To culminate an excellent scientific meeting in downtown Los Angeles, I decided to spend my last day in ‘The Golden State’ by taking the Metro over to Hollywood for a little site seeing. Naturally, no visit to Hollywood would be complete without paying a visit to the local Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles.

For years my friends have been singing the praises of this restaurant so I had to see what all the fuss was about. Knowing this wouldn’t be a nutritious indulgence, I got in some mileage on the Walk of Fame before sitting down to eat.

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Now, in honor of the outcome of the 2012 election my order was simple: 1 waffle and 3 wings, also known as the “Obama Special”. I quickly added “NO BUTTER”, after looking at the 1/2 cup serving of whipped butter that sat on the waffle plates of other patrons next to me.

When my order arrived I wasn’t at all impressed.

My waffle was a little skimpy and the 3 wings were sort of small but I said to myself, just suck it up and live a little—Surely it’s not all that bad.

After eating my food and drinking my 24 ounces of citrus water, I kept asking myself “What’s all the fuss about?” I can honestly say that both my fried chicken and homemade waffles are much better than what Roscoe’s gave me.

Maybe I’m trippin’ a little but I can honestly say that I expected a little more.

Still, wearing my consumer advocate hat, I began to look at the other patrons as they received their plates.

I quickly realized that my experience was completely different than everyone else’s.

When compared to my conservative 600 calorie meal, these folks were getting the FULL Roscoe’s experience.

Waffles loaded with butter, tons of syrup poured all over both the waffles and chicken, gravy dipped french fries and grits on the side – All downed with multiple large cups of sweat tea, pink lemonade and soda.

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This was truly much more of an event for these folks and they seemed to love every bit of it.

As I got up to go to the register and pay for my food, I found myself in awe of two particular patrons, so I sat back down.

There was a young mother probably in her late 30s with her daughter who was about 5 years old. The mother herself was just slightly overweight but her daughter was quite thin. Both caught my attention for a reason.

As I prepared to leave, their waiter came out with 5 plates (2 large and 3 small).

One of the large plates had a half of fried chicken with 3 waffles stacked with over 1/2 a cup of whipped butter on top.

The second large plate had a quarter of fried chicken on one half and gravy filled grits on the other half. Of the 3 smaller plates, one had more gravy filled grits, the second had an additional waffle with a cup of whipped butter, and the third had an order of potato salad.

Mouth open, I thought to myself “I know they’re not going to eat all that.”

I then requested another 16 ounces of water and watched.

As if this story can’t get any worse, the daughter picked up a saltshaker and proceeded to add salt to her already smothered grits—Before she tasted them.

While she shook the shaker, the mother began to spread every single bit of the butter on her waffles. She then did the same with the one waffle on the smaller plate and gave it to her daughter.

Meanwhile, during the time her mother buttered up these waffles, she continued to shake the saltshaker. Finally noticing, the mother told her to putdown the saltshaker.

Now, I know for a fact that there was at least a teaspoon of salt in those grits by the time the daughter was done. The mother looked at the daughter with an affectionate smile and proceeded to stir her grits in order to blend in the salt.

Mother and daughter then began to indulge in their heavy lunch entrees as if this was the last time they would ever eat again.

This young girl was far too familiar with the saltshaker as well as the fatty foods on her plate. This wasn’t the first time she’d ate this way. Likewise, her mother didn’t appear to see any problems with the foods she and her daughter devoured.

I can honestly say that this was one of the worst scenarios I’ve ever observed when it comes to food choices.

Doesn’t this mother know what she’s eating and choosing to feed her daughter can have dramatic health consequences in the future? Perhaps she knows and just doesn’t care because neither one of them are gaining weight as a consequence.

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I don’t in any way blame Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles for what I saw today. This mother is indeed the problem.

Young children are not to blame for bad eating habits, as many just don’t know any better, especially if they haven’t been exposed to positive behaviors.

That little girl was not born with an affinity for salt and fatty foods.

This scenario is proof of a need for people to be educated on the importance of proper nutrition early in life otherwise they’ll follow the lead of others—Whether good or bad.

It’s important for parents to serve as good role models for their children as they will follow the lead.

As a healthy lifestyle advocate, it continues to be my desire to make people aware of the importance of proper nutrition by providing the information, advice, and guidance necessary for achieving and maintaining good health. Healthy people become healthy parents and healthy parents will more than likely promote positive behaviors in their children.

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As for Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles, well, I’ll let you have your own experience there.

Just go easy on the whipped butter and gravy.