Helicopter Parents Wage Fraught Battle Against O-R-E-Os, Fun

Helicopter parents, the scourge of the education system, fellow public-transit commuters, and fun-loving citizens everywhere are now in the crosshairs of eating disorder specialists, according to a report in the New York Times.

In addition to little Dillinger and Gingerly’s increased risk of generalized anxiety, fear of failure, failure to thrive and stunted development, HP’s hysterical hovering is now creating a rash of eating disorders in elementary-age school-children.

Their attempts to school their spawn in the evils of trans fats, sodium, sugar and processed food and the wonders of an all-organic diet, (in what must be a misguided attempt to stymie the Twinkie-engorged two-by-four-can’t-fit-through-the-kitchen-room-door fatty trend engulfing non-HP offspring), has caused 8-year-old kids like Greye of Mays Landing, N.J., to fret unnecessarily about things like, um, sodium.

“Sodium makes your heart beat faster, so it can create something really serious,” Greye told the Times.


(When I was eight my familiarity with the concept of sodium’s potentially deleterious effects extended only so far as the pretty li’l jettison of beige fizz it created when dumped into a glass of soda when my non-HP parents weren’t looking and their consequent vexation with the sticky puddle said fizz created on the kitchen table).

Most parents, when asked why they obsessively monitor and micro-manage their children’s eating habits fall back on that old chestnut, "health concerns." While that is probably part of it, I still say it’s primarily fear of fattiness syndrome.

As one expert Lisa Dorfman, a dietitian and director of sports nutrition and performance at the University of Miami told the Times: “I see kids whose parents have hypnotized them. I have 5-year-olds that speak like 40-year-olds. They can’t eat an Oreo cookie without being concerned about trans fats.”

Concerns about being associated with Oreo spokesperson Randy Jackson is one thing, but trans fats? C’mon kids, live a little.

Kathleen Willcox

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