C- Must Do Better!
I read an article in The Sunday Times (they’d run out of The News of the World …) about an initiative that the Food Standards Agency (FSA) want to introduce whereby restaurants and fast food outlets would be encouraged to print the calorie content in all their food on their menus. Research has supposedly shown that if we know the calorie content of a meal, we eat 100 less calories. Is this the Government’s answer to tackling Britain’s obesity epidemic? Really?
C- Messrs Cameron and Clegg – must do better.
Personally, if I want junk food – I’M GONNA HAVE JUNK FOOD. No calorie guide is going to put me off. But I can’t speak for everyone. The FSA’s thinking is that seeing the calorie count encourages us to make healthy eating choices. My thinking is that if I go out for dinner, it’s a treat and, as long as I watch what I eat the rest of the week, I’m going to eat what I like. I’m no psychologist, but I know that you cannot force people to eat healthily! No one likes a bully …
Britain is trying to follow the lead of New York City, where in 2008 new laws required that fast-food, sandwich and restaurant chains put calorie information on their menus.
The FSA say that research suggested that consumers would like to see such information. They obviously didn’t ask me.
It just has a real feel of too much interference for my liking. So what if I like the occasional chip – don’t judge me!
I can sort of see where they’re coming from. However, quite how knowing the calorific content in junk food is going to stop people eating it, is yet to be proven. It seems to me though, that the new Government has its priorities wrong. Instead of spending money having ‘consultations’ about calorific information on menus, why aren’t they pumping money into youth fitness and encouraging parents and children to see how important exercise is for children?
My youngest now goes to a new youth fitness class in our town called 3DFitKids (www.3dfitkids.com). The whole ethos is ‘fitness through fun’ and that’s exactly what he has when he’s there – FUN! It keeps him wanting to go back … he’s not forced, he doesn’t even realise he’s exercising when his coach gets him to “cross the River of Doom” (aka stepping from one cone to another encouraging bi-lateral movement) … this is the way forward – this is where money needs to be spent.
And breathe …
So do I think the new menus will reduce the country’s obesity epidemic? No. But I guess something’s better than nothing.
In the meantime, it rightly falls to us parents to encourage our children to be active. Keeping fit now will encourage muscle memory which will mean that down the line, if they do get out of shape, it’ll be easier to get back into shape and they won’t cost the Government as much money as my generation does.
I don’t want my kids to struggle like I do.
And with that in mind, we’re off to the park!