Topic 3 School: the influence of teachers and school catering

Children spend a substantial amount of time at school

Issues:

  • Availability of fresh fruit
  • Sweet snacks
  • Soft drinks
  • Vending machines
  • Playground area and duration of physical education classes (median duration only 60 minutes)

Snacks other than fresh fruit are not usually available on school premises in most countries

Disadvantaged and low academic performing schools have a higher risk for obesity.

Some school interventions regarding nutrition and physical activity have demonstrated increased physical activity, improved diet, and a decline in obesity. It is evident that school-based obesity prevention programs can have a positive impact on behaviors in children and adolescents.

Source: Freepik

  • The body needs carbs (sugars), fats, and sodium, but should be eaten in moderation, as too much can lead to unneeded weight gain and other health problems
  • Areas that might be a little too sufficient are sugars, fats, and sodium
  • This is a time when kids first go to school and have a little bit more choices in what they eat, especially if they’re getting it in the cafeteria themselves. Cakes, candy, chips, and other snacks might become lunchtime staples.
  • Packing your child’s lunch or going over the lunch menu and encouraging him or her to select healthier choices can help keep things on track.
  • As puberty kicks in, young people need more calories. Unfortunately, for some, those extra calories come from fast food or “junk” foods with little nutritional value.
  • Calcium requirements are higher because the majority of bone mass is built during this time
  • Gender may play a role in whether he or she needs more of a particular nutrient. For instance, teen girls need more iron than their male counterparts to replace what’s lost during menstruation, and males need slightly more protein than girls
  • Some adolescents go the opposite way and restrict calories, fats, or carbs. Adolescence is the time kids start to become conscious of their weight and body image, which, for some, can lead to eating disorders or other unhealthy behaviors.

Although getting your child to eat healthy can be a constant battle, its one well worth fighting.