I've had a booming week for discovering random facts about nutrition - mostly due to a book that I am reading called "Eat Your Heart Out" by Felicity Laurence, but also some radio news from today.
According to ABC radio today, hospital admissions for kids eating disorders have trebled over the last decade which has led some groups to point to the influence of the media and photoshopping. I think this is a bit of a stretch as there are so many factors that influence children's eating habits and body image.
Mia Freedman came out with a very sensible response on the program saying it's really a parent's job to provide good role modelling as opposed to just saying the right thing. Mia basically said that it may be ineffective to be telling your kid to go out and climb a tree when you are working on your computer eating a tim tam (bit close to home I might add). The segment didn't give a good summary of how widespread eating disorders are among kids or what causes them but the growth stats for eating disorders were a bit of a shock.
However, not as shocking as some stats from the UK that are in Laurence's book that state that British children in the UK aged five to nine years consume an average of 106 pounds (say about $150) worth of confectionary in a year and a similar amounts worth of soft drink. I hate to think what the equivalent figures are in Australia where childhood obesity rates sit around 20% and our overall obesity rates are higher than the UK.
The outcome of the radio segment was that parents need better quality information on nutrition for themselves and their children and I'd tend to agree. But where should this come from??