- Created: Thursday, 18 May 2017 09:55
So my daughter finished her project investigating the effects of sugar on the human body and walked in a day later with a giant box of fundraising chocolates.
Oh, the irony!
We want our kids to have healthy lives but it totally feels like we are swimming against a tsunami of sugar.
Is this kind of fundraising inevitable? What can we do about it?
Let’s begin by looking at why our kids are so quick to sign up for the choccy fundraiser before we consider what we can do about it.
First, we need to look at why do we do it. Why our kids just fall in line and don’t see the irony.
If the sporting team your kid is on wants to raise money for the club using confection boxes, what chance have you got? You gotta support your team, right? No kid wants to stand out and be the only one poo pooing the fundraiser from their newly discovered high moral ground.
Fear of letting others down. Yep, we all do it. Someone asks us for help, they don’t think through the idea very well and we help them, cringingly, because we don’t want to let them down.
We’ve all been in the situation standing at our kids sporting event, focused on the game when we’re approached by kids selling chocolates from a giant box to raise money for the club. Even as parents we don’t want to let the team down. How can we be true supporters of the sport if we don’t buy the choccy? It’s for a good cause…what, are you tight fisted or something?
Sport wins over education
Why do advertisers promote cigarettes and alcohol at sport events? Because it works. Sport sells stuff. ‘You can power through your game’ with a boost from a sugar drink or an energy bar. Doesn’t matter what the health report says, sport wins.
But what kind of message is this saying: Isn’t it commending that ‘Sport and sugar’ go hand in hand and it’s good!
Perhaps I’m exaggerating, but don’t we think it’s important what products, food items included, are associated with our kid’s sport?
If they were alcohol or cigarettes, we’d be up in arms! Parents might like a beer while watching their kid’s game…but what would this be saying about the culture of the sport? Wouldn’t it commend alcohol to kids?
You see, association matters.
You might be able to rationalize it and think, ‘Ok my kid doesn’t eat the choccy, she just sells it’. Well, how is that any better? Encouraging other kids to eat it is hardly good for health promotion in our community. Remember, ‘love your neighbor’?
So, what can we do?