Chidhood Obesity is a topic you’ve probably heard talked about many times over the past few years and it will continue to be a hot topic until something drastically changes! Who is to blame for this epidemic of obese kids? The parents? The government? The kids themselves? This is a really interesting topic which I’m going to discuss in this post.
There are several reasons for writing this post, some of which are linked to the work I do as a Peak Performance Expert but the main reason is because of what I witnessed whilst on holiday in Spain recently… I was relaxing by the pool enjoying some quality rest and relaxation and I started to notice a common trend in an awful lot of the holiday makers, both in the kids and the parents… Obesity!
After a while this really started to wind me up! I was looking at the kids thinking “this is criminal!” Kids will generally eat whats put in front of them… How are there so many kids that are not just overweight but morbidly obese? In at least 95% of the cases I witnessed the parents were also obese as well… That’s were education starts to be a factor which I will touch upon later.
These kids were very young e.g. 5-7 year old boys and girls and many of them where easily 2-3 stone overweight and had “beer bellies” and “man boobs” – it was very sad to see what is happening all around us in the UK and the rest of the world.
I’ve been hearing for almost a decade now from other Health Experts, that this generation of kids growing up today are going to be the first generation that are outlived by their parents if things keep moving in the same direction they are going today! I’d believed this statement to an extent in the past but now I fully buy into it. It upsets me to say but Kids: Unless something changes soon, many of you WILL die before your parents!
Unless eating habits change dramatically very soon, then this obesity epidemic will continue to spiral out of control.
When I was growing up, in my primary school there was only thin or lean children with the exceptional of one obese kid and when I speak to people of the age of say 20 upwards they also recall that in their school there was also very few or no obese kids at all.
I remember back to my packed lunches all through my school days (particularly in junior school), how I was often very jealous that my friends would have cookies, crisps and biscuits at break time everyday and I would only ever have an apple or banana at break time and sandwiches on brown bread for lunch!
My brothers and I often thought we were deprived because we didn’t have the chocolate and biscuits at lunch breaks! Looking back, I’m so glad that I was brought up with much healthier meals than many of my friends! What happens when you’re a child will shape who you become as an adult so I would suspect my upbringing contributed to if not lead to me doing the work I do today as a Peak Performance Expert. Thank you mum and dad!
So when it comes down to it, kids need role models and they happen to be the parents in most cases… If the parents eat very unhealthy food that makes them fat then the same thing will ultimately happen to the kids… Of course food isn’t the only thing that contributes to poor health, if you’ve been following me for any length of time you’ll know I always say “eat well, move well and think well and you will be truly healthy!”
Right now we are talking about the eating well part of the health equation although of course exercise and mindset are also big factors that merit their own articles – watch this space! So I believe the parents are responsible for feeding the children nutritious food (or not as the case maybe!) and then the book really does stop with them. If their kids are unhealthy and overweight due to the lifestyle they have learned from their parents, then there is something fundamentally wrong.Earlier on I talked about part of the problem being a lack of education. It’s not necessarily that people need formal health and nutrition training, they just need expert guidance to help them make the right choices. Let me ask you a question, where did you learn about health and nutrition? Most people learn about health from the media: newspapers, magazines, TV and surfing the internet! There’s so much incorrect conflicting information out there that many people unknowingly make poor health choices thinking that they are being healthy! Can you relate to that?
Although I do believe parents are ultimately responsible if their kids are obese, I do appreciate that it is a minefield out there trying to be healthy. There is so much bad information out there which I’m sure confuses many parents. With that said obesity in kids and adults is completely preventable by simple lifestyle changes. But to be fair ‘you don’t know what you don’t know!’ Kids won’t get good nutritional education from school or from the government or anything like that…
So parents, it’s time to step up and learn more about making lifestyle changes in yourself and your kids so that you kids will outlive you rather than the other way round!
If you would like some more information on making some simple life saving health choices then be sure to contact me on the contact form and I’d be happy to help.