Childhood obesity is a hot topic and with good reason. There is an estimated 1.5 million people in Australia under the age of 18 that are considered overweight or obese. This transcends into approximately 20-25% of Australian children being overweight or obese.
Alarmingly, if this trends continues one third of Australian children will be obese by 2020.
In a recent interview as part of her Australian Story episode ‘Building Bridges’ which aired on the ABC earlier this week, fitness trainer, business woman and media personality Michelle Bridges has also jumped on the wagon to address and tackle the issue of childhood obesity. In her story Michelle said:
“Having Axel has really made me think about how I can use what I’ve learnt about health and fitness to make a better life for kids like him. Potentially getting out there and putting some truth and hard-hitting messages around the junk food industry and the sugar industry. And the truth of the matter is: they sell crap food and make people sick. And that makes me angry.
I’d like to tackle the junk food industry the way that the tobacco industry was tackled 50-odd years ago. We’re now seeing children that potentially have a lifespan shorter than their parents. Never before have we ever seen that globally. We’re now seeing it. Why? I’d like to get out there and start fighting the fight for others who can’t fight the fight.”
Not only are children eating the wrong foods but they’re eating too much of it. The difficulty is that children will only eat what is put in front of them from their parents, which is not only establishing their eating behavior but also their future health.
Educating children at a young age about ‘sometimes’ foods, the importance of healthy food, the correct portion sizes of food and the speed they should be eating their food all contribute to their overall health and well-being both as a child and as they grow into adults.