According to a study by the British Heart Foundation (BHF), roughly a third of children polled didn't know the main ingredient in French fries.

And, about 10 percent of them thought fries were mostly made of oil; others suggested eggs, flour, and even apples.This may be part of the reason thatan estimated half-million children in the UK will become obese or overweight over the next two years.


In hopes of scaring kids away from fast food, the foundation launched Food4Thought yesterday, a national campaign including billboards and posters of hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken nuggets as they would appear before their common ingredients are melded and processed into the food you see at the grocery store-- gristle, bones, and connective tissue.

The campaign is primarily an attempt to engage children on the subject of why certain foods are less healthy than others, and encourage them to become interested in what they are eating.

Targeting Children, Parents, and Society

But the BHF is also targeting the government, food industry, local authorities, schools and parents to get involved. The BHF has identified three critical areas for change:

  • Stop the marketing of unhealthy food and drink products to children
  • Ensure that nutritious food is affordable, accessible and appealing for children and parents
  • Provide children with opportunities to learn practical cooking skills

British Heart Foundation November 7, 2005BBC News November 7, 2005

Dr. Mercola's Comment:No matter how smart your children are, when it comes to fast food most are clueless about the damage they do to their little bodies. This simply do not understand that these foods arehighly processed and damagedfuel that's worsenedthe obesity epidemic throughout the world.

Folks, it's up to you to make a difference. Just think about it, ifyou ignore this trend andfail toaddress these issues with your kids, theywilllive shorter lives than you will. I'm absolutely convinced that collectivelyyou can make the necessary changes before your kids have serious health challenges.

Like most problems in life, preventing childhood obesity is far easier than treating it, although much of the success of prevention depends on parental involvement, and communication is the key.

You will not only need to set appropriate guidelines and talk to your children about nutrition and why what they are doing is so important, but you will need to take the time necessary to create nutritious meals and snacks for them to eat.

Perhaps even more importantly, you will need to act as a good role model for them. After all, it is completely unfair to your children to ask them not to eat things they later see you eating.

A great way to get started: Review the list of seven risk factors for childhood obesity I posted earlier this year:

  • Early size
  • Early body fat
  • High birth weight
  • Having obese parents
  • Quick growth from ages 1-2
  • Watching more than eight hours of TV a week
  • Getting less than 10.5 hours of sleep at night

And here are some quick recommendations to help avoid or eliminate childhood obesity that will make an immediate difference:

  • Replace the sugary fruit juices and soft drinks they drink with clean water.
  • Reduce their TV time and move "the Glow Box" out of their bedroom today.
  • Get your kids moving off the couch and onto the playground where they can build better bone mass.
Author's Bio: 

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