How serious is the obesity crisis and what can be done?
The UK’s obesity crisis is a lot worse than people may think. In fact 71% of women and 61% of men do not meet the national recommendations of at least 30 minutes of exercise of at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity 5 times per week.
Exercise does not mean having to go to the gym. It can include taking the dog for a walk, doing housework, using the stairs instead of the lift if you work in an office, walking the kids to school, getting off the bus a stop or two before you need to, go for a walk at lunch time, and walk about when you’re on the phone. All of these things can add up. Furthermore, if your kids see you doing these, they are more likely to be active too.
The UK is one of the most overweight countries in Europe – The Heart and Social Care Information Centre 2010.
Research from Health Survey England data revealed that 1 in 4 adults are obese. More worrying 31% of children between the ages of 2 and 15 years are overweight or obese.
By 2034 Public Health England predict that 70% of adults and children will be overweight or obese.
This is a startling figure and not one to be taken lightly.
What can be done about it?
Schools and parents need to be educated around the causes, including healthy nutrition and the damage addictive computer games are having on children.
Do parents really know what their children are doing after school? (if they are at an age when they are independent) Please view my YouTube video (The UKs Obesity Crisis) to listen to some alarming research that I conducted with some secondary school children in a local McDonald’s establishment. I am sure this will be the same, or similar nationwide.
If all parents take control and limit the usage of tablets, smartphones and the like, this could be one way to resolve the problem. Even if establishments serve healthier options, the children will nearly always go for the unhealthier option, because it is advertised to look appealing.
Perhaps the education system could focus on nutrition in more detail as part of the curriculum, showing the harmful effects of consuming too many calories, fat, sugar, and the effects on long-term health.
Another option is to make after school clubs more fun and interactive if at all possible.