Adults and children alike need energy-giving foods to function properly and endure the hustle and bustle of each day. That is why nutritious and balanced meals are paramount to good health especially for growing children. The problem is with our fast-paced life and modern technology that render a more sedentary lifestyle and less physical activity, we take food for granted and oftentimes just end up eating whatever is available quick and easy regardless of whether it would give us the nutrients we need.
Majority, if not all, children love eating fat laden and sugar-high junks like French fries, candies, ice cream, chocolates, salty chips and crackers in excess. With the adjunct of fast food promoting commercials and easy availability, consequently children tend to develop horrendous appetites and end up obese or beyond their weight limit based on biological age and sex. Specifically in the UK, a study discovered that for every four 11-to-15-year-olds, one is obese or overweight.
On the National Diet and Nutrition Survey (2000), it was stated that 6 of 10 girls and 4 of 10 boys are not doing the minimum physical exertion of one hour/day as suggested by the health education authority.
Based on research, children who are obese are prone to acquire serious health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and even coronary artery disease. This is basically because our bodies are like machines; obese children’s organs function double time or much harder because of the excess load in the form of fats even when they are not fully formed yet, thus altering the normal growth process. Also, a poor diet with high unhealthy calories and unbalanced nutrition affects children’s growth and development that may lead to slow brain functioning, joint disorders, poor muscle and neurologic controls, bad eyesight and other sensory dysfunctions.
Aside from suffering the biological compensation discussed above, a more serious and not too obvious trepidation that obesity causes in children is psychological distress. Being bullied as fat and obnoxious, nearly all overweight children suffer from poor self-esteem and low confidence level, thus making them feel isolated and even depressed, which can also cause poor performance in school and overall social and life skills. Coupled with the advent of computer technology, these kids spend hours playing online games, chatting, virtual social networking, and Facebooking, practically getting isolated and socially incapacitated.
These are but major concerns that should alarm parents to give utmost priority to their children’s diet and nutrition.