Behind The Story: Tackling Obesity in Schools

Behind The Story: Tackling Obesity in Schools

Obesity is surely one of the 'big' (no pun intended) issues of our day.

Our obsession with cooking, restaurants, take away, fast food, gourmet living, celebrity chefs, cookbooks, disposal incomes, bigger houses, more sophisticated electronics... all combine to make us want more, have more and eat more. Preferably cooked by someone else and served up to us in the comfort of our over-sized lounge chair.

A generation ago it was acceptable, though certainly not desired, for adults to have a bit of extra fat about them, a muffin top or burgeoning tummy. It spawned a generation of gym bunnies and home exercise equipment, Jenny Craig diets and low fat yoghurt.

But these days, overweight adults have ballooned into obese adults and we've passed our over-eating habits onto our kids. Which is much, much worse.

There are all sorts of stats about obesity and why it's especially bad for kids. Apart from failing to instill in them healthy eating and exercise habits that should be just normal to kids, obesity brings a host of lifelong health impacts including diabetes and heart problems. Not to mention, the possibly more debilitating angst of low self esteem. And, as we grown ups know, once you've put on the weight, it's much harder to take it off. For life.

About a quarter of Australian kids are classified as obese (sounds scary though that figure is much higher in the US and other countries) and research shows that the fat trend really starts to climb when kids start school because, surprise, they're sitting down at desks a lot more. So people are thinking about how to get kids active and learning at the same time.

And I wondered what, if anything, Australian schools are doing for our overweight kids. Turns out, there are some very proactive schools all around the country. And so, I wrote about this story for Essential Kids.

What do your kids' schools do to keep kids active? Or what do you wish they did more?

Featured image source.

About the author: Lilani Goonesena is an Australian freelance writer, Squarespace web designer and blogger currently living in Vientiane, Laos. She is passionate about helping freelancers and small businesses get online with web design and content, blogging and her awesome weekly newsletter on digital marketing, social media, content, SEO, web design and "all that online stuff". She also writes food and travel articles for businesses and magazines, and blogs at the delectable Eat Drink Laos, just for fun.