In many countries people are concerned about the number of children who are overweight.
What do you think are the causes of this?
What solutions can you suggest?
In some countries, including the USA and Britain, an increasing number of children are overweight. This is due to a combination of poor diet and lack of exercise.
Children tend to be attracted to food that is high in sugar and fat, such as various forms o fast food. They also tend to be ignorant of what constitutes a healthy diet. Although parents may try to guide their children’s choices, other commitments mean they cannot always be present. As a result, children’s choices are often influenced by other factors, such as advertising by fast food companies.
On top of that, children are much less active than they used to be. While in the past young people took part in activities that burned a considerable amount of energy, children today spend their time indoors, sitting at computers or playing video games. They have no opportunity to burn off the calories they are taking in, leading to a problem with obesity.
There are a number of steps that need to be taken to solve this problem. The first is to educate children about nutrition. Schools should organise compulsory lessons to explain the main elements of a healthy diet and teach pupils how to prepare simple but healthy meals. The government should also place restrictions on the type of advertising allowed during children’s TV programmes.
Children also need to be encouraged to participate in sports. Again, schools have a large role to play in this by offering a wide range of activities. Investment in local sports clubs by the government would also help to alleviate the problem.