During the past couple of weeks I have seen on Television a report showing that millions of Federal dollars are being spent on video equipment that is being using to tape what elementary students are eating in the cafeteria. A costly report will surely enlighten us that kids tend to eat “unhealthy” food items more often than healthy ones. The First Lady has made the promotion of healthy eating and exercise the center of her charitable work. Recently I watched a documentary on the “disease” of obesity in American. The medical costs fighting obesity are staggering, and are putting a strain on the nation’s economic well-being.
A few years ago I head on the radio that Maryland’s governor and his wife were making the rounds to local schools promoting “bullying awareness” week. The First Lady of State was taking time to “recognize” model “Non-bullying” schools in the state, and to teach the children that “bullying” is a bad thing to do. All of these programs and studies could be considered praiseworthy. By coincidence, about the same time I read a major article published in the Deseret News, written by Elizabeth Stuart, entitled “Fatherless America? A third of children now live without dad.” Some might wonder if there is a correlation between our booming social problems and the slow deterioration of the “old fashion” family? But I am not one to wonder. I am fully convinced that the proclamation on the family, given to the world by living prophets, clearly ties them together.
“…we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets”.
Any open-minded person should be able to draw a correlation between the disintegration of the family unit, as ordained by God, and the economic, social and spiritual calamities that are burdening our society. In my mind the obesity problem, a new plague, is directly tied to the absence of a sound home life. If Fathers are not to be found, that means the mothers are working. They don’t have time to properly watch out for the diets of their children. Today’s mothers, many single, exhausted by a full day of work, are prone to put their kiddies in the car, on a regular basis, and head off to dinner where the amount of calories consumed by all would kill a horse.
Consumer advocate groups can blame the restaurants all they want, but the truth is that kids eat what is placed in front of them. The food most kids consume has been processed and packaged such that it can be “instantaneously” served with the least bit of effort by the parents. Gone are the days of the “home-cooked” meal. To some, it may seem that I am stretching by tying in the plague of obesity and broken homes. But to me, it isn’t a stretch, it’s just plain logic.
There is no question in my mind that the emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being of children is harmed when they are raised in an unstable home environment. Crime rises, drug problems, self-worth issues, and a host of other social issues are directly tied into the stability of the home. The economic cost is staggering.
Space doesn’t permit me to name all of the negative ramifications of unstable families, but it reaches out in all directions of a social structure. Like a weed that has gone unchecked in a beautiful garden, it multiplies so quickly that its deadly influence chokes out all that is of worth and beauty. While we have little ability to weed “others” gardens, we need to be vigilant is pulling the weeds out in our own gardens lest we find that all we have worked for is lost.