Over-eating and the consumption of fast food has become a habit of entertainment. Once students get out of school, they want to grab a burger from the local Burger King with their friends because it’s “fun” or because it’s something to do. It is more amusing to eat out than it is to eat a home-cooked meal. It is more convenient and more satisfying, but do people think about the long term repercussions of frequently eating fast food?
The articles “Childhood Obesity Could Cost London '£111m' a Year” by BBC News and “Obesity Rates Higher Among London School Children Than Anywhere in UK” by Evening Standard have a lot to say about the statistics of obesity, but do little to propose solutions to fix the issue. One article claims that “it found 11.6% of four to five-year-olds [in London] were obese which increases to 21.8% in the 10-11 age group. Another 160,000 children are overweight” (BBC News). The article by Evening Standard proposes to “bring in signs across the Tube and train network to encourage walking between stops, including distance, time taken to walk and calories this would burn off” to remedy the obesity epidemic. However, the former article claims that “walking schemes” were least effective in promoting a healthier lifestyle for youth.
This apparent disagreement between these articles is a direct example of how difficult it would be to decrease the statistics of obesity. It is easier said than done. Pushing for the removal of fast food restaurants near schools is not something that can happen overnight. Large fast food companies capitalize on overweight and obese individuals who have had unhealthy eating habits their whole lives. Although it isn’t impossible, this solution would take an extreme amount of time and effort.
Jeff Speck talks about making cities more “walkable” in his TEDtalk “The Walkable City”. Although it is something that can happen, most of the effort to live a more active lifestyle must come from the people themselves. Just because Boston, for example, installs more walkable sidewalks and safe platforms for cycling, does not mean that obese people will walk or bike more. It will just make things more convenient for those who already have active lifestyles. This measure won’t cure laziness.
In order to decrease the percentage of people who are obese, healthy lifestyles must be established by parents from birth. Healthy living starts at home. Just as we discussed in class, children need to be taught that fitness comes from eating clean for at least most of the week, in order to prevent the bad habits like taking pills to speed up weight loss as adults. It is important for parents to demonstrate for their children the importance of eating balanced meals, drinking water, and living an active lifestyle. This can be achieved by buying wholesome foods when grocery shopping, cooking healthy meals, encouraging children to play sports, ride bikes, or at the very least, play outside. These are the most realistic measures to ensure a change in the culture surrounding healthy lifestyles.
"Childhood Obesity Could Cost London '£111m' a Year." BBC News. BBC, 14 Apr. 2011.
Web. 12 Apr. 2017.
Crerar, Pippa. "One in Five London Primary School Leavers 'very Overweight'." Evening
Standard. N.p., 04 Aug. 2015. Web. 12 Apr. 2017.
TEDtalk “The Walkable City” by Jeff Speck