Monday, January 18, 2010

The Brits Cracking Down on Obesity

It feels like I've neglected this blog for far too long! But I wanted to hear your say in what you think of this news.

In 2008 in Britain , parents are receiving official letters telling them if their child is has a weight problem under a Government crackdown on obesity.

However, words such as 'fat' and 'obese' will not be used to avoid stigmatising the illness. The word obese apparently makes parents 'switch off' and not take any notice. Instead, words such as 'overweight' or 'very overweight' replace the former.

The measurements used to calculate the body weight of a child is to use the Body Mass Index (BMI) adjusted for their age but parents will not be told this figure. Instead the letter will plot where the child is on a scale from underweight, to healthy weight, overweight and very overweight.

The letter will also accompany with leaflets on healthy eating, 'physical activity' and the health risks associated with being overweight.

I'm on two thoughts with this one. On one hand, is right for schools to give authority if their child is obese...oh sorry, I mean overweight? Or do some parents need to be told what to do?

But here's my piece. When I was doing work experience at a school recently, I'd noticed children's lunch were overloaded with food. I'd started Kindergarten over 17 years ago and the only thing I had in my lunch box was a small bag of chips, a ham, cheese and tomato sandwich and an apple juice.

Today? The kids lunch boxes are filled with a 50 gram packet of chips, double layer sandwiches, a tub of yoghurt, biscuits and a banana. I think to myself, is a child going to eat all of that?

Even worse, when I did notice a student only having an apple and a bottle of water for recess, the teacher was alarmed and said,

"Are you already full from eating an apple?"
To which the child replied, "Yes".

Blimey, haven't times changed.

What's your opinion on this issue?

Happy reading!


gigdiary said...

'the only thing I had in my lunch box was a small bag of chips, a ham, cheese and tomato sandwich and an apple juice.'

Crikey... you've got enough there to feed an army. For a start a kid doesn't need the bag of chips, the sandwich is enough, and the fruit juice is just adding insult to injury with sugar overload. And that's your lunch box!

What the hell are they stuffing themselves with now?

Katie said...

I thought it was all common sense.. but, it's NOT. Surprisingly! A lot of people (parents included) don't even know what a portion size is and don't know the basics of healthy eating. This is scary. Your health is so important and especially with children you want to set them up with good eating habits… I don't know about receiving a letter from the school that seems a little strange. Surely they would have heard it from their family doctor. I don't know how I feel about this. Health is wealth I don't like the idea of sending a letter home to parents but I do like the idea of educating everyone on healthy eating and exercise


Siobhan said...

Love the blog, and this post in particular. You are right in noticing the changes in children's packed lunches from normal to gargantuan nowadays. I live in Scotland and couldn't agree more with the need to educate parents and children about healthy food. But perhaps it stems from laziness, its easier to shove crisps and sweeties into a lunchbox than make a sandwich and fruitsalad?

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