Are your children turning into fatties?

By Lauren  – Gold Coast Mum

Stop! Yes you taking your children through the drive-through of your local take-away restaurant.

Have you thought about the affect this is having on your offspring and the message it is sending them?
Yes, we’re all very busy and sometimes a cheap and easy take-away meal is much more convenient when we’re travelling between swimming/dancing/other extracurricular activities than buying, preparing and cooking a nutritious meal full of fresh ingredients…

I too am guilty of taking Maccas detours, to get a beloved coffee frappe that helps get me through some days (hey I don’t drink tea or coffee, so whatever helps ;-)

But… according to a paper published in medical journal The Lancet, Australians are gaining weight FASTER than any other nation and childhood obesity is now affecting one in four Aussie kids.

The results of the global study into obesity rates show almost a quarter of the Australian children and 63 per cent of the adult population is overweight.

Australia's obesity levels are now on par with the United States.

Gold Coast based nutritionist, speaker and author Sam Beau Patrick says the usual suspects: computer games, sugar, processed foods, take aways are all contributing factors but that parents need to step up.

“Australia has a major health issue on its hand,” Ms Beau-Patrick says.
“Aside from gaining weight at a faster rate than any other nation, Australian children are overweight. In fact, over weight in epic proportions. ONE IN FOUR AUSTRALIAN CHILDREN ARE OVERWEIGHT OR OBESE.”

“I think Australian parents need to understand that we are their main source of education and influence. While eating take away once a week is okay, relying on it for lunches, more than once a week for a nightly meal and certainly pulling in for some take away after school is sending the wrong message,” Ms Beau-Patrick says.

“If we don’t role model great eating, daily activity and positive approach to living, kids really flounder and have no guidance.”

Sam Beau Patrick likes to cook with her children - "it's the best gift we can give our kids".
What do parents need to do?
Ms Beau-Patrick says parents need to start shopping at markets, taking kids to farms, going out of their way to demonstrate the origins of foods and cooking with their kids – “which means they need to start cooking themselves”.

“I want to see a more collaborative approach: Nutritionists giving classes at school, every school having an edible garden, cooking lessons at school to name a few,” Ms Beau-Patrick says.

“Many parents assume the school will teach them the ‘survival stuff’ in life, for example, how to eat a balanced meal, how to manage money and the right amount of physical activity. But unfortunately the current Australian curriculum finds no space for these pressing issues.”

Ms Beau Patrick says when she asked her 9-year-old daughter’s teacher last year “How much time do you spend on educating children about food as I am happy to come in any time to give some talks?”, the teacher’s response was: “We used to talk about it but now it is up to the individual teacher and my curriculum (what I have to cover this year) doesn’t allow for it.”

“Overweight children become over weight adults,” Ms Beau-Patrick says.
“That means poorer self-esteem, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, more heart disease, more diabetes, more strokes and not just in the post 50s age bracket either. These diseases are now affecting people in their 30s and 40s.
“The cost for our society and carrying morbidly overweight citizens is huge! It will become the greatest preventable spend in our GDP.”

Why is it so bad in Australia?
Ms Beau Patrick believes access to good food, fast food and any food has been too easy.
“I think Australian’s have a ‘she’ll be ‘right’ attitude’ and ‘ït’s someone else’s issue not mine’. We have gotten away with these attitudes for a few decades but now we need to change. Childhood obesity is everyone’s issue,” she says.

“Access to junk food, abundance of food and free health have fostered a laise faire attitude. In other countries where food is scarce people really take stock of what is going in their mouths. In fact many countries spend their entire day growing and reaping their crops to produce food for survival.”

From the article published in The Lancet.
Full article here:
“…Because of the established health risks and substantial increases in prevalence, obesity has become a major global health challenge. Not only is obesity increasing, but no national success stories have been reported in the past 33 years. Urgent global action and leadership is needed to help countries to more effectively intervene…”


As reported by the ABC, the study has prompted health experts to call on the Federal Government to commit to a national anti-obesity strategy.Obesity Policy Coalition spokeswoman Jane Martin says obesity is an issue that governments can tackle in a number of ways.
"It's around looking at policies around food that are supplied by institutions that are funded by governments," she said.
"[It's about] looking at encouraging smaller serving sizes, having social marketing campaigns that give education to people and help put it on the individual's agenda, and in an environment where it pushes people to make healthier choices and be more active."

Sam Beau Patrick, who has practiced as a nurse, a pharmaceutical rep and more recently as a naturopath and health coach runs a clinic for people to have one on one consultations, holds events and retreats, and can be heard on the radio.
"People can follow me on instagram (Sam Beau Patrick ) or FB (Sam Beau Patrick Naturopath) to see how I inspire my kids, or I have an 8 week eating plan with education about eating, exercise, living life. All the meal plans and recipes are gluten and dairy free and easy to cook."




What do you think about the research findings?
How do you lead by example for your family?

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