TED Conversations

Corinne Finnie

This conversation is closed.

Whose responsibility is it to educate our young people on healthy eating, physical activity, and positive self esteem?

Many statistics indicate that the overall North American adult population is not only overweight, but the number of people with Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, and depression is consistently rising. Now, we see children as young as 12 suffering with the same conditions. The World Health Organization has called this situation an "overnourishment" epidemic. Parents do not have the practical information to teach their children about nutrition, teachers have a full curriculum and limited resources to contribute, food manufacturers are focused on making margins and are willing to go only so far, Community Dieticians have limited time and resources - whose responsibility is it to make educating children about comprehensive wellness a priority?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Oct 21 2011: You are correct Corinne. I do believe however that the answer is buried within your statement.

    Parents need to stop listening to fads, stop letting the television tell them what is right for them (a mistake many children make), and get back to basics...not for themselves...but for their children.

    If a doctor told me, "If continue to eat McDonalds, you will make yourself sick and have a heart attack.", my next visit would be to the fruit/vegetable isle of the supermarket.

    I understand that I am over-simplifying something here, but when it comes down to it, arent we all masters of what happens to us anyway? If that is the case, why do we make things so difficult for ourselves by focusing on negative reasoning behind what others do, and start doing what is required to make us healthy?

    Too many people suffer from a bigger problem...Feeling everyone should fix everything for them, and having to hit rock bottom before they make significant changes. We have more info available these days to stay healthy.

    I dont think it is used because many look for the quick and easy way out first. Positive actions take work, and to me, over the past 30 years...I have witnessed parents getting lazy.
    • thumb
      Oct 21 2011: Excellent points: if I may just add:

      Parents are getting vey busy - the parents of young children in our society are now called the "Squeeze Generation" - squeezed for time, financial independence, resources. Perhaps a contributing factor is that families now typically contain two working parents and less time is focused on gardening, cooking from scratch (no boxes included), and taking time to make conscious decisions at the grocery store.

      I am curious about what rock bottom looks like before something changes in our society whereby children's comprehensive wellness is a priority. Is it children as young as 12 being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes (formly called Adult Onset Type 2 Diabetes - not really applicable anymore)? Or a statistic like 30% of North American children in our schools are overweight and/or obese?

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.