Childhood Obesity & Nutrition

Wrong nutrition habit promotes child obesity. What does your child eat?

childhood obesity food Childhood obesity and wrong nutrition patterns are associated together causing several obesity related health conditions (see childhood obesity effects). Children and adolescents are eating more sugary, salty and saturated fats than is recommended and not enough fruit and vegetables. Attention has also lately focused on children consuming fast foods (see fast food and childhood obesity) and soft drinks. The problem is severe for those who are genetically predisposed to obesity (see genetic causes of childhood obesity), in low-income families, with insufficient income and inadequate access to healthy food making it much harder to develop the better diet. There is rising confirmation that adult vulnerability to disease is associated with nutrition in early childhood and adolescence, and therefore early involvement is essential.


childhood obesity nutritionFood education and the acquisition of related practical skills should be compulsory. Food technology is currently an optional, rather than a compulsory part of the Key Stage 3 design and technology curriculum. It is appalling that so many young people leave school unable to prepare a simple meal. They will end up choosing to buy expensive, processed food that is high in fats, sugar and salt. If they have children in the future they will feed them similar unhealthy food and the pattern of obesity will not be broken. The Government announced 23/1/08 that food technology will be compulsory at key stage 3 for every 11 to 14-year-old from September 2011. Lessons will involve practical cooking lessons and classes on diet, nutrition and hygiene.

There should also be special emphasis on how to provide healthy meals on a low income. In order to do this effectively, teachers should receive training on what constitutes a good, balanced diet and how to prepare food.

Primary and nursery schools should all provide free milk.

The free fruit and vegetable scheme should be extended to all primary and nursery school children and the Government should subsidize the cost of fruit and vegetables to encourage health eating.

All manufacturers should be legally obliged to reduce salt, sugar and fat in pre-prepared meals to an agreed level within a defined time frame. School food contractors should be encouraged to use different approaches to food preparation more frequently, such as boiling, grilling and baking.

More on this topic ►

childhood obesity food
Childhood Obesity & Food

childhood obesity diet
Childhood Obesity & Diet

childhood obesity fast food
Childhood Obesity Fast Food

The need has never been greater to support healthy eating and physical activity (see childhood obesity & physical activity) in children and youth; the numbers of overweight and obese children have doubled and tripled, respectively, over the past 3 decades. Poor eating habits, including inadequate intake of vegetables, fruit, childhood obesityand milk, and eating too many high-calorie snacks, play a role in child obesity.Grain products provide the highest percentage (31%) of daily calories, followed by “other foods,” which have limited nutritional value (22% of daily calories). Snacks account for 27% of total daily calories, which is more than the calories consumed at breakfast (18%) and lunch (24%), but not dinner (31%). For Canadians older than 4 years of age, more than 41% of daily snack calories come from other foods, such as chips, chocolate bars, soft drinks, fruit drinks, sugars, syrup, preserves, fats, and oils.

Habits that protect against childhood obesity include eating more vegetables and fruit, eating meals with family, and being physically active. Children's food habits and choices are influenced by parents (see childhood obesity & parents), caregivers, friends, schools(see childhood obesity in schools), marketing, and the media (see television childhood obesity). Successful interventions for child obesity prevention combine family- and school-based programs, nutrition education, dietary change, physical activity, family participation, and counseling.

childhood obesity preventionTips for parents

What can you do as a parent or guardian or caregiver in childhood obesity prevention? We have some nutritional guidelines in our Childhood Obesity Nutrition section.

PREVIOUS:Childhood Obesity & Diet |                   | NEXT:Childhood Obesity Fast Food

No comments: