Wednesday 2 September 2015

RANT: Childhood Obesity - What Is To Blame? (YB)

It seems everywhere you turn, there is some talk about childhood obesity and I wanted to voice my opinion.

You've got know-it-all chefs like Jamie Oliver telling the world and their children what they should and should not eat, when really, all he cares about is getting his name out their, and making money.

Then there is the government dictating to people what their children should and shouldn't be allowed to eat. Acting like people are incapable of looking after their own children, treating adults like children!

And that brings me onto my opinion...

When I was a young child - 25 years ago, I was 7 years old - my spare time was spent playing out - be that with the kids that lived nearby, my friends from school, on my bike on my own, using my imagination - but always active. Then, 20 years ago, I was 12 years old, almost a teen and at senior school, a lot of my spare time involved going for a walk with my best friend or going into town shopping or just looking around the shops.

Kids nowadays, get not near enough exercise - has anyone stopped to think that this could indeed be the cause of childhood obesity?

When my eldest was younger, we always tried to encourage to play, but the more technology became and everyday piece of life, the less he wanted to do. Now as a 12 year old, despite our protests, he spends most of his time glued to his iPad - be it playing games or watching TV! Sometimes we take away his iPad as we get so sick of it, and get him crafty stuff to at least try and promote creativity and imagination, if he can't be encouraged to go out with his friends and play or do something.

His life is centred around technology. He's not obese, but his lifestyle could make him so. What I'm saying is, maybe the biggest cause of childhood obesity, is technology - the distraction from real life, the thing that stops children going out with their friends and playing as instead they can sit there on their tablets playing online games against each other and chatting online.

So there is the government preaching about childhood obesity, the very people who force technology on people more and more - insisting that absolutely everyone should be online. So instead of forcing ridiculous food changes to stop childhood obesity, maybe they should stop forcing technology on everyone and start making more ways for and encouraging children to get out there and play and interact in person with their friends more often!

Just recently, I saw that Tesco had took Ribena off the shelves in an effort to help solve childhood obesity. And of course, most supermarkets you go into now sell only oven chips rather than frying chips. All in a bid to force people to be more healthy while the real problems get ignored.

We are babied by the government, they even treat us adults like children that need telling what they can and can't do, what they can and can't eat. And then they feel the need to take over the upbringing of our children as well - OUR children.

I think exercise and a good diet are essential to curb childhood obesity, but that does not mean we need to take away every scrap of fun food and drink - it's all about doing it in moderation, making sure they eat a good varied diet with plenty of fruit and veg but also get plenty of exercise.

So if Jamie Oliver and the government really care, they need to stop solely preaching about the food children eat and get out there and make more children get active and get away from technology!


  1. I totally agree - put the tech down and get outside to play. Try to get your children to join as many after school sports clubs as they can. You never know, they might like it. My daughter goes to badminton which she loves and is free at her school. However, all these activities after school impacts on her homework, which in my opinion she gets too much of. But that's another issue!

  2. I have 4 children and two are often found attached to ipads but while he suns been out i have made them go outside and play , we have a very big garden luckily and they are happy to spend hours outside making potions, riding bikes and scooters and playing on the trampoline. I agree clubs are a great way to encourage fitness both my girls do majorettes and one comes with me to zumba weekly, i think its a mixture of parents finding it easy to give in to technology and also there are more and more people struggling to buy food each week so i think more people go for the easy routes of freezer food or quick meals, when i was younger even though both my parents worked we always had a cooked dinner and its one of the traditions ive carried on with my own children. We do indulge once a week in take away but always have roast each week and i make most things from scratch. Fortunatly i have the time to do this at the moment, others i know arent so lucky xx

  3. Couldn't agree more, children spend far too much time "playing" indoors on technology rather than getting outside and physically playing and experiencing the world. THe amount of children that are now afraid to get dirty and have fun is growing and it is such a shame, I encourage my children to get out as much as possible and love getting involved with them, getting wet and dirty myself.

  4. Very well written and true! I could not agree more. It is a shame that our children can not go out to play, climb trees, making mud pies and daisy chains. They are missing out on so much!!

  5. I totally agree with you, both the government and celebrities are just out to make as much money as they can whilst trying to make us believe everything they say is correct! I was always outside as a child and really enjoyed playing with my friends, but it's true these days that technology had well and truly taken over, tablets, laptops, playstation even Netflix, that's all my girls seem to be bothered with. I do encourage them to play out but after a while they're bored so come back in straight on technology!! Can't win!!