by: Gabrielle Welch, Welch Wellness

Being in the throes of softball season where we LIVE at the field, I feel compelled to speak out.

As I watch the kids and parents every week march back and forth to the concession stand, or hear the girls screaming from the dugout for their moms to bring them a blue Gatorade, my heart sinks further and further, and I find myself thinking, “Is this the new normal?”

(In defense of the concession stand, they do offer 1 or 2 healthy food choices and bottled water. However, I have never ONCE seen a child walking by with that healthy choice.)

Did you know that the most recent stats show that children who play organized sports are HEAVIER than those who don’t?

It doesn’t take an expert to figure out why, at least from where I sit every week.

So are we the “New Normal“? Are candy, fast-food, junk food, soft drinks and energy drinks the “New Normal“? Are you willing to accept that? Across all socioeconomic groups, recent statistics show 1 in 7 of American kids are obese.

Are you willing to pay the price? Is your child?

A recent interview of Dr. Sanjay Gupta on 60 minutes had him speaking about the perils of refined sugar: heart disease, diabetes and cancer, among others.

Is this really NEW news? How can anyone have thought all this time that daily excessive sugar is actually ok for you?

When did parents give up and stop telling their kids NO?

It’s a slippery slope with kids: you give an inch, they take a mile, and habits are easily formed before you realize what’s happened.

Yes, it takes more effort to feed your kids before or after a game, or to bring a picnic dinner. Yes, it’s hard to say no to them when they whine that “everyone else has a sno-cone.”

So what.

Don’t be the “New Normal.” Stand up for your child and their health and TEACH them while you have the chance.

I’m not saying the occasional Icee or Sno-cone is going to kill them (although clear is a better choice than red), but let’s face it…

It’s not just occasional any more.

It’s the new normal.