Thursday, August 18, 2011

Focus on kids again!

In todays newspaper, the so-called experts on kids nutrition have come up with five major points in turning around the child obesity problem!    This includes sending the kids to kinder and school with a healthy lunch box.  Don't give the kids too much pocket money to spend at the school tuck shop.  Bring back PE to the school curriculum.  Encourage kids to play outdoors - balance their "sit-down" computer fascination with some outdoor games where they actually run around!  And a couple of other pointers.

Now the latest news is that the Victorian Government is going to spend $40million in bringing in the Jamie Oliver's Healthy School Lunches campaign.

Obesity in children is a concern to all of us.   And it should be fought from as many sides as possible - yes, the lunch box is important and very important.  (We've spoken about the fact that school tuck shops lost the plot years ago when they brought in cheap, fatty foods like chips, dim sims, pies and so forth with no alternatives to choose from.  And tell me, what kid will pass up some chips in preference to a lettuce and cheese sandwich, without an argument anyway?)  But what happened to the Oslo lunch - surely that was full of nutrition and healthy - wouldn't it be a little cheaper to promote this again through tuck shops and to parents?

The influence of TV advertising has to be countered as well.   Heavily loaded advertisements with food that kids take to, which include lots of sugary, fatty content, need to be monitored - healthy food substitutes need to be given similar airtime - advertisers take note.

On the other hand, and we're strong on this too.  Parents don't need to be harrassed and burdened with the guilt placed on them based on their being "bad parents" because they feed their children the wrong (bad) food.   Most parents feed their kids good healthy food, and yet the kids still tend towards getting fatter.

Parents are becoming very concerned that they'll be seen as "abusing" their children by making them fat!

I know we've been saying this for decades now, and we'll keep repeating it until someone, somewhere, comes up with an explanation that satisfies everyone (and this especially relates to parents).   Will someone please tell us EXACTLY what is in the food we eat.  Yes, we know, here in Australia all food must be labelled as to its ingredients, but who amongst us knows precisely what certain chemicals/additives are; what they do; and whether there is any risk in adding them to foodstuffs.  Firstly we have genetically modified foods (they last longer and they don't go "off").  Surely that means there's something that turns food into what it isn't and had never started out to be?  Secondly manufacturers are now claiming they're reducing the sugar/fat/salt content in their foods.  Will this achieve a good result? As well, why do manufacturers claim "no ADDED sugar or fat or salt", this doesn't mean that the product has NO sugar or fat or salt.  Don't believe everything you see on the packets!

 If kids (and grown ups too) have become "addicted" or used to heavy sweetenings, heavy salt and fat content in their foods, surely it's going to take a while to break down that addiction?  It won't be overnight!

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