Fat Kids

Have you heard “Oh, it’s ok, it’s just baby fat!” ?

Well, baby-fat turns into ‘puppy’ fat which turns into adult fat. Kids that are overweight, are more likely to turn into adults that remain overweight.

It can sometimes be traced to genetics, but it’s more often down to too much food, particularly junk food, and too little exercise.

Kids used to play in the street, or at the park, and more and more now sit in front of the computer, TV, or games console for hours on end instead.

Kids don’t need to be put on fancy diets either. That can often promote unhealthy ideas later in life, and give kids the impression that they need to be picky and fussy about what they eat. It’s good for parents to lead by example. No good telling junior they shouldn’t eat candy or fast food junk and should exercise if they frequently see you snacking on chocolate or pizza while not moving from the couch all day.

It’s no going to work if you suddenly decide to go on a healthy eating regime, and expect them to follow along without protest either.

Just stop buying one or two items. Cut back on chips. Let them have one bag a week, not three bags a day. The same with soda. It works best for ourselves, and for kids too, if we’re gradually weaned off the junk.

Try and make time to sit at the dinner table and eat, not at the TV. It promotes family conversation too, and gives you an opportunity to show enthusiasm for healthy options, by talking about them. Educate kids about what is best for them, but don’t ban them from junk totally or they’ll simply rebel and go buy it with their allowance behind your back in any case.

Often too, it’s good to cut back on portion size. Remember that your body takes about 20 mins to tell your brain that’s it’s full, so try and eat more slowly. Make it more of a family event, rather than the latest TV episode. You’ll all enjoy your food more, and less food will be more filling, and without feeling stuffed and bloated afterward.

Is Obesity In Your Genes?

Professor Mike Gibney of the new Institute of Food and Health at University College, Dublin thinks it could well be.

He has taken the statistics and turned them around to show that most people are not in fact obese. Why is this? Did they live in a different area, go to different schools or eat different food to their obese counterparts?

No.

Studies on indentical twins have shown that they show huge overlap in their tastes, and also the amounts of food they eat, and the rate at which they eat it.

People aren’t simply choosing food based on income or a lack of education, but on similar choices to other family members, and not simply those they live with.

Professor Gibney also feels that physical exercise is important, and that we need to move our environments to encourage that.

Desks could be arrnage so that users can stand at them for periods of time, instead of being constantly seated, and also there could be communal exercise bikes in offices for example.

If food scientists have been finding so many ways to make more and more profits for food manufacturers at the expense of the consumer, then perhaps it’s time for science to work the other way around, and for the benefit of those that are actually eating the end product.