Overweight and obesity is a growing problem worldwide, especially in America, for all the wrong reasons. Thousands of young Americans are overweight and/or obese, even before reaching the teenage. While this can be attributed to a lot of factors, a prominent cause is a lack of effective and sufficient education on food. Overweight and obesity is primarily an outcome of unhealthy food consumption practices. Unfortunately, these practices are an outcome of and are consistent with the prevalent lifestyle in America. When either or both parents, guardians, or caretakers are a working person, children are often left with no option but to rely on readymade meals.
Why Children Eat Unhealthy Food in America
Lack of good education on food is the prime reason why American children eat unhealthy foods. Education on food starts at home. Regardless of the level of advancement and sophistication of the education programs at schools, children copy what their parents do. The habits, routines, and practices sustained by the family for years become ingrained in the psychology and understanding of a child. Unfortunately, in many families in America, children may find eating healthy and organic foods unusual. They relate more to the carb- and fat-rich meals advertised heavily on television and social media.
Children Copy Food Habits of Their Elders
The over-indulgence of Americans in fast food originates in their lifestyle. There’s a constant need to buy more and consume more in response to the constantly evolving and emerging technological scenario. Such an expensive lifestyle cannot be sustained with dependence on one earning member in a family. Therefore, many adults strive to get good-paying jobs regardless of gender. Understandably, people run short of time as they try to manage everything ranging from work to home.
In this constant battle to achieve the goals on time, people cannot manage to cook the food at home. Ordering a cheesy pizza or dining out where people can grab the food and go seems like the solution of timelessness. Things are hardly any better in the families where potential earning members are jobless. People frequently eat because they feel that they have nothing else to do. Eating is conceptualized as an instant relief activity. As people eat, they can find an escape from distress for a little time. However, children observing their parents in such habits have many bad influences in this culture.
Education on Food Is the Solution of All These Problems
Education of the young American generation on healthy food and good eating habits can offer a long-term and effective solution to the problem of overweight and obesity. Education starts at home, but we cannot make the elders change their habits developed over the years in a few days. A more effective strategy is to inculcate the concept of healthy food in the minds of children.
Youtube for Kids Is a Potential Platform for Education on Food
Many toddlers spend the bulk of their day watching poems and nursery rhymes on Youtube. Talented essay writers draft all these incredibly engaging poems. The creators upload all that content. Creators can be motivated to make videos carrying a message of healthy eating for kids. Youtube can play an important role in creating awareness and education about healthy food and eating patterns. For this, Youtube should mention the messages and agendas in its policies, and the food regulatory authority in America should approve them.
Why Would the Creators on Youtube Produce Good Content?
Content creators can be motivated to create education and informative yet interesting content for the kids with increased viewership. When a creator knows that fostering healthy food agenda in a video increases its likelihood to be seen, he/she will create the content accordingly. Creators want more impressions for their videos and want their content to be suggested to the maximum number of viewers. Youtube can hence increase the number of videos carrying education on good food and create awareness in kids from a very young age. That is the best age to teach children because they can easily develop good habits and sustain them for life.
Integration of Healthy Food in Education Curriculum
The lesson of healthy food must be propagated at all academic levels to create a holistic awareness among the children. Everything from classic fairytales at nursery level to the effect of unhealthy eating on the human body in the chapters of Biology needs to be designed with an agenda. Creating such a curriculum may take some time for the educators, but this would be a one-time effort. Generations will reap the fruits of the effort, and the effects will be manifested in people’s improved eating habits and lifestyle in general.
What If Food Education Is Not Taken Seriously?
The apparent effects of bad food habits on the American people are not hidden from anyone. However, the effects of poor eating patterns extend far beyond just what is visible. Bad food not only makes a nation overweight and obese, but it also takes away the good spirit that is essential for leading a healthy and satisfying life.
To begin with, overweight and obesity bring along with them plentiful diseases and health conditions ranging from diabetes to heart attack. But that’s not all! When a person is not in shape, it reflects very badly on his/her professional and social life. The candidate is ineligible to qualify for a wide range of jobs because of being unfit even if he/she had the skills and talent needed to perform well. Overweight and obesity lower a person’s self-esteem and become a potential barrier in the path toward success.
It’s High Time for American Educators to Create Good Food Awareness
To combat this challenge of overweight and obesity in America, institutions and educators need to make a concerted effort. It will take time, but the seeds for a long-term positive change can be sown by implementing the suggested strategies. If this is not done now, the whole nation will have to bear the losses for years.