The recent Foresight report written by 250 leading scientists says that Britain’s child obesity crisis is so severe that if current trends continue, by 2050 about 60% of men, 50% of women and 25% of children in the UK will be clinically obese – so fat that their lives are in danger. At present around a quarter of adults and 15% of children are obese.
The report expects type 2 diabetes to rise by 70 %, strokes to go up by 30 % and a 20% rise in coronary disease. We are eating too much and exercising too little
Technology enslaved children lazing on the couch, snacking on junk food with the remote control buried deep within their fat folds are in danger of being outlived by their parents. So what can we do to reverse child obesity?
Say no to TV dinners
Don’t let your child eat in front of the TV
Support a 9 pm watershed ban on junk food advertising on TV. Ofcoms proposed restrictions are inadequate. Advertising has a proven effect on children’s food choices and its no good only banning commercials during childrens programmes. Far more children aged nine and under watch TV in the evening than specific children’s programmes. For the four to nine year age group, the most popular programmes are ones like the X-factor and Coronation Street .
Start the day well
It’s not good for you child to go to school on an empty stomach. Your child needs energy and concentration until lunch and the best way to deliver a steady supply of sugar to the brain is to give complex carbohydrates like porridge, muesli or a delicious granola.
Pack healthy lunchboxes
My Lunchboxes book puts the fun back into making packed lunches for children. Make a change from sandwiches by making a Chicken Caeser Salad or a Couscous salad. In cold weather, a good tomato or a minestrone soup in a thermos flask would be lovely and warming. Always include some easy to eat fruit…
Hide the veg
What children can’t see, they can’t pick out. Create recipes that vegetables can be blended into such as a tomato and vegetable sauce for pasta or a creamy tomato soup make with carrots and onions and celery as well as tomatoes.
Don’t pander to fussy eaters
The more you give in to your child offering only a few favourites like chicken nuggets, chips and pizza, the more fussy your child will become. Make food fun to eat threading beef chicken or salmon onto skewers or provide child friendly chopsticks with a vegetable and noodle stir fry.
Encourage your child to be active
It is just as important to encourage your child to be active as it is to feed him healthy and tasty meals. Buy a trampoline or climbing frame for the garden or how about investing in some bicycles and go for family bike rides.