Weaning children off the junk food


 We also have a large section of people, who simply care two hoots to fitness regimen and good food habits. The offshoot of which being an alarming escalation in the obesity rate among people including children.

A school teacher said, “Recently, a std IV girl, feeling suddenly woozy, collapsed in the class. Her medical reports indicated the girl was highly anaemic. The news indeed staggered her parents, who couldn’t believe this especially because the girl was rather on the heavier side. There’s this fallacy that rotund-framed individuals are healthier and sturdier. On further investigation, it was found that the girl frittered away all her daily pocket money on cakes and pastries and heartily gorged on them, shunning all home food.”

Just surf through any television channel. You are blitzed with an avalanche of ads, endorsing all kinds of junk food — pizzas, burgers, colas, chocolates, wafers, and what not. As if this isn’t enough, there are burgeoning bistros and roadside eateries, serving food, most of which are virtually bereft of nutritive elements. Even if there is some nutrition like in cases of fruit salad, etc, they are prepared and placed in such unhygienic conditions, suffice to make one’s digestive system go kaput.

Furthermore, most of them contain surplus unsaturated fat that tucking them on a regular basis, is sure to make one obese. And to whittle off those unhealthy flab and unsightly love-handles, truly is a gargantuan task. Apparently, a heavy price for those transient moments of gustatory pleasure.

Says a medical practitioner, “It used to baffle me when techies in their mid 20s, used to visit me with complaints of excruciating knee-pain, backache, eyestrain, even cardio-vascular disorders. But today I have pre-teen age patients visiting me with similar complaints. Many of them are over-weight, thanks to unhealthy food habits; having no outdoor recreational activities and being eternally hooked to the boob-tube. Medical reports reveal that in over 75 per cent cases, obesity in childhood, leads to obesity in adulthood. And most of diabetes cases are obesity-related.”

Money at one’s disposal

A concerned parent says, “You can see our children perpetually thronging the opposite side bakery, replete with uber-high calorie items. They wangle some hefty pocket money from their well-heeled working parents to gobble up those stuffs. And with parents away, they don’t bother about home cooked food.”

Some children, however, do have grandparents staying with them. Though they try their best, they don’t have energy to wheedle these children into biting the right food. Interestingly the parents themselves, who come home in late evenings, with knackered bodies and frazzled nerves, won’t be in that frame of mind, to discriminate between the healthy and unhealthy food. They stoke themselves up with whatever food they lay their hands on, before hitting the sack.

So how does one wean today’s children on good food habits? Well, if parents adhere to structured healthy habits, the children would subliminally follow suit. Parents should din into children’s brains the deleterious effects of being obese and unhealthy. Also they should delineate the cardinal importance of having good food, comprising nutrients like iron, proteins, calcium, minerals, et al. They should explicitly explain how these nutrients help in keeping the human body in fine fettle, and buffer it against possible infections/health disorders. Raw veggie salads and cocktail fruit juice could be made a part of the daily menu.

Indeed it’s high time people realised the ramifications of reckless cramming of food and subsequent obesity. After all, one has to eat to live and not live to eat!

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