Just 15 years ago, less than 3 percent of new cases of childhood diabetes were Type 2 diabetes (NIDDM, or what we used to call “adult onset”). Now, it is nearly 50 percent of all new cases of diabetes in children – and rising.
This should make us all get off our chubby butts and stand up in our homes, communities and schools and get busy creating healthier environments for children.
We need to seize and restore our children’s taste buds (and their future well-being) with real food and a healthy dose of education, because letting your dearly-loved child become fat is not being kind or loving – it’s lazy and it’s cruel! This is what we should be debating in public forums today.
Being a fat child introduces a baby (yes, there is a huge rise in obese babies), through no fault of their own, to a life-time of disorders ranging from bullying, discrimination and low self esteem, to a multitude of crippling mental and physical disorders and, ultimately, a shortened lifespan.
Sick and unhealthy children have been shown to have a significant achievement gap, doing less well in school and throughout their lives – even denying them the capacity to optimise future earnings! (A study published in the British Medical Journal finds the healthier you are, the richer you will become.)
Elephant in the Room…
We are too busy hiding cigarettes behind the shop counters to notice the real elephant in the room!! Our children’s health has been hijacked by the food industry, the internet and downright lazy parenting.
How is this ultimately going to affect our national economy, as these unhealthy and overweight children grow up to pass their non-existent self-care skills on to their children?
This really should make us all stop whatever we are doing and become health activists.
It’s not just about exercise either, as you can never out-run a bad diet. ‘Failure to exercise’ will yet again become the whipping boy for this looming crisis, simply because it diverts attention, and doesn’t encroach on food industry profits.
Real food needs to be bought back into the health equation because genetically that’s what we require to survive, thrive and reach our full potential. We have to lobby to change food marketing to parents and children, tax high-sugar, high-salt and trans-fat food, and limit access to junk food in our schools and neighbourhoods.
It seems we can do it if we want to for cigarettes….
We need to do a better job of protecting our children and their future.