7 Ways to End Childhood Obesity

Don't just stop with banning junk food advertising. Birthday cakes and Cookie Monster must go!

America is waging a war on Krimpets. The most recent attack on snack cakes comes from the Disney Channel, who has officially banned advertising for junk food on Disney XD, during Saturday morning shows on Disney-owned ABC television stations, on Radio Disney and online.

I find this troubling for a few reasons. First, I think kids should be allowed to be kids. And part of that experience should include an occasional indulgence in treats—specifically the kind that are only appealing to people under the age of 16 (see: Nerds, Runts, Big League Chew, War Heads and Push-Up pops). But more importantly is the impact on parents. By banning junk food commercials, Disney is letting parents off the hook when it comes to educating their children about healthy eating. Shielding kids from the available options doesn’t help them understand why they shouldn’t guzzle a gallon of Pepsi—teaching by example and conversation does. In short, commercials aren’t causing childhood obesity.

But my beloved Michelle Obama, an advocate against childhood obesity, thinks Disney’s ban is a good idea. I love Mrs. O, for her politics and for her inspiring tank-top arms, so I have a few more suggestions to help her end the epidemic of children enjoying sweets.

1. Just say no to Halloween.

2. Ban popular children’s book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. The horrors of this particular cookie go beyond childhood (mousehood?) obesity. Not only does the mouse eat the cookie, he also becomes distracted and doesn’t finish his mousely duties. Downward spiral!

3. While we’re banning things, it’s probably best to get rid of both Willy Wonka movies and the Roald Dahl book they were based on. Heaven forbid that Augustus Gloop becomes a hero to young people everywhere. His insatiable appetite for chocolate could cause sugar-fueled riots!

4. Cookie Monster should be rechristened as Veggie Monster. He currently reminds children that cookies are “a sometimes snack.” But no more! Parents and their offspring don’t have the self-control to understand the word “sometimes.”

5. No more birthday cakes. Sure, Mrs. Obama got a birthday cake this year. But even a yearly visual of the sweet stuff might send kids over the edge. Future Americans will celebrate with celery.

6. All ice cream truck drivers must be tried in a court of law for child endangerment. They’re facilitating juvenile diabetes.

7. Shake Shack should be 21+. Kids can’t handle the Center City Pretzel shake.