I’m currently doing a research review in childhood obesity as part of my studies, and if I’m honest some of the statistics are scary! But there is also a lot to learn from these findings.
- In 2010 around 30% of children ages from 2-15 years of age (31% boys and 29% girls) were overweight or obese in the UK
- Less than 1% of childhood obesity cases are due to genetic disorders alone. So is rarely an acceptable excuse
- obese children are 20 times more likely to become obese adults compared to children of a normal weight
- It was estimated that in 2014/15 obesity and related illnesses cost the NHS £5.1 billion which when combined with the cost of treating diabetes was more than the cost of the police, fire and judicial system combined
Scary stuff, am I right?
Potential Causes of Obesit
Sugar does not cause obesity! However it is correlated with overeating which will inevitably lead to weight gain and if consistently done. Another aspect could be that foods high in sugar; especially added sugar, are low in nutrients, fibre and therefore not very filling so be careful what you’re giving your kids and how often they are eating it!
Kids will always copy adults they are around often or admire which is nice when they do! However when you consider all the things you do in front of children without even realising they are learning from you, how you act and also what you eat? So If you’re not eating your greens, eating chocolate more often than not and drinking sugary beverages, think of the impact those behaviours are having on your children.
Lack of correct education
The education system could be failing children in many aspects, nutritional teaching being one of them. So this places greater emphasis on parents to teach children good nutritional practice while also competing against the clever and persuasive marketing of food producers who use friendly characters, catch phrases and offers to hide their addictive products and poor nutritional substance.
Ways to Prevent Obesity
Governments have put forward meek attempts to protect children from becoming obese. The adjustment to school lunches which could be taken away depending on the governing party and then the proposed sugar tax which will be handed onto consumers rather than production companies, we need to do more.
Three Things You Can Do To Take Action
- Review sugar intake alongside energy and portion control in children, allow them sweets and foods low in nutritional value IN MODERATION
- Be aware of practices that may influence children so be self-aware that YOU ARE A NUTRITION ROLE MODEL
- There is a lot of misinformation out there so become more knowledgable and ensure the correct knowledge of food is passed down so children can understand what they should be eating, so ensure to PROTECT AND INFORM YOUR CHILDREN
Thanks for reading guys. Until next time! Louis.