In the 21st century, technology has become an unavoidable part of children’s lives. From educational tools, to watching videos and playing games, children are surrounded by screens of all sorts and sizes. These devices are a perfect media outlet for companies to advertise a number of products to children including snacks, toys and apparel to children.
As a part of this impactful demographic, children have influence over how their parents spend. Much of these expenses are processed junk foods that children ask their parents to buy each time they visit the grocery store. These foods are intentionally placed near the checkout tills and within a child’s reach; this forces situations where a child is easily able to access them and ask their parents for that particular treat. Furthermore, the effect of these foods on their health is monumental. An article by Time Magazine quoted UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Oliver De Schutter, stating that “unhealthy diets are now a greater threat to global health than tobacco” .
This may be due to the fact that junk foods are highly processed and contain large amounts of carbohydrates, unnecessary sugar, unhealthy fats, and extra sodium. Consuming ingredients with little nutritional value has a negative impact on your body. In addition, many of these junk foods are very addictive and tempt a person to keep consuming them. It is important that people control these temptations and are selective in choosing the foods they intend to consume. Unhealthy diets have a direct link with the function of many major body systems such as the cardiovascular and digestive systems.
 U.N Official Says Junk Food Just as Bad as Cigarettes. Alter, Charlotte. Time Magazine. Retrieved From: http://time.com/104999/u-n-official-says-junk-food-just-as-bad-as-cigarettes/
Most of us know that obesity can lead to decreased life expectancy. However, very few of us actually know why this occurs, or exactly how much time is taken “off the clock”. In recent medical news, research is suggesting that obesity can shorten lifespan by about 8 years, and decrease the number of “good years” by about 20. The reason for this is simple: individuals who are obese are more likely to suffer from diabetes and heart disease (or both). This definitely emphasizes the importance of exercising regularly and eating healthy.
How Were These Conclusions Drawn?
Researchers used a computer model to help predict how longevity is affected in individuals who are overweight. The calculations showed that someone with heart disease or diabetes could expect to deprive someone of about 20 years of healthy living. On top of that, individuals who were considered “very obese” (with a BMI of 35 or more) could expect to die eight years sooner than expected. Finally, individuals with a BMI score of 25 to 30 could expect to die three years sooner than expected. To sum things up, the conclusions aren’t very promising, especially for those people who are already suffering from obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
Meet The Lead Researcher
Professor Steven Grover from the McGill University in Montreal was the lead researcher for the experiment. His team’s computer modeling study demonstrated the dangers associated with being obese. The more an individual weighs, the greater impact it will have on their health. This is especially true for individuals who become obese at a younger age.
The Hard Facts About Obesity in Our Society
As unfortunate as it might sound, the hard truth is that about 10% of children are obese when they start school (around the age of five). But it gets even worse. By the time children have reached 11 years of age, and are in primary school, about 20% are obese. Note that these are numbers for schools across England. It’s very likely that they’re higher in deprived areas as well as most areas in the United States. This is actually quite scary, because these children are, after all, the future of the world.
What Can You Do To Prevent This?
Despite the seemingly depressing previous paragraph, there is some good news: you can prevent this from happening to not only yourself, but also your children. Studies have shown that exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy diet can.