Friday, 2 January 2009

Government targets obesity

I spent the morning catching up with the news and lo and behold, the government is now targeting obesity! Ok, so what are they doing?

Are they putting money into the schools to teach children about nutrition and how to make healthy choices or giving the schools more money for the PE departments to help promote exercise? No!

Are they putting money into the community to teach adults about nutrition and healthy choices for their families? No!

Are they promoting breastfeeding? No! (in fact, they’re making it harder and harder for mothers to breastfeed while outside the home by closing down facilities for breastfeeding mothers…but that’s another rant)

So…what are they doing? Oh right, they’re putting adverts on the telly for three months! Hmmmmm that’s going to whip the nation into shape.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not in the best of shape myself. I carry a little excess weight but that’s MY fault. Due to the choices I make. I know I could lose the little excess weight I carry by making better choices and exercising a little more……..but I’m an adult. I take responsibility for the choices I make. When I was at school, it was compulsory to take PE twice a week. I had a lot of choices too – we had volleyball, rounders, gymnastics, swimming, basketball, cricket, rugby (yes, even the girls), athletics, skiing….the list goes on. Our parents never had to pay for these things, it was paid for by the local council as part of the school curriculum. We had home economics, which taught cooking, budgeting, planning a menu, sewing, knitting and even a little home decorating and maintenance. Why have these things stopped? Personally, I’d prefer my hard earned tax pennies go back into the community than pay the Wallace & Grommit creators to put a couple of adverts on the telly for three months.

We seem to be living in more and more of a nanny-state where parents are relinquishing the responsibility for their children to the government. Instead of taking the time to ensure that their children receive healthy meals and get out and about exercising with them, parents today want to sit back and blame the government for the fact their children are fat and lazy. Children are a reflection of their parents. If you are polite and respectful to your children and teach them the basics of right and wrong, they will be polite and respectful back. If you plonk your child down infront of the tv, x-box, playstation everyday, what do they learn? Nothing……..well they learn good hand-eye co-ordination. I’m not saying that children shouldn’t have these things, they have their place. God knows, I lived for the half-hour that Barney came on the tv so I could get ten minutes peace and quiet, but my children never spent all day sitting infront of the tv. We got out and about, doing things, learning things, just being together and enjoying each others company. Isn’t that what being a family means?

I think this recession could be a blessing in disguise. It will teach people to make better choices. To stop wasting things…….we have become a nation of ‘wantitnows’. If something breaks, we don’t try to fix it, we throw it out and get a new one. If we have food left over from a meal, we chuck it in the bucket instead of refrigerating it and using it for a meal the next day. We say we’re too busy to cook healthy meals when we come back home, tired from working all day……well, most homecooked meals take approximately 20 minutes to cook – that’s less time than it takes to drive to MacDonalds, KFC or get a pizza delivered.

We’re no longer willing to save up for luxuries – we just put them on the credit card or overdraft and worry about it later. Well later is here! Instead of throwing out the leftover food from a meal, we’ll be forced to use our minds creatively to find a way to use them in the next day’s meals. Instead of nipping out for a MacDonalds, or KFC or phoning for a pizza to be delivered, we’ll have to make meals from healthy foods, like vegetables!!!! These things should be LUXURIES…but these days they seem to be the norm because they’re cheaper to buy than healthy foods. No wonder our nation is overweight…...it’s not the government’s fault, it’s ours because we’ve become lazy and unimaginative.

1 comment:

Andrea said...

Well said! Interesting that, during this time of 'recession' the best the Government can do with our money is spend it on advertising! I suppose advertising is cheaper than helping out the thousands of homeless people living rough over all the country. I suppose advertising is cheaper than trying to help people to help themselves. It's quite possibly being funded by the money they're taking off the thousands of people who have legitimately been claiming benefits and now, because of changes, can no longer get.

I guess no-one said politics was fair!