21 Apr 2021
By Ryan Crawley,
Poor eating habits has led children in the United Kingdom to become overweight or clinically obese. Obesity also increases the students’ risk for diabetes and other health conditions. It leads to the kids becoming overweight or obese later on in life as adults as well. Deficient eating habits in kids is brought on by poor parental guidance and a lack of knowledge about proper nutrition.
Teachers are being asked to do more and more in schools. Many parents leave the discipline of their children up to their teacher. They have left all their academic progress up to the teacher as well. Unfortunately, now we are being asked to regulate the food students eat because of a lack of parenting.
Parents can read the nutrition labels and prepare quality meals for their kids, but they choose not to. Currently in the U.K. sixty-six percent of the men and sixty percent of the women are considered overweight or obese. They are now passing on their bad diets and poor health to their kids. Secretary of Health says that raising rates in childhood obesity are a national emergency.
There is so much we cannot control in this world, but a bad diet is definitely something we can manage and turnaround. It is up to educators to offer advice and prepare knowledge to impart on the youth of today. Parents are failing at this job, so it falls on to the school system. What are the first steps to educating students and reducing obesity?
Everyone has had to learn the basic food groups in school, usually several times over. However, while we learn what food goes in what group, we do not learn how to eat entirely healthy. When was the last time a teacher has told their students that if they eat fast food, gobble down candy, and drink liters of soda everyday that they will be fat? I inform my students of this every year. Some of them laugh and some of them actually listen. A few of my students have relayed to me that their parents did not appreciate the bluntness of my message. All of these parents were either overweight or obese, and none of them ever came to me in person to express their concerns about my verbiage.
We almost have to become personal trainers for the students. We have to have them monitor their food intake and increase their physical activity. We cannot be with them every minute of the day, so we have to prepare them appropriately. Once again, this is something that is newly added to the job of being a teacher. Do not be ashamed if you feel you do not have the proper experience or information to pass on to the students. Like any other content area, you will learn it.
It could be something as simple as starting every year off in Science with a nutrition unit. Something they could then carry with them throughout the year. Students could learn how to read labels on all food products, then make a food diary that shows what they eat on a daily basis. Basically, they will be counting calories and dividing them up appropriately to include all food groups.
They could figure out how the higher the fat content, the more damaging it is to your health. Students will be educated on what causes them to become overweight, and how to change their diet to fix it. If kids continue this lifestyle of being overweight, they will run into health problems throughout the rest of their lives. And once again, if the parents are failing to do their duty as responsible mothers and fathers, then it is up to the school system and educators to do the job.
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