Have you ever asked a child what they would like to be when they grow up? The answer is probably a policeman, a firefighter, a doctor or a nurse, they have probably never said obese! There is a worldwide problem with the rise of obesity in children; it is time to take control of teaching our children to eat healthy. One way this could be achieved would be to redesign the whole school dinner program, a few governments and some states in the USA are already starting to work on this concern. The obesity problem in children has to be addressed now; so that efforts can be made to combat the ongoing detrimental effects obesity has on their future health.
Children need to be educated on the benefits of healthy eating early; this can start in kindergarten by teaching the basic food pyramid. For toddlers it is often difficult to introduce vegetables to their plate, however, now there are squeezable vegetable juices that have masked the flavors by using fruit. Parents can help with the older child’s education on this subject by introducing new foods onto the dinner plate. For example if a child will not eat vegetables in any shape or form, every day at dinnertime try to consistently put a small portion of a new vegetable or one that he knows cooked in a different way on his plate.
It is very important to introduce exercise into a child’s daily routine too many children sit around playing video games and do not get enough physical exertion. An hour per day of some type of outdoor exercise, maybe a walk to the park, or a soccer or basketball game, will give a child a chance to burn off some calories. The time spent on sedentary activities should be limited to a set amount each day, try to set a schedule where there is some physical activity before dinner and then an allotted time for video games later in the day.
If children are taught about the effects that obesity can have on their future health they might think twice about eating so much ‘fast food’. Children learn by example, and fast food is a huge problem in today’s busy society; it is quick and for parents that work or have too many commitments it is the easy answer. Obviously, this sort of lesson would have to be taught once the children are capable of understanding the seriousness of the problem.
“During the past 20 years, obesity in the United States has increased exponentially and rates remain high. More than one-third of U.S. adults (35.7%) and approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2—19 years are obese.” (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2012)
The global problem with obesity is no different; “in 2010 more than 40 million children under five were overweight, 65% of the world’s population, live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight. Obesity is preventable”. (World Health Organization, 2012).
One of the major problems that obesity can cause is diabetes type II; diabetes is an illness that results from your body’s inability to process insulin which is needed to regulate the blood sugars in the body. Obesity can also lead to problems with high blood pressure which can lead to a stroke and heart problems. It has long been thoughts that strokes and heart problems are often caused by too much sugar and fat intake, most cardiovascular doctors will also recommend a healthy eating plan that is low in both sugars and fats.
The food industry needs to take some responsibility for the current problems with obesity that we are seeing today. Most other industries are regulated in one form or another; there must be a way to regulate the people that process our food. The amount of sugars, fats, additives and preservatives in our food today is not helping the situation, surely there should be a way to decrease these amounts and still make our foods tasty, and more wholesome.
The obesity problem is finally recognized throughout the world. In America some states are starting to