Whilst many factors impact on childhood obesity, parents ultimately have the main responsibility. Parents decide what’s in the cupboards, they plan meals and pack children’s lunchbox’s, clearly they are to blame for their child’s unhealthy lifestyle.
Ultimately, parents select what food their children consume, therefore they are responsible. Clearly, young children cannot shop or prepare meals for themselves, and at this early stage of developing children should be provided with a wide range of healthy foods, to establish good eating habits for the future. From Dr Pagnini’s research he found ‘It is the parent’s job to provide the food’ .
Parents need to take control and install discipline by saying no. When children pester parents for fast food the parents have the power to say ‘no’. The child may have a tantrum but that is better than them being overweight. Social commentator Amanda Blair expresses that ‘The 7 year old is not the one who’s getting in the car and heading for the drive through – it’s the parents’.
Clearly, children copy parents in many aspects including their dietary habits and lifestyle. If parents don’t place importance on food they consume or exercise they undertake, neither will their children. Parent’s lives are becoming more hectic, it may be easier to buy fast food however parents need to prepare home cooked meals. This will be healthier and will allow children to partake in healthy food preparation.
It’s the parent’s responsibility to get children involved in physical exercise. Parents need to provide appropriate equipment for children to be interested in partaking in activities outside. However, they cannot just send their children outside, parents need to be involved and be a good role model. Keith Ayoob, a registered dietician, says ‘Kids shouldn’t be solely responsible…. It’s the whole family’s duty to do it together’
In conclusion, parents are in charge and they need to prevent their children from their children becoming overweight. Parents need to provide a wide range of healthy foods to allow children to choose healthy options, they need to install discipline and be able to say no when their child wants fast food. Parents need to set a good example and encourage a healthy lifestyle that involves physical exercise to ensure an optimistic future.
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2007, ‘Anxious Parents- feeding kids to much’, The(Hobart) Mercury
Blair, A. 2007 ‘Why parents must take the blame’, The Advertiser
Hellmich, N. 2007 ‘Why are parents in denial about kids weight?’, USA Today