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National School Lunch Week, The Childhood Obesity Epidemic

October 11, 2011

When I was contacted by The University of Southern California to share these horrific statistics in celebrating National School Lunch Week, I simply could not refuse. Childhood obesity and all its associated health problems has had a significant impact on all areas of Health Science and Public Health and is an ever increasing worldwide problem. Almost daily I am confronted with overweight children on the school playground and in our school and community swimming pool. I am always shocked that young children can be this neglected. It is certainly a case of over eating and under nourishing. We must also remember however, that it is not only overweight children (and adults) that are running the risk of health issues. There are many, many people who are skinny and equally under nourished. Unfortunately this always equates to a lack of education on the part of parents and with that the sad consequences of ill health and the various social issues that accompany this phenomenon.

I  hope that these statistics will create an awareness that our health, and the health of our children, is directly related to what we eat and the type of life we lead.  National School Lunch Week, runs this week until October 14th.

Childhood Obesity Epidemic Infographic

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. October 11, 2011 9:06 PM

    Thanks for sharing this, Edwina. It’s hard work to swim against the flow. But statistics like this encourage me to stick to how I bring up my kids, with healthy foods, lots of exercise and education about what’s good for them and what’s not and why. So many people consider rubbish food as acceptable, because everyone does it. Education is the key, for parents, kids and teachers.

    • October 11, 2011 9:10 PM

      Yes, Anja I coudn’t agree more. I sent this on to our school’s PE Department, since I know they are working on a health and fitness campaign at the moment. Please feel free to send the link on to your child’s school too. It is only through awareness and education that we can hope to make positive changes to these horrific statistics. I praise and admire your efforts!

  2. October 12, 2011 12:58 AM

    SO alarming. Wow.

  3. Victoria Cottino. U.K. permalink
    October 12, 2011 12:13 PM

    A huge subject Edwina and a great article. The other night I listened to Jamie Oliver on a chat show, as you know he has struggled to win the US over with his healthy eating plan for kids. He also had a tough time here with the government and dinner ladies. He converted some but said he had no help and has made some enemies. His comment was ” when will it be understood that feeding our kids rubbish on a daily basis is a form of child abuse?” I completely agree,it’s a lifestyle and culture thing and it needs to be taught. The problem I find is that the people who are really engaged in this are the ones who are doing it right and alot of those who need the help just don’t care or aren’t interested. However there is always somebody who listens and it will change their life.

  4. October 12, 2011 5:40 PM

    Oh Vix, I completely agree. I though so much of Jamie and his efforts when I was writing this. I intended for this blog to help those who need the motivation and education to feed their families well. As you say the ones that really need it are not the ones reading food blogs. Maybe I should give my blog a sexier/racier title in order to attract the right audience?

  5. October 12, 2011 9:32 PM

    Those are shocking stats – and the UK is not much better I suspect. We are sitting on a tocking time bomb… Thanks for sharing.

  6. October 14, 2011 8:46 AM

    shocking statistics…thanks for sharing. They should do a survey in the UAE, though I don’t the results would be very different. In the US, much of the problem stems from poor family finances (you end up eating at McDonalds and other fast food joints) – but my sense is that in Dubai, it’s more of a lack of awareness and diet control issue.

    • October 14, 2011 1:48 PM

      It is so unfortunate that real food can actually cost more than a BIg Mac. The only way to tackle this problem is for governments to step in and say enough. However, the problem is much bigger than that. Drug companies of course are making a fortune on sick people. If we can create some awareness among people so that they will be healthier, their medical bills will go down, medical aids will be happier and dare I say it, fast food and companies that manufacture ready meals (how you can call that a meal only they will know) will have less of a hold on people. Long live the slow food movement.

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