Has Healthy Eating Gone Too Far?
While I understand that healthy eating is an important part of life, I must confess that I enjoy brussel sprouts as much as the rest of the population. I was always brought up to believe that a balanced diet was the best way to achieve a healthy lifestyle; eat healthily but don't deprive yourself of the odd treat was the general Modus Operandi.
Unfortunately, it seems not everyone enjoys my ethic and a recent BBC report
has shown that teens are eating fewer crisps to stay healthy. While this is an admirable act, the report also details how many youngsters are now skipping meals to lose weight.
This second announcement is a severe cause for concern and something which needs urgent attention before it gets out of hand. Healthy eating is important but when it's prompting our children to miss meals altogether then it has gone too far.
In terms of figures, the ten year period between 2000 and 2010 saw the amount of crisps and sweets eaten on a regular basis halved. Whilst a third of children ate cereals laced with sugar in 1987, nowadays this figure has halved to just 16%.
Teens are also eating more vegetables, with the number of kids admitting to eating them on a regular basis increasing by one third since 1999.
Unfortunately, some youngsters have taken their efforts too far and started to miss meals in an attempt to stay thin. Two years ago, a third of those aged around fourteen or fifteen ate nothing for breakfast. One quarter of this age group also skipped the occasional lunch.
The number of children abandoning their lunches has grown significantly since 1986. Older children were most guilty of meal-skipping, with a large number of them naming "wanting to lose weight" as the primary reason.
So, how can we keep the benefits of healthy eating without overloading our children with pressure about their appearance or body shape?
Well, of course, I am going to recommend my patented 'eat the things you like and some healthy bits' philosophy. Set up a weekly (or bi-weekly) takeaway night where you and the family enjoy a treat.
Use some great vouchers to get money off some fantastic organic and healthy produce
to pop in their lunchbox and remind them that being healthy does not necessarily mean being a size 6.