Children and diet (110)

There are likely to be lots of ways to deal with health problems in the future. However, if this begins to cost too much for some people, eg. gastric bands for obese children in some countries, then some approaches based on Buddho-Darwinism may help. I will try to deal with subjects as they occur

1. Obesity, diabetes and tooth decay:

Obviously with the Buddhist side of Buddho-Darwinism one might be able to educate children about Buddha’s teachings on how our suffering is caused by our wants, so health will suffer with wants, examples of this are starting smoking, excessive sweet consumption leading to tooth decay. obesity and diabetes etc. Buddha would no doubt counsel that this also is bad for the encounters with the spiritual world he describes.

On the Darwinian side, there is always the temptation to take the odd-ball Christian or God believers attitude that if God had not wanted people to enjoy sweets and chocolate he would not have provided a sugar sensor on the tongue. This almost laissez-faire attitude cam be countered by thinking through sweetness in nature. Fruiting plants, to survive, need to attract creatures which will eat them and distribute the seed. Creatures attracted to sweetness will help that fruiting species of plant survive. However, creatures mutate over time and if conditions are advantageous to that mutation then the creature stands a better chance of surviving. So look at the hypothesis that a human is born whose descendants have no sweet sensor. With the knowledge we have they would know how to construct a healthy diet to ensure reproductive health but their offspring would find it a lot easier to resist the things which might lead to diabetes, tooth decay or obesity.

Therefore by both reasoning about our position in nature as Darwin did and considering Buddha’s teachings, we can see that a path to encourage children not to destroy their chances in life to attract the best mates and live the happiest lives can be found and walked with one’s children.

It is foolish to wrap children in cotton wool and Buddha said that when in doubt take the middle road, (I knew a Buddhist couple whose children enjoyed playing with toy guns and while that may not feel right it is better to gently guide the children rather than impose or threaten).

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