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The Problem With Child Obesity

The Problem With Child Obesity

During Christmas Break I took my daughter to Activity World. It’s a place where she can run and be free and romp about on the equipment here in Peterborough, England. It’s a fantastic place that caters to kids and has great facilities – but has dire choices of food on the menu.

I always bring snacks for my daughter when we go to play centres, mainly because they are often overpriced but also because I do not want her being encouraged by sugary and fatty foods more than necessary. Too much sugar creates a very cranky child, and I would like to keep her pretty white teeth sparkling.

So we sat enjoying our snack, which was a bit of fruit, crackers etc…and all around me I noticed something very odd, those who had ordered food were all eating plates of chips. This was quite disturbing as I witnessed 5 and 6 year old children downing a whole plate of chips all by themselves.

A lot of the kids eating like this were carrying extra weight and I quickly surmised that this was a typical meal for them. I actually felt very sad watching them as a few of the kids I saw were either obese or close to it.

This is the epidemic that news reports discuss. Child Obesity has been silently creeping into our society over the last few decade. It is said that around 3-4 children in a typical class of 30 will now be obese and many more of those will be overweight.

It is easy to blame the parents, but I am one who does not. Sometimes we simply want our kids to have a good time and if that means treating them, that’s what we’ll do.  We all have very hectic lifestyles and if you are not over thinking healthy eating you simply just go with the flow. Play centres should have a better choice of snacks on their menus. Unfortunately, instead you tend to find chips, pizza and crisps on the menu instead of healthier options of food which might be fun for the child, but is not great for their overall health.

Trying to stem this dilemma will be a challenge for generations to come. And cannot be easily fixed by a few high profile campaigns. I feel supermarkets need to make healthy food more available and cheaper. When was the last time you saw “2 for 1” on a bag of apples or strawberries. These kind of deals are very rare in big supermarkets. Yet, you are bombarded with loads of deals on crisps, cookies and other sugary and fatty foods.

Although child obesity is a growing problem there are things we can do for ourselves today in the immediate future. Cooking at home and teaching our kids healthy eating is easy once you know how. You can also learn some great life skills by getting into the kitchen and taking control of what you eat.

In the video my daughter and I make home-made pizza. It’s quick, easy and affordable. So enjoy.

For more information Need2Know books have some great resources on child obesity and children’s nutrition.

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