According to the Department of Health and Social Care nearly a third of children aged 2-15 are either overweight or obese. Weight gain normally occurs when a child's energy output is less than calories consumed and we’ve seen a sharp increase of overweight or obese children in the past few years.
There are number of different factors that contribute towards this increase, including behaviour, environment, genetics and culture. But with the proliferation of fast food, sugary drinks and unhealthy snacks all being marketed to children this is proving to be a huge issue for parents and schools.
We are seeing this burden falling the hardest on low income families where a 5 year old child is twice as likely to be obese. Also, if you are of this age group and a Black African you have a 31.2% chance of being obese compared to Indian children who have only a 14.5% chance.
There are many health implications linked to being overweight if it continues into later years. You are seven times more likely to become a type 2 diabetic than adults of a healthy weight which may cause blindness or limb amputation. And not only are obese people more likely to get physical health conditions like heart disease, they are also more likely to be living with conditions like depression.
There are now a number of new laws and initiatives being enforced by the government to help address this issue. Unless you never watch the news or drink (consume) fizzy drinks you’ll probably know about the sugar tax which came into to force in April this year, it was backed by legendary chefs Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Not only that but Public Health England are looking to challenge all manufacturers to reduce over all sugar across their products by 2020.
Huge companies across the UK are all looking to make their difference - Tesco also banned having sweets at the checkout replacing them with healthier alternatives and Cancer Research UK have called for a crackdown on junk food adverts to be banned until after the watershed.
What you can do? It’s not just up to bigger companies to help influence the amount of fatty/ sugary food we put into our bodies. The biggest influence comes from home. Even if you are a terrible cook there are plenty of companies out there trying to move the needle on healthy eating, including ourselves. We make sure that all of our meals are created with nutritional benefits in mind.
Studies show one of the best way to get kids to healthier is getting them involved with the cooking process, if you give them ownership over what they are cooking they are far more likely to try the finished (healthier) article. There are lots of great companies out there encouraging kids to start cooking but the guys over at Little Cook Box are one of our favourites they provide pre washed and chopped ingredients so that children aged 5-11 can rustle something up for themselves.
Make a change today for the greater good of the future generations.
Interested in giving Little Cook Box a try? Head over to their website and use code: EATFIRSTLCB10 to get 10% off.