Calories: The importance of self-control
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We are all guilty of reaching for a packet of crisps or purchasing a ready meal when we are short of time, but when you discover that many of us are eating 200 – 300 more calories than we should per day, many of us would believe it is time to make a change. Public health officials believe that as a drive to tackle both childhood obesity and over eating in adulthood, food companies should do more to reduce calories in food, making them healthier for adults and children alike. This action follows a recent drive to reduce the amount of sugar in drinks and sweets and tax those with higher sugar content. However, this raises the question of whether it is the role of companies or us as adults and parents to manage our calorie intake and that of our children. To examine the whether popular foods such as ready meals and snacks could potentially be made healthier and more nutritious, is a positive notion all round. Whether or not we closely monitor our calorie intake, we could all benefit from our fast food being healthier. However, this is not the major issue. Food companies by all means should make food which is healthy and nutritious but should they do so under institutional pressure, that they solely are the cause for obesity? These companies do play a role in the increasing issue of obesity in our youth; shockingly a third of children now leave primary school overweight or obese due to high calorie intake, including sugar and other forms of fat. They do in fact lack an element of control. Quite literally they are not forcing children to eat these unhealthy foods, rather it is an issue of diet management enforced by parents. Before parents start screaming into their screens that they do not have time to cook lengthy home cooked meals after work and asking if we have ever tried to get a child to eat a vegetable, please consider the approach you are taking.
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