Obesity Is NOT A Child’s Game

I just returned from a fun trip to Target with my son. He has a birthday coming up and I wanted to see what types of toys/games he had a real interest in so I can relay that info to out of town family. (As I type that I realize how spoiled that sounds and how my parents would never have done that. BUT he doesn’t get everything he wants, just something that he has indicated interest in. Anyways…..not the point of this post. Moving on.)

After we had looked at every action figure and oogled the Legos we moved to the game section. Amongst the Connect 4, Chutes & Ladders, and puzzles was one of the most disturbing games I have ever seen!

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Pop The Pig is just repulsive!

What’s worse is that my 4 year old recognized it from TV and exclaims, “Oh Mom, I absolutely LOVE this game!” What?! A game where you roll the dice to see how many hamburgers you are going to shove down a pig’s mouth until his belly gets so large that his pants bust open? Fun? No!

Let’s also not overlook the fact that the pig is sitting plopped there with its tongue hanging out looking to binge on some burgers. Binging, eating until you pop, fatty hamburgers, big bellies….everything about this game goes against my healthy living campaign I’ve set up for my son.

“It’s just a game. Don’t buy it.” you may say and my 22 year old childless self would nod in complete agreement. But this much older and wiser mom just had a disagreement with my preschooler about it.

In the last month or so he has been practicing sticking out his belly to be more like ________. To which my husband and I point out, “Can ______ run? jump? climb? No. Is _______ sick all the time? Yes. Don’t you like being an active healthy kid?” Kids are impressionable! They catch details that the rest of us have simply grown accustomed to and overlook. They are also at an age when they are learning about how the world works. Not from books. From us and their environment.

I will not be buying this game. Honestly after about an hour or so I won’t worry about it much. What I will continue to worry about is that something as dangerous as eating disorders and obesity is now a laughing matter for our children. Sadly, what I do know is that childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years. We need to change how we think about our health and nutrition so that our children know it is not a laughing matter.

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