Childhood Obesity – Our Responsibility

Almost a third of Irish children are now overweight and the country ranks 58th out of 200 countries for its proportion of overweight youths, new data shows.

Latest statistics show a 10-fold increase in the rate of obesity among Irish boys between 1975 and 2016, and a 9-fold increase among Irish girls!

Just 1 per cent of children in Ireland were classed as obese in 1975, but this has risen to 9 per cent among girls and 10 per cent among boys.

Irish boys rank 98th in the obesity charts and girls are 78th out of the 200, but there is more consistency in the country’s proportion of overweight children with both boys and girls coming in 58th place globally. This is a staggering rise in obesity levels within children over the years. And I place all blame on 2 things.

Ease of access and availability of sugar loaded foods/drinks
The publication of the research i mentioned above coincided with the introduction of a tax on sugar-sweetened drinks announced in the Budget at the end of last year, the first such tax to be imposed in Ireland.

Drinks with a sugar content of 8g per 100ml will be taxed at a rate of 30 cent per litre under the new measures, which are aimed at combating obesity rates in the State.

Representatives from the food and beverages industry have said it will do little to address the obesity epidemic and i am inclined to agree.

We as parents need to set the standards for our children

I may sound crude here but to me all children are born the same, some may be more or less developed in terms of weight but that’s where the line is drawn. It is solely up to us as parents to make sure we nourish and feed our children in the right manner. Maybe we need more education in terms of nutrition and calories etc but under no circumstances should a child become obese!

Body mass index (BMI) is a measure used to determine childhood overweight and obesity. Overweight is defined as a BMI at or above the 85th percentile and below the 95th percentile for children and teens of the same age and sex

Behaviors that influence excess weight gain include eating high-calorie, low-nutrient foods and beverages, not getting enough physical activity, sedentary activities such as watching television or other screen devices, medication use, and sleep routines.

In contrast, consuming a healthy diet and being physically active can help children grow as well as maintain a healthy weight throughout childhood. Balancing energy or calories consumed from foods and beverages with the calories burned through activity plays a role in preventing excess weight gain. In addition, eating healthy and being physically active also has other health benefits and helps to prevent chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Global obesity

Overall, rates of obesity among children and teenagers have soared 10-fold around the world in the past four decades according to the global study.

Between 1975 and 2016 the estimated number of obese boys in the world increased from six million to 74 million. Girls showed a similar trend, with their obesity figure rising from five million to 50 million over the same period.

What can we do as parents?

We have sole responsibility in what we give to and teach our children in terms of nutrition and we are their role models. We need to show them that eating healthy and being active is a normal lifestyle. Its a case of ‘Monkey see, monkey do’. Children develop habits and traits from what they see in front of them. If we eat unhealthy then the likelihood of our children doing the same is very high. If we don’t engage in physical activity then its unlikely our children will either. Now this is only my opinion but one that I fully believe. We should set the standards!! Who wouldn’t want to be able to play football with their children or run around the house or go on adventures with them? Being healthier and more educated on nutrition can start at any stage but don’t leave it too late or our children (and ourselves) may suffer.

If you want to chat more about changing your dietary habits or getting fit then don’t hesitate to give us a call here at sásta Carrick. We will be more than happy to help in whatever way we can and don’t forget about your FREE trial session if you want to see how it all works. Call us on 087 2026382 to find out more info or to book a session.

Thanks for reading,

Published by Ej

As far as I remember, I was always looking to make a difference in the world. I always look up to people such as Steve Jobs, Ilan Musk, Tony Robbins, Tim Ferris, Richard Branson, Seth Godin, Aubrey Marcus and many more (I can provide a list for whomever ones 😉 ) My other big passion is self-development and personal growth. Through tools such as courses (e.g. The Landmark Forum), books (e.g. ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’, ‘Compound Effect’, ‘Magic of Thinking Big’, ‘The One Thing’, ‘The Miracle Morning’), podcasts (e.g. Tim Ferris Show, Aubrey Marcus Podcasts, The Joe Rogan Experience). I always strive to improve myself – be a better person, a better father, a better human being. Besides trying to improve myself, I really want to share and encourage other people to take on their personal development, growth and inner state. I share the techniques and practises that work for me, people that I follow and books that had an impact on my life. I strongly agree with what Steve Jobs said ‘only people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.’ I love my life, and I love what I do. But it wasn’t always like that. It all started seven years ago. I was working at the call centre. I used to ring people and collect on defaulted credit card accounts. I hated my job. I remember walking into the office and strolling down the aisle dragging my feet. I could feel this soft green, dirty carpet underneath me. I wanted to leave but never had courage. And one day and had an opportunity to move on and I took it. I went. After all, I was so excited because I always wanted to start my own business. And I thought I’ll start my business I’ll be rich and happy, and the only problem I’ll have is to decide where my private island will be. And everything will be like in movies. I always wanted to be an entrepreneur, so I could be successful, give more to my family, especial my beautiful wife. But if I’m honest, what I really wanted was to prove to the world and myself that I can do it. That I can be successful. I just wanted to be like those that I admired Richard Brandon, and Steve Jobs and Bill Gates). I just wanted to be one of them. I just wanted to be cool.

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