I wanted to start with a more controversial title and photo because I think this is such an important issue and it needs our attention urgently. As I have said in my blogs about obesity before it has been a growing problem for a long time and now childhood obesity is a genuine concern for many parents.
Being here in the UK, and having traveled through America, I can see how this is a worldwide epidemic. While I was working at the BBC Good Food Show the other week, I saw a large proportion of the attendees there having a weight problem. I was there to educate people about health and nutrition, but let me tell you it was not always easy to even get people to stop and sample IsoWhey or one of our freshly squeezed raw food juices – often getting the response “oh, no thank you, it looks too healthy for me” – seriously! But bad habits regarding diet are instilled to us at a very early age, once toddlers get a taste for a sweet tooth it can be very hard to change it. We need to teach kids how to eat properly as early as possible, and it’s up to the parents to start this, but of course parents themselves need to also be educated.
As Jamie Oliver is trying to do in America at the moment there is much work to be done in schools as well, though it is scary how much opposition there is to this. We need to have lessons on nutrition, we need to let the kids know why it is so important to eat healthily, and the consequences. The problem here is the power of the food industry (especially fast food), the Dairy and the Pharmaceutical industry. This is why Jamie has had so many problems in America – these industries make BIG money out of food and will do anything to keep it that way. The bias these people show in their websites is shocking, misleading and false statements are rife, but unfortunately believed by many people. We need more Jamie Olivers out there speaking out for our children!
So, is this where our kids are heading? – well the statistics say “Yes”
- Over two thirds adults overweight
- Over one third obese
- 17%+ children OBESE / 1 in 3 overweight or obese
- After smoking, obesity is the biggest cause of preventable death
- 7% of teens are pre-dibetic (symptoms of high blood pressure)
- Most (over 80%) obese children will be obese in adulthood
As mentioned in my Getting Kids Active video, children are spending up to 55 hours on media time – that’s the internet/TV/texting and video games. If we confront this situation head-on, by losing weight and increasing children’s exercise we can dramatically reduce the onset of these stats, WITHIN WEEKS!!
So lets get our kids moving – and lead by example, get the whole family involved and make it fun! I visited a friend of mine, Lucy, this week, she has two children in primary school and I was amazed at the amount of physical exercise they do, their school has them doing PE 4 out of 5 days, from a range of different sports, including Yoga for Kids – then in their own time they do more swimming, ride horses, jump on the trampoline and a local farm even organises a cross country run once a week on their land (in summer & weather permitting of course!). One very interesting fact to come out of this very active school – total number of children who would be described as overweight – TWO – for once a positive statistic!