Seeing seriously overweight kids in my work as a GP makes me angry, because they could be looking at their lifespan being reduced by up to 20 years!!
If a child is obese at 6 years old research shows they’re likely to stay that way.
The emotional issues are enough on their own, and dying before their parents is grim. But then there’s the misery of all the weight related illness before they die, and what about their kids?
Kids are getting fatter for the same reasons adults are.
Top 3 Reasons Kids Are Getting Fatter
- Not enough fruit and vegetables – a lot of kids don’t even eat the ‘5 a day’, which isn’t enough anyway in my opinion
- Too much added sugar and refined carbs – basically it’s not normal food to eat, so it’s going to have bad consequences
- Too much meat and dairy – intake has steadily increased since the war and it’s not waistline friendly
Meat and dairy have a lot of saturated fat (don’t be fooled that chicken is healthy) and too much of it makes people heavier – lots of research backs this up.
Sugar and refined carbs have become a normal part of the diet in the West, but they are not normal foods to eat. They are ultra-fattening and addictive.
Fruit and veg are packed with vitamins, minerals, and the smaller nutrients which:
- Increases energy levels which is likely to increase activity
- Gives the raw materials for actually burning calories efficiently
Kids are sometimes not keen of real food like fruit and veg because their taste buds have literally be ruined with refined sugar.
Overweight Kids – Who Is Responsible?
This depends on the age of the overweight kids.
In young kids who rely on adults to feed them – it’s totally down to the adults who feed them.
Teenagers obviously are making more and more choices for themselves. If they’ve been primed well in their earlier years about nutrition and decide to make poor choices, what can the parents do at that points – probably not a lot.
This checklist is just as relevant for overweight kids as it is for their parents and grandparents:
Fat kids is undoubtedly a contentious issue, what are your views?
Have a thoughtful week.