From Your Health Journal…..”A great article from the Irish Times on nutrition and obesity. Obesity is on the rise with young children, and many feel their diet is a big cause. Obviously, lack of exercise and too much technology is a big factor as well. Many children have unhealthy school lunches. Please visit the Irish Times web site (link below) to read the complete article.”
From the article…..
The lunchbox of a school child was found to contain a packet of digestive biscuits and butter when it was opened in the classroom, Fine Gael TD Patrick O’Donovan told the Dáil.
He said when the teacher met the mother, “she pointed out that she had not given her child chocolate biscuits”.
The former teacher said he was using the example to highlight the “significant awareness problem” in the population about nutrition and healthy eating. Childhood obesity was largely linked to behaviour and “the earlier one intervenes to change behaviour, the better”.
He believed obesity was the most important public health issue the State would face for a generation and warned: “We will lose a generation.”
Mr O’Donovan said that in 1990, one in 10 Irish men was classified as obese. Today the figure is one in four. “Will it be one in two or even worse in 20 years’ time” he asked.
The Limerick TD, who has frequently raised the issue of childhood obesity, called for a rewards mechanism to be introduced in schools to encourage children into healthier eating. He suggested a scheme similar to the green flag environment initiative where schools are awarded flags for improvements in areas such as litter and waste recycling, which had resulted in significant reductions in littering.
He said it had to be an ongoing programme. RTÉ’s The John Murray Show and others were doing fantastic work but “not too many people discuss Operation Transformation in June or July”.
The Department of Finance or someone might suggest the best way to tackle obesity was to put an extra 10 cent on soft drinks , he said.