With the recent findings, from a study of over 13,000 British #Children, that 35% were classed as overweight or obese by the time they reached the age of 11, it prompts the question, how can we tackle this issue?
The obvious answer might be that it should start with the parents. They need to be setting an example to their children. It's no good to be telling a child they can't eat too much of something, if you're guilty of doing the same thing yourself. It's also a good idea to start introducing healthier options from a younger age, and not give in at the first hurdle when trying to get children to eat healthily.
This doesn't mean that children or anyone else for matter should never eat chocolate, crisps, or any other treat they might enjoy. It's about moderation, which is why schools banning crisps and chocolate might actually be a bad thing. For children and quite possibly most adults, being told you can't have something, can make you want it even more, resulting in eating more of it than you may have done otherwise.
Activity needs to be encouraged, but not just in schools. My own childhood involved eating sweets, chocolates or crisps a few times a week, but I played out a lot at the weekends and on lighter evenings. This would involve riding my bike, me and my friends chasing one another or playing ball games, or running off to the woods. Obviously that last one should be actively discouraged, as a really dangerous thing to do. My point is without having a computer and internet and been from a poorer family, therefore not having a games console or sky TV to keep me occupied indoors for hours on end, I managed to be more active. Therefore this suggests that eating a few treats in moderation shouldn't have an adverse effect weight if the child takes part in regular exercise or activity and won't be inclined to take the first opportunity to binge eat large amounts of unhealthy food. What we learn as children has a tendency to stay with us as we grow up.
Being active doesn't have to cost a lot either and can be done as a family. Going to the park to kick a ball around, taking the dog for a walk together, (if you have one) or taking up a sport. Sports centres have cheap swimming and sometimes run cheap sports sessions during school holidays. Adopting a healthy lifestyle can not only help to avoid becoming overweight but can lower the risk of health problems, such as diabetes or heart disease later in life. So it's not just about physical appearance.