street debuted and grew up with this entertaining children’s program and as I aged and finally had my own children; now they too watch this program with extreme satisfaction. Though Cookie Monster was not my favorite (I was always partial to Grover), I did enjoy watching this cookie eating monster howl about his love for a chocolate chip cookie. Haven’t we all done this at one time or another? To be honest though, I was a 3-year old cookie monster as well, but it was not because of the show or because of our furry blue friend. For that old habit, I can and will blame my own parents. Luckily for me and my brothers and sisters, our family is blessed with good genes and lean bodies, so really the cookies never had a negative effect on my health or weight, just my parents’ patience during my 10 o’clock pm fits as well as it should as again I mention, they were to blame for my nighttime sugar rush.

Frankly, I believe the producers of Sesame Street are doing a fine job and I do believe they have very good intentions with regard to encouraging a better awareness for children’s health. Unfortunately, the parents of these children are typically not around to watch these programs and enforce it, and they are the one’s bringing the food into the house and feeding it to their children. I feel it is a parent’s responsibility, not a TV show and certainly not a TV show character’s duty to teach the overall benefits of leading and eating a healthy lifestyle. After all, we have to blame the parents for the steady rise in childhood obesity cases not Sesame Street.

Obesity on the rise

According to the CDC statistics, approximately 30.3 percent of children (ages 6 to 11) are overweight and 15.3 percent are obese. For adolescents (ages 12 to 19), 30.4 percent are overweight and 15.5 percent are obese.

In addition, the prevalence of obesity quadrupled over 25 years among boys and girls, as shown in Table 1.

Table 1
Increase in Obesity Prevalence (%)
Among U.S. Children (Ages 6 to 11)

Time Period............Boys........Girls
1999 to 2000..........16............14.5
1988 to 1994..........11.6.........11
1971 to 1974...........4.3............3.6

Source: CDC, National Center for Health Statistics, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Ogden et. al. JAMA. 2002;288:1728-1732.

Also, obesity prevalence more than doubled over 25 years among adolescent males and females, as shown in Table 2.

Table 2
Increase in Obesity Prevalence (%)
Among U.S. Adolescents (Ages 12 to 19)

Time Period...............Males.......Females
1999 to 2000.............15.5.........15.5
1988 to 1994.............11.3...........9.7
1971 to 1974...............6.1...........6.2

Source: CDC, National Center for Health Statistics, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Ogden et. al. JAMA. 2002;288:1728-1732.

Now as you can see, this is a crisis for our youth which eventually will result in a cluster of so many different ailments such as diabetes, hypoglycemia, asthma and others that will finally lead to Syndrome X.

What is Syndrome X?

Syndrome X or the Metabolic Syndrome X is best described by Dr. Stephen Holt, MD in his book Combat Syndrome X, Y and Z... as affecting:

‘…approximately 70 million Americans have a condition called the metabolic syndrome or Syndrome X. The simplest definition of Syndrome X, then, is the variable combination of obesity, high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol, all linked by resistance to the hormone insulin’.

Some high risk factors as described in the same article are: diabetes mellitus, insulin resistance, hypertension, high blood fats which may lead to moderate risk factors such as heart disease, stroke, arthritis and many others.

Also, according to an article on the CBS News website, The New England Journal of Medicine published a study that revealed "the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome increased with the severity of obesity and reached 50 percent in severely obese youngsters".

Contributing factors but NOT the cause

Sugar and white flours:
I am not advocating a low carbohydrate diet for children, but I do believe that children should reduce their sugar intake (especially foods with added sugars) and try to eliminate white flours. There are good and bad carbohydrates
Good sources of carbohydrates are: whole-grain cereals, brown rice, whole-grain breads, fruits and vegetables. Check out for more detailed information

Fast Food:
In minimal amounts, anything is fine for the body (and mind) but when weekly and even daily, these burgers and fries loaded with fillers and artificial ingredients can cause deadly health problems for adults, let alone children. Certainly, as indicated, the availability of fast food restaurants in your child’s area (especially around schools) and the dollars spent yearly do reveal that fast food restaurants are not only popular but almost impossible to avoid. Consider this quote from Bill Phillips, author of Eating for Life:

‘Make no mistake, the fast-food-frenzied lifestyle is costing us, big time. Consider the fact that in 1970, Americans spent $6 billion on fast food. This year, over $138 billion! (That's over a 2,000 percent increase in just over 30 years.) Since 1970, the number of fast-food burger drive-thrus has increased from about 2,000 to over 25,000. (That's an increase of over 1,000 percent.) Shocking really. Sickening too; literally and figuratively.’

This quote alone is the most telling of how fast food has invaded our daily lives.

Single parent homes or homes where both parents work:
Since the early 70’s through today, divorce has and still is a huge factor usually leaving one parent by themselves to run the household. Obviously, while Mom (usually) or Dad are working, the kids are either home alone or with a sitter and you can trust that their nutritional means are not being met. This includes unwed mothers who live alone with their children.

TV as the babysitter:
This includes other items such as video games or movies. Trust me, I am not being hypocritical and certainly I am not blaming TV or video games, but when they are misused or abused to act as a babysitter it will lead to long periods of inactivity.

Where do we go from here?

It is really hard to determine and due to the varied lifestyles of homes across the world, you cannot paint this one with a generic answer. Regardless of the number of parents or the hours at work they keep, we can make subtle changes that will allow our children the best possible chance at good health.

This includes:

Promoting exercise
All children should be running and playing and though video games and TV are fun, they should be kept to a minimum. Remember, less TV inspires creativity while encouraging kids to take part in activities.

Reduction of sugar and white flours
I am not saying that children should go on the Atkins Diet or any type of diet, there are too many necessary ingredients found in all types of food. However, like TV, sugars and white flours should be kept to a minimum.
A real pet peeve of mine is when I see parents fill up a ‘sippy cup’ or bottle with soda and I especially enjoy it when they say, ‘its diet soda’, as if the aspartame (wood alcohol in its purest form) is actually a beneficial ingredient.

Sesame Street has it right and so should you. Educating good health to anyone (and please do not underestimate children) not only teaches but also encourages children to be their very best.

Snacks should NOT be rewards or pacifiers
Giving your child a snack because they are sad or are throwing a fit sends the wrong message, one that they will carry into adulthood.

Final thoughts

Look, for anyone to say that obesity in children is not a problem means simply that they are either not educated on the subject or they refuse to accept that they are making poor choices for their children. In the long run, ignoring the possibility for positive changes will result badly for your child. An obese child with poor eating habits will eventually turn into an obese AND unhealthy adult with poor eating habits. Does anyone want to complain about the rising costs of healthcare today? Imagine what it will be like thirty years from now when all of these obese children are now sickly adults under medical care for any number of the ailments discussed in this post (especially diabetes, a real silent killer).

Our responsibility as parents is to nurture and educate our children to help prepare them for adulthood and this includes leading them down a healthy avenue. We all may not have the ideal schedule or home scenario, but day to day subtle changes combined with education and awareness can go a long way and yes, a cookie is a sometimes snack.