Eating PatternsNCHS Superintendet’s Notes

By Ernie Fowler – Nashville CHSD #99

efowler@nashville-k12.org

One of the true wonders in life is to watch teenagers eat. This is especially true with teenage boys. When they tie on the feedbag it is a sight to behold. Nobody knows this better than parents of said teenage boys. I’m not sure that a 17 year old boy ever gets “full”. I’ve seen them eat multiple burgers, loads of fries, plenty of milk shakes…..then dive into dessert. I’ve seen them eat through a whole 16” pizza like the cartoon version of the Tasmanian devil eats through trees. Teenagers can eat their weight in food at 11pm or 11am and seem to have no negative effect on their health or state of mind. To all of the high school students who are right now dribbling mayo on the newspaper, let me give you a piece of advice…..enjoy it because change is coming.

I was never a really big eater. I liked to eat a little bit a lot of times. Most folks eat maybe three meals per day. I believe that I could eat six. Buffet’s profit when I visit because I generally can only go through one time and I’m full. On the other hand, if I had an all-day pass, I could graze about every two hours. While I was never a big eater, I was frequently a late eater. There was many a night that I would finish my shift of burger flipping only to get in the car around 11pm-midnight and, believe it or not, go somewhere to have a burger. Of course, what is a burger without a few fries or greasy onion rings? And…what is a meal without a big gulp of Coke or Pepsi? I would also frequently awaken around 1am and have difficulty going back to sleep. My answer to such a problem…..a big bowl of vanilla ice cream while I sat in bed. Oh yes, when I was younger, I didn’t go to the recliner with my ice cream because I wanted to suck down the last spoonful then immediately lay down for the rest of the night. There is nothing like morning breath with a hint of chocolate syrup stuck between the teeth!

I’ve learned that the eating patterns I followed at 17 have a different effect on me today. What our current day teens will find out in a few years is body’s reaction to food changes over time. For one thing, food seems to either slow down or speed up the inner workings of the gut. Food also seems to show more on the body. I eat ice cream today and I can almost see my stomach grow a bit farther over my belt. It doesn’t help by changing my 1am ice cream call to 9pm prior to going to bed. Today, ice cream sits like a hardened lump of concrete on my stomach. Go ahead teens….eat, drink, be merry. You boys and girls who can eat everything in sight and still have the body of a supermodel….enjoy, enjoy. In a few years those big burgers will be exchanged for turkey sandwiches and that late night snack will go from fries and onion rings to celery and carrots. Thank goodness for ranch dressing!

Eating Patterns