World-leading fitness expert Nick Mitchell, who is the Founder and CEO of Ultimate Performance, shares his thoughts on childhood obesity…
“The world we live in now has created a perfect storm for this childhood obesity crisis.
It’s an overabundance of cheap rubbish food, combined with the fact that kids don’t play out anymore.
When I was growing up, we played out. We loved summers because your mum would shout you when it was dark or when it was dinnertime.
It doesn’t happen anymore. Instead, computer games, TV, social media are the norm for children.
Thinking back to when I was at school in the 70s, you always had one child in class who was seen as the ‘fat kid’. But actually they weren’t fat. They were just naturally chunky. They could move their bodies.
Now there are 12-year-old boys with breasts. Think about the physical and physiological problems those boys will have to deal with.
They’ve been let down in every single way
The truth can change a child’s life…
If I had my way, the school would go and call in the parents and say, ‘Look at your child. This isn’t right’. But, people are frightened to tell the truth in case they cause offence.
And that’s just avoiding the truth. When having that painful, truthful conversation could change the course of somebody’s life.
Everything in moderation…
It’s not about perfection. It’s about sensible moderation.
Whether its food choices at the breakfast table, or sitting in front of YouTube vs playing outdoors, parents need to make hard choices every day for the sake of their children.
It’s so easy to stick kids in front of YouTube or a computer game. I do it. It’s not the end of the world. But, we need to make sure they get out of the house and do some exercise as well.
Starting the day with a bowl of cornflakes isn’t the start to the day that I give my children, or one I’d recommend to my clients. But it’s also not the end of the world.
The real cause of obesity in children…
However, starting the day with sugar-coated cereal, toast with peanut butter and chocolate milk, snacking on sweets during the day, having some junk food at lunch, more junk food in the afternoon, going home to eat more processed food, and doing no exercise.
That is a disaster. And leads to an accumulation of problems over time.
It’s not necessarily a lack of parental knowledge. It’s lazy parenting.”
If you want to set the tone for long-lasting health in your own life or for your children, Ultimate Performance can help.
Our personal training programs teach the principles of nutrition, show you how to train for results, and help you build skills and healthy habits for life.