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Corinne Finnie

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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?

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  • Oct 24 2011: Just like anything we learn, it all begins at home. So to the question of "whose responsibility is it to make educating children about comprehensive wellness a priority?", I answer it is the parents responsibility. Why do I keep seeing that government, schools, or any other entity has to take responsibility for our youth's increasing problems? be it depression, overweight, drugs, etc. Schools (dept of Education), health dept, or any other entity should just be an extension to support to what is the parents main responsibility. If you teach your children to eat well from infancy, then they are likely to have good eating habits, but you have to keep up the work. Same with exercise, teach them from early on. What can we expect from little kids that walk into McDonals with an overweight parent? What can we expect when a child is holding a soda can while sitting in their stroller? It is the same as being abused, the child who is abused will likely become an abuser; note that I said LIKELY... all these bad habits (to put mildly) can be broken, they don't have to go on & on, generation after generation. Educate at home first, and then use however little support you may get from those who help you educate your kids. Could schools do more to help? I think so, but let's keep in mind that we send our kids to school mainly for academic learning. They at least have health education in their curriculum (which prob doesn't do much for already overweight kids). Whatever you teach your children from the beginning of their lives is likely to stay with them, so if -for example- you thought them that chips & sodas aren't good, they might choose something else from the vending machine (yes, we should definitely take a look at the junk they have in those, or why do they have them at schools at all?).. then again, it'd be better to send them a good lunch from home!
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      Oct 25 2011: Patricia - very well said. Unfortunately when more that half of Canadian adults and over 65% of Americans are either overweight or obese, personal health is NOT a priority for themselves or their families and the children suffer as a result. Again, great comments. Rob.... www.nofinishlineblog.com

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