The thing with the obesity crisis today is that we need to understand firstly that parents love their children. They’re never going to want their children to eat something that’s bad for them or to hurt them in any way…As parents we’ll always do the best we can with the recourses we have to hand, either by what you know or what you can afford and this isn’t something we can heap on parents in terms of guilt.
The actual problems I see from my decade of working in the Health and Wellness are:
1. Misleading and/or Misguided Information – We get told silly things like fruit is sugar and this person should be shot ;) because fruit tastes sweet it’s not sugar, it’s not bad for you. Fruit is a cornerstone of a healthy diet and we’re afraid to eat it!
Another example is Fat; we’re always told it’s bad for you. So, we feed our children Fat-Free this, Low Fat, Nutrient deficient food. But again, Fat is another cornerstone to a healthy diet and yet we’re all avoiding it because we’re told it’s bad!
2. Advertising for Junk Food – It’s everywhere! I’m super pleased and in favor that Sadiq Khan has said that we cannot advertise Junk Food in public anymore which is absolutely incredible, bring it on!
3. Availability – If you’re a child and you’re hungry, you’re going to eat whatever you can get your hands on…If it’s junk food, that’s what I am going to eat because the healthy stuff is harder to get your hand on, they’re pushed for time, and all they want to do is hit the playground.
4. It’s Expensive! – Eating healthily can be incredibly expensive…If you’re to walk into a shop and pick up a mango costing around £1.70 and you can get a full Junk Meal for £2.00 what do you think a child is going to buy when they only have X amount of money?
This is really important for us to understand and recognise. We’ve set this scenario up for our children, it is our responsibly as a community to understand that these are some of the things that we are doing wrong.
Junk Food has millions of pounds of advertising spent on it each year, and I would love somebody to come along and spend that money subsidizing fresh fruit, salads, and foods…So please bring on the sugar tax, if it’s full of junk – JUST TAX IT!
Once our children leave our homes in the morning with their lunch money, we cannot tell them what to eat, they’re going to buy what is easily accessible and affordable when they are HUNGRY. They’re not going to say ‘I will wait until I get home and have a salad’ because they’re hungry and need food!
It’s time we start treating Junk Food like the poison it is!