By Samantha Wassel of Between the Monkey Bars
The leader of a local diabetes support group in Hershey, PA recently took a virtual stand against Winnie the Pooh’s “unhealthy honey addiction.”
Karen Sach—known to the members of the Check Yo’ Levels diabetes support group simply as “Sugar Mama”—claims that Pooh Bear’s sweet tooth sets a bad example for kids and believes it may be a contributing factor to the ongoing rise in Type 2 diabetes among children in the U.S.
Sach shared her thoughts on the Check Yo’ Levels Facebook page a few weeks ago:
“Look, we all know there’s nothing wrong with indulging in a little sugar now and then. But this obviously overweight bear is shoveling honey down his throat like there’s no tomorrow. And the way he’s going, there probably won’t be. What kind of message is Disney sending to kids? Food choices should center on the concept of BALANCE. So he craves honey; I get that. We all get cravings. But there are ways to deal with them in a non-detrimental manner. It’s something we stress at our meetings: THERE ARE COPING MECHANISMS. I don’t see why that glucophilic sack of stuffing can’t make himself a nice kale salad and sprinkle it with a light honey mustard vinaigrette. As I said, it’s about BALANCE.”
She then went on to criticize Pooh’s “complete disregard for the critical role that physical activity plays in maintaining one’s health.”
“It’s not just about the sugar; it’s the other poor lifestyle choices kids see him make as well. All that bear ever manages to do is meander through the Hundred Acre Wood at a leisurely pace, pondering. Last I checked, the ADA recommends getting 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity aerobic exercise at least 5 days a week in order to keep blood sugar and cholesterol levels under control. Sorry, but I don’t think ‘pondering’ fits the bill. Speaking of things that ‘fit,’ it’s no wonder Pooh never wears pants. They’re probably all ripped at the seams.
“At least in his younger days, we occasionally saw Pooh engage in vigorous tree climbing. Disney needs to get him back into that sort of thing, maybe even have him join Tigger and Kanga for some HIIT plyometric work. The bottom line is that a brand with as much influence as Disney has a moral obligation to think about the message it’s sending to young, impressionable kids.”
In a separate post, Sach even suggested that Disney capitalize on Pooh’s poor health choices by transforming them into learning opportunities for young diabetics.
“Why not be realistic and simply say that he [Pooh] developed diabetes due to a sedentary lifestyle and poor food choices? Sesame Street received high praise for introducing an autistic character. I don’t see why Disney can’t do the same with a diabetic one. Really, this could work to the company’s benefit, as long as Pooh models proper disease management skills. Just strap an insulin pump to that rumbly tummy of his and show him checking blood sugar levels every once in a while. Even if Disney does decide to go that route, Pooh Bear’s pantry is still going to need a major makeover. There’s just no reason to see, literally, pots and pots of fructose and glucose monopolizing anyone’s cupboards.”
While we were unable to get in touch with Sach personally, we did speak to a couple members of the Check Yo’ Levels support group, both of whom requested to remain anonymous.
“We watched ‘Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree’ at one of our meetings last month,” said “Candace,” who’s been a member of the group since she was diagnosed three years ago. “And, to be honest, it really was hard to watch. By my estimation, he consumed at least 100 times the World Health Organization’s RDA for sugar, all in the span of a 26 minute episode.”
“I had to stop watching halfway through,” added “Ruth,” a 5-year member. “The cravings were just getting to be too much. Imagine forcing an alcoholic to sit through an episode of ‘The Real Housewives of Orange County.’ I just couldn’t handle it.”
Last week, Sach put out a call to action on the group’s Facebook page, asking for support in her fight against Pooh’s honey habit:
“It’s time to take a stand. Are you with me? If so, copy and paste this as your status: Put the honey pot down, Pooh. Let’s try to get Disney’s attention. Oh, and don’t forget to hashtag it. Otherwise, no one will take us seriously. #PutTheHoneyPotDownPooh”
As of press time, a quick search for #PutTheHoneyPotDownPooh yielded no results, and the Check Yo’ Levels Facebook page was listed as “deactivated by owner.”
Rumors are circulating that Disney paid Sach off in Werther’s Original sugar-free hard candies, imitation honey, and a one-way plane ticket to Barbados. Sources have yet to confirm.
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About the Author
Samantha Wassel is a Stay-At-Home Mama to the cutest twin toddlers in the history of all Toddlerdom. When she’s not running her borderline-offensive mouth, she’s running masochistically long distances, often with the aforementioned toddlers in tow. She enjoys reading, writing, baking, marathoning, complaining, photographing, playgrounding, and Ghirardelli Midnight Reverie chocolate bars. Her writing has been featured on Scary Mommy, Club Mid, In the Powder Room, Bluntmoms, and Mamalode. Follow her on Facebook and check out her personal blog, Between the Monkey Bars.