This Article is About
childhood obesity
fast food restaurants
child obesity
unhealthy snacks
sugary drinks
playing video games
poor nutrition
lack of exercise
food options
balanced meals
How To End Childhood Obesity
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How To End Childhood Obesity

Many assume that childhood obesity is only an issue within North America, but according to a BBC News report by Jennifer Pak, this is not the case. In her article she explains that the Malaysian health minister stated that Malaysia has the highest percentage of obese citizens in Southeast Asia. The article argues that the childhood obesity rate is so high due to the increase of fast food restaurants within Malaysia, as well as the heavy consumption of deep-fried, fatty and oily cuisine and sweet, sugary drinks within the country. The good news? They are doing something about it.

Teachers in Malaysia now have to measure their student's body weight and height to see if they have a healthy amount of body fat, and for the most part, the students are happy with the new rules, as they are afraid of becoming unhealthy and obese due to poor nutrition and inactivity.

Childhood obesity is a world-wide epidemic, and Malaysia has kick-started a campaign that we should all get behind. It is vital to know the facts about childhood obesity to prevent it, and it is up to the parents and care takers of children to spread awareness and offer alternatives to unhealthy snacks and low-energy activities such as playing video games or watching TV.

One of the main reasons behind child obesity is poor nutrition.The Jamie Oliver Foundation, a charity program started by TV Chef Jamie Oliver to educate as many people about healthy food is exactly the type of program needed world-wide. Jamie Oliver also began a program to get healthy, balanced meals into schools so that students could have fresh, well prepared food options instead of high calorie, high fat fast food options.

Another reason behind child obesity is lack of exercise. Television and video games are a commonplace activity for children, activities that encourage little energy and no outside time. Supporting children to take part in school activities, after-school sports or even just playing outside can help keep them at a healthy weight. Participating in activities with children is even more beneficial as there is no better way to teach a child than by doing it yourself! Bike riding, swimming, hiking and walking are all excellent family activities that will get you moving.

It can get more complicated when the reason for a child being overweight is due to their parent's lifestyle choices. If the parents suffer from obesity , their children have a higher risk of being obese as well, as the parents will, most likely, be providing poor nutritional diet choices and will not be encouraging activity. This situation makes integrating a healthy diet, activity and an overall understanding of weight in the school system even more important. If children are unable to access information at home, they should be able to find it at school.

Allowing children access to diet and exercise information and offering alternatives to unhealthy lifestyle choices such candy, video games and deep-fried fast-food would have an enormously positive effect on children, and would give them the power they needed to make healthier choices. Just as the children in Malaysia were supportive of being measured by their teachers to help them stay at a healthy weight, I believe most children would be happy to find programs, services, tools and information that would help them stay healthy and feel great.


Street Talk

Kyle  

I think it is great what Jamie Oliver is doing, but after watching a few of his shows, it is amazing to see the sort of resistance he hits at almost every school that he visits. They don't want to change and the administration in most cases is not willing to talk to him. Kids don't know any better. They learn from their parents and in many cases, from school. Education should start there...and it will trickle down. If kids grow up snacking on vegetables, they will continue this when they are older. I guess this is more of a case of kids "knowing what you know".

Reply
  about 7 years ago
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