Parents need to take responsibility for childhood obesity

Parents of overweight or obese children should really be doing more in western society’s obesity epidemic.

Everybody is familiar with the saying: You are what you eat. And when it comes to children, they’re innocence overshadows them. They are what their parents eat. They’re not old enough to go shopping and opt to put healthy food in the trolley. They can’t choose what fruit or how much chocolate goes into their cupboards and fridge; let alone their school lunch boxes. More so, they shouldn’t choose what goes in the pantry because they aren’t mentally sound to choose healthy food over junk, and would probably opt for sugar-ridden sweets anyway. It’s fair to say that parents of overweight and obese kids need to be held partially accountable for their children’s corpulent diet and exercise regime.

Although bullying and low self-esteem leads to comfort eating in young children, the problem again reverts back to food in the house hold and parents being bad role models. Why are so many cupboards stocked up on junk food? Clearly parents are major culprits when kids have access to calorie saturated, pound stacking on food.

It’s a great thing that the Australian Government has brought in lunchbox regulations to lower the amount of inappropriate food packed by parents. But there’s a lot more to be done to alleviate this international obesity epidemic.

In 2009, Californian researchers found that adolescents are more probable to eat at least five servings of vegetables and fruit per day if their parents do. Furthermore, teenagers were more likely to drink soft drink and eat takeaway food if their parents did.

So really, it does come down to parents being role models and shot callers when it comes to diet. Why not invest in healthy, appropriate, low calorie foods for your children and promote exercising. Walk your children to school instead of catching the bus or dropping them off by car where possible. Walk to the shops if it’s close enough. It all begins with the home.

About Andrew Simmons

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