Friday, 8 July 2016

Are We Responsible for Our Children’s Lack of Growth?

Children find themselves in precarious situation as society is fast adapting to reminiscent changes. Relationships and lifestyles are amended to fit in a new trend. It is the time when society’s old trends are paving way to newer ones. Eating habits too have drastically taken a makeover. We hardly see people having proper food. Instead they crave on what is popularly known as the JUNK FOOD. Junk food is anything that is tongue-twister, tasty, easy to make and in accordance with the latest trend. Every age group is in the grip of junk food and the latest to be mesmerised by its aura are new age children. Burgers, pizzas, chips and aerated drinks are suddenly the need of life. For instance, a child returning home from an arduous session at school suddenly pops in a bagful of chips and lay in front of the television. Don’t be shocked. It’s a common trend these days. Suddenly children have stepped into a whole new world of eateries that our ancestors wouldn’t have thought of.

The growing age for boys and girls vary. However, 6-12 years is considered to be steady time of growth. Top priority should be given to nutrition at this time. Children must understand what they eat is directly proportional to their behaviour, growth and over all development. Our society is revolutionised to such extend that it needs children to be educated upon the benefits of healthy eating. They need to be told how a balanced diet is essential for survival. Most of the working mothers are so much occupied with their corporate responsibilities that they tend to neglect the fact that their children actually need love and support. Conventional and more reliant food skills are not passed on automatically from parent to child. Most people just mug up food greatly undermining its nutritional effect. Since children are often glued to television sets, commercials and advertisements laced with promotional offers are the biggest culprits. We should be focusing more on structuring an atmosphere that pulls back our children from the claws of junk food.

Children who are unaware that consumption of junk food can lead to heart ailments, cancer, high BP or diabetes should not thrive on them knowingly. Studies have shown that clogging of arteries begin as early as 30 years and lay the foundation for future heart ailments. What children consume at early age affects their chances of prostate and breast cancer. Hypertension and Osteoporosis are other disorders that lay their roots in early childhood when lifelong eating habits are being shaped. Poor diets can affect growth, decompose new teeth, endorse obesity and sow the seeds of health issues that ultimately lead to non-treatable diseases.     

Most of the junk food is filled with artificial colours which are often unpalatable, carcinogenic and damaging to the body. These foods and their colouring can seriously damage digestive system, hamper immunity, the effects of which are seen when the children start to age. Results of surveys have proven that artificial colouring in junk food leads to hyperactivity and descending of attentiveness in children. Children distressing from learning disabilities are often counselled not to intake food with artificial colouring. Aerated drinks, chocolates, wafers all are laced with artificial colouring

Unsurprisingly, junk food not only has physical consequences but also mental ones- affecting a child’s psyche and personality. Smartly attending their dietary needs boosts their morale and exhilarates further unearthing. School days pose plenty of educational challenges requiring high level of concentrations and stamina. Poor eating habits can virtually sap children from participating in school events, indulging in games, interacting with family members or feeling confident about themselves.

Shamelessly, the traditional Indian diet that consists chapattis, pulses, rice, vegetables, upma have been replaced by pizzas, burgers, chowmein, spring rolls etc. Instead of having regular food, we are consuming what is considered by many dietitians as dangerous to the health. The comfort level you get after having a complete meal is predictably absent when we intake junk food. The question now arises who is to blame? Is it the society or we the parents who are pushing our children to adversity? The answer is both. Society trends have changed when it comes to choice of food. But in the end, it is our responsibility to educate our children on what is the right kind of food for them. We have to ensure that first; we have to set the trend so that they can carry the same to many more generations to come. 

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