Child Obesity is causing a major problem to the UK with the latest child obesity statistics in Staffordshire revealing that one in five children are clinically obese by the time they leave primary school. But this problem is not just a worry in Staffordshire, the childhood obesity problem is a problem for the whole of the UK and unless we done something about it then obesity in children will continue to get worse and cause our children health problems.
According to research which looked at childhood obesity, the child obesity statistics are shocking with one third of children are now classed as obese or overweight by the age of eleven but will these figures make parents sit up and take notice. According to some health experts and health organisations they fear that the seriousness of childhood obesity will not make parents change their ways and with parents heads in the sand they feel child obesity will continue to get out of control.
Some health experts in America have said that parents who fail to act to help their children become more healthy and allow their children to become obese should be prosecuted, other health experts in America have said that children who are obese and have no help from their parents to become healthy should not only be prosecuted but their children should be taken into care due to the neglect of their parents.
Geoff Tims a health writer on weight loss said: “Some health experts in America are too quick to blame parents and feel that the parents of overweight children should be prosecuted, but this does not help the children who are suffering from obesity, what we need is to educate parents and teach them what they are doing wrong and how to help their children become healthy, we also need the government to step up and take action and plough money into schemes that allows our children to avoid the obesity problem.”
Geoff believes that one of the reasons why childhood obesity is getting out of control is down to poor eating habits where parents are allowing their children to eat unhealthy foods and treat their children to many times per week junk food such as McDonalds and other fast food outlets. The weight loss expert would like to see parents discover healthy food and make it fun for their children to be introduced to eating healthy food instead of forcing them to eat vegetables and healthy foods.
“Because junk food is quick and easy to make, more and more parents are feeding junk food to their children, this is down to a number of reasons. One reason is some parents do not have time to cook a proper meal, another reason is down to laziness where the parent simply wants to make something quick and easy or they just want to grab something from McDonalds or other fast food outlets, but a major problem is education, some parents do not know about food and what the food they are giving to their children is doing to them.”
The obesity in children expert feels it is not just down to parents and parents should not take all the blame for children being overweight or obese, she also feels that the government should take their share of the blame by not putting stricter guidelines into place in the way fast food outlets operate. She would like to see the government stop fast food outlets by promoting their food in gimmicks that get children’s attention and would like to see stricter guidelines put into place on the way these fast food outlets promote themselves.
Geoff would also like to see the government put money into schemes that allow children to be educated about childhood obesity and how it can affect their lives. She would like to see schools being given more money where they can hold education classes on eating healthy and where they can organise for parents to receive training on cooking healthier food and how to keep their children healthy.
The obesity health expert would like to see a scheme brought into all schools around the UK where the dinner plate is smaller which would result in smaller portions being put on the plate and stop the child from overeating.
Geoff said: “By using smaller plates in schools it will teach our children about eating smaller portions and smaller portions means less calories.”
She would also like to see the government take notice of Jamie Oliver and his eating campaign and instead of saying what a great idea it is, she would like to see them back the scheme totally without holding back.
The obesity in children problem is like a knock on effect where the child who is suffering from obese will continue to suffer from obesity in adult life unless something is done to help that child beat their problem with obesity. According to recent research 82 per cent of obese children will go on to be obese in their adult life which will not only cause obesity health related problems it can also shorten their life
“Parents have to sit up and take notice, we have to understand that a children’s lifestyle has to change, parents have to understand by not helping their children eat healthily what the long term health consequences are. Children need to start eating healthy instead of stuffing themselves with snacks filled with fat, salt and sugar and they should cut down on fast food and junk foods.” said Geoff
One solution that can help children to become healthier would be to allow schools to introduce after school physical education classes where they would benefit from having more exercise after school instead of watching television. Another way to help our children to become healthier would be for parents to spend more time with their children in parks or at the swimming baths where instead of spending too much of their time playing computer games, they would be enjoying themselves doing more physical activities.
Another person who has become worried about child obesity is Wolverhampton’s director of public health Dr Adrian Phillips.
He said: “One in four children in the city is obese, if that isn’t a scandal what is? Life is different when you are that big, these kids can’t run, they have to sit in special chairs.
“There is a personal parental responsibility here but there is also Government responsibility, it is not one person’s fault.”
1. Provide your child with plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grain products and explain about vegetables and make them fun to eat.
2. Buy low fat milk and low fat dairy products
3. Serve smaller portions; get your children use to eating smaller portions
4. Choose lean meats, poultry and fish
5. Encourage children to drink lots of water which can include flavoured water
6. If your child drinks coke then try and replace this for low sugar drinks
7. Reduce the amount of sugar that your child eat
8. Go for walks with your child and help them to gain exercise
9. Find time to go to the park and play sports including football or rounders
10. Take your child swimming and get them to enjoy exercises, remember, exercising can be fun
If parents do nothing about obesity in their children then according to medical research they could be risking their children health with the following obesity health problems.
Heart disease, caused by:
Type 2 diabetes
As Geoff explains as well as health issues there are also social issues, an overweight child could become a victim of bullying.
“A child who is overweight could be more likely to become a victim of bullying an no parent wants that to happen, this is why it is important that we start to help our children and stop ignoring the obesity problem that is happening around us.”
Obesity has become a serious problem and a problem that we need to tackle. If we sort obesity out within our children then we can stop the rising obesity problem within adults and according to research in 2009, 30,000 people each year die from obesity related conditions and many of these deaths can be avoided if we tackle the obesity problem head on.