Monday, 26 July 2010

Fat or fiction?

The western world’s obsession with body image is as obvious as Victoria Beckham’s need for a jolly good meal. Fat is bad, thin is good, or so the TV tells us anyway.

No matter where you turn it seems that headline-hungry journalists are churning out stories on a daily basis, telling us why our favourite foods will either kill us or turn is in to house-sized humans. These shock and awe – or choc and awe – stories are usually targeted at body-conscious adults, aiming to scare them in to changing their ways, or at least in to forking out for healthy-living alternatives. Now, however, it seems that children and pregnant women are once again in the spotlight.

In the space of a day I have read that pregnant women who eat ‘for two’ are at risk of becoming obese and that – perhaps reacting to the likelihood of these newly obese mums raising newly obese children – Marks & Spencer have started selling a new range of school uniforms for overweight three-year-olds.
Of course I am not for one minute going to suggest that women and children should ignore all that has been written and head for their nearest McDonald’s. Indeed, Mrs B and I have taken a lot from the advice offered in a range of magazines and books, but I do think we need to take this information overload with a pinch of salt (sticking to recommended daily allowance guidelines of course).

The media loves to scare us, it always has (anyone remember Swine Flu?!), but hang on a minute, women have brought healthy children in to the world, without themselves turning in to elephants, since time began. And are we meant to believe that all our children will end up needing oversized clothes if we let them have the occasional chocolate digestive?

Come on people, let’s get a grip. Healthy eating is essential to healthy living, but this is nothing new and we shouldn’t live our lives terrified of everything we put in to our, or our children’s mouths.

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