Monday, July 07, 2008

Still Drugging Our Children

A few months ago, I wrote about my concern that normal teen-aged rebellion is now being considered a mental illness to be treated with drugs that would make youth more compliant. In a recent news release, the American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends that children as young as eight start routinely being given cholesterol-lowering drugs, and that babies as young as one year old be switched over to lowfat milk. By the way, they also note this: “The academy has long recommended against reduced-fat milk for children up to age 2 because saturated fats are needed for brain development.” However, these wise pediatricians have apparently decided that brain development is far less important than weight issues.

These recommendations come “from recent research showing that cholesterol-fighting drugs are generally safe for children.”

Kudos to the American Academy of Pediatrics—by all means, let us grow up a nation of skinny teens and adults whose brains stay at a childlike level so they’ll happily accept whatever expensive drug therapy next devised by the ever-hungry-for-profits pharmaceutical companies. By all means, let us routinely give “generally safe” drugs to our children while having no idea what the long-term impact of such drugs would be. Great idea! Why worry about proper food and good exercise when we can just give a pill instead?

Yes, I’m being sarcastic.

And yes, childhood obesity is a problem and seems to be getting worse. And yes, we are a nation of overweight people who live with the consequences of those extra pounds. My son, who currently lives in France and has spent much of the past five years in South American and Australia, was here in the States for a visit recently. His comment to me, “Wow, Americans really are big aren’t they?” The years away give him a different set of eyes.

Here, as always, I am reminded again of the wisdom contained in the Bible. Wisdom that reminds us that gluttony and greed—the need for more and more, well past the satisfying of necessary and important needs—sets us up for unhappiness and failure. When unrestrained gluttony and greed are mixed with laziness and the desire for a quick fix, i.e. an easy to swallow pill rather than the hard work of changed habits, then we’ve left behind the wisdom of God’s word to us. We’ve exchanged wisdom for foolishness, and we all pay the price.

Right now, it looks like the ones getting most hurt are our children. It’s time to stop this craziness.

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