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Importance of Health and Nutrition in the Classroom

29 Feb 2020

Importance of Health and Nutrition in the Classroom

By Ryan Crawley 

Obesity is out of control. There is no other way to put it. The “supersizing” culture is damaging our health. Treating every meal like an all you can eat buffet is not just personally irresponsible, but it should be viewed as socially irresponsible as well.

The United Kingdom at last look is the sixth fattest nation in the world. The obesity rate for adults in the UK is at about 27 per cent and then there is another 37 per cent that is merely considered overweight. This means that about 65 per cent of adults are fat.

While most people feel that this is a personal choice and others should not be so concerned about it, this is the narrow way of thinking.

More Than Just Extra Weight

Being overweight brings on a slew of health issues. Heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers are brought on by carrying around too many pounds. If you live in a country that requires health insurance, it raises everyone’s premiums substantially when over half the population is severely out of shape. Of course, in the UK, most residents are entitled to free healthcare. But that doesn’t mean you get a free pass.

How long is the wait to see a doctor in the UK for your health issues? In many places, you are looking at an average of a three-week wait. You can expect the wait to get even longer as more people have to head in to see the doctor for weight-related issues. You may think that heart conditions run in your family. But the truth of the matter is that heart conditions are in your family because nobody runs in your family.

Poor Health and Nutrition Is Being Passed Down to the Children

If we can prevent a life of obesity for our children, then we must do our best to make this a reality. Just by looking at the 2019 data from the National Child Measurement Programme in England, the numbers are quite startling.

  • About 10 percent of children ages 4 and 5 are already obese.
  • Another 13 percent of 4 and 5-year-olds are considered to be “only” overweight.
  • For 10 and 11-year-olds, 20 percent are obese and nearly 15 percent are “merely” overweight. 

Unfortunately, children that are obese will have a much higher chance of being obese as adults as well. They will continue to eat more and have lower levels of physical activity throughout life. This is not a future to look forward to. A lifetime of sitting on the couch, binging Netflix, and eating a box of Ding Dongs does not sound like a productive one.

Every Educator Must Step in to Teach Health and Nutrition

A teacher’s job is to educate the youth of today on everything from academics to sports to social and emotional learning. More and more is being put on our plates. However, it is time for all of us to step in and focus more on health and nutrition and convince kids to literally put less on their dinner plates (and breakfast and lunch as well).

Whether you are a parent or a teacher, look around your school district and take a good look. How many adults do you see working at the school that are overweight? Perhaps health and nutrition should not just be taught to the students. It should be a focal point across the board from the students to the teaching staff to the maintenance people.

Obesity Needs to Be Addressed in Every Nation

I hold an opinion that is not quite politically correct, but in this day and age, what exactly is considered politically correct anymore? You are always stepping on somebody’s toes. With this said, obesity must be viewed in the same way that smoking is now looked at.

It should be considered socially unacceptable to sit down in a restaurant and eat three plates of food. If you are travelling somewhere on a plane and can’t fit into one seat because of your weight, then you should have to purchase an additional seat as well. Having a positive body image is one thing, but perhaps this is just an out for being lazy. Why should anyone have a love for their body if they are morbidly obese? After all, aren’t gluttony and sloth two of the seven deadly sins?

Obesity is a weakness that can be beaten with pure willpower and a little bit of knowledge. If we can set a good example for our children, then we need to do our best to do so!