Since the nineties, American youth have felt the seismic shaking that emerged from decades of ingesting impoverished meals from McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, KFC, and Arby’s. The main menu items have been served with their noxious complements of sodas and French fries. This has led to a decline in health in body and mind.
American society with all of its scientific and technological achievements, has nevertheless failed at so many different levels to protect the youth. Consequently, our nation’s children have become vulnerable to unprecedented levels of illness compared to previous decades, with 25% of US children ages 2 to 8 suffering chronic diseases and conditions. The most prominent are asthma, behavioral and learning problems (CDC, 2017, 2017b; Van Cleave et al., 2010). Obesity and type-2 diabetes are only the apparent symptoms of a much greater set of problems lying beneath the surface.
This impoverished diet that we have been feeding them is reflective of the societal neglect that has led to a growing prevalence of obese, diabetic and overweight youth. When the children, in large numbers, begin to succumb to such illnesses, then it is a sign that the empire is about to collapse.
Thus, this investigation into why our children became fat, goes far beyond portion sizes and caloric intakes, and dives into the arena of neglect that is so advanced, subtle, and likely unintentional, that it is difficult to comprehend how it became so far reaching at such a widespread scale.
The central issue in this debate is not nutritional but moral. The failure to protect the youth leads to questions as to what went wrong.
How could we have become so careless, as to not clearly see, as adults, what we were doing to our children? In a sense, we dropped the ball, failed to draw the metaphoric sword from the sheath in order to brandish it in defense of a youth overtaken by a cultural revolution that took all of us by storm.