The adage about our children being our future is true today. So to be discussing what we are doing about the health of our children? Statistics show that 25% of Australian children are overweight or obese. Figures from the United States are similar to many European countries like Greece, Portugal and Spain are in the same boat.
Figures Greece are the most interesting as they show one of the main reasons we have this problem. Between 1982 and 2002 had been a trebling in the number of overweight Greek 12-year-olds. At this time had been moved away from “traditional” Mediterranean diet and embrace processed high sugar foods. The traditional diet was based on fruit vegetables, unrefined grains olive oil to cook with a little fish, nuts, poultry and eggs thrown in. There was not a lot of red meat consumed and almost no refined sugars. This diet is full of nutrients and is not calorie dense.
this with diet hamburgers, soft drinks, cookies and other processed foods, which make up the “typical” western diet. This is the exact opposite – calorie dense with not much nutrition. If you add them to the mix, which many children are not physically active, spend time in front of screens, we can see why children like adults are getting heavier.
There is much hand winding going on about childhood obesity. There is no shortage of opinions on how to “manage the crisis”. As is usually the case, calls to ban advertising of “junk food” and for the government to provide “funding” for various applications. Of course, this money goes mainly to program providers, often the same people who are arguing for funding for such projects.
Then there are ridiculous proposals like banning children under two watch TV. This is not only pointless, but how on earth would it be implemented? The strange one recently for lap banding surgery for children. Not only is this completely the wrong approach to take with children but also no one has considered the long-term growth if one interferes with the absorption of food. It is to be long-term problems with bone and kidney can track lap band surgery, but it will take years to appear.
The average bull, it’s shining light. A school in Queensland, Australia, has won the award for teaching children how to grow and cook fresh food. The teacher in charge of this was quoted as saying “There is a lot of benefit of getting children to go back to basics and be able to grow their own food and see the importance of eating seasonal rather than what has kept in the fridge eight months “
In my opinion, this sums it up. Rather than berate children and parents about all the wrong things they are believed to make or treat them like imbeciles who will do anything just because it was an ad, teach useful skills and provide useful information. This is best done at the grassroots level. The two main ways to help our children with their eating is to teach them the basics and the relationship between nature, what we eat and our health. The key is to lead by and set a good example.