SOS Our Children’s Health!

 SOS Our Children’s Health!

A recent report drawn up by a team of researchers from Leeds University in the UK has revealed that 98.4 percent of packed lunches sent with primary school children to school by their parents do not meet minimum requirements in nutritional standards. Our children are becoming ill. And it is not only in the United Kingdom. Starting with the UK report from researchers at the University of Leeds, commissioned by margarine producer Flora, the results are even more shocking than expected: Only 1.6 percent of packed lunches for primary school students across England met minimum nutritional requirements. Only 20 percent contained any vegetables, while excessive salts, sugars, and saturated fats existed.

Since the alert was raised a decade ago, not much has changed. According to the report, the food quality in the boxes has risen by a paltry 0.5 percent over the last decade. In general terms, the quality of the nutrition in the lunchboxes reveals a total absence of knowledge as to what a healthy diet consists of. Fewer than 20 percent of the boxes met the energy, zinc, or vitamin A; three-quarters did not meet the need for iron, over half had sugary snacks, and almost half had sweetened drinks. The big enemies were chocolate bars, packets of crisps, and carbonated beverages.

Children's Health

However, this is not a problem restricted to the United Kingdom. According to the United Nations Organization, the number of overweight children under five years of age is set to almost double from 42 million to 70 million worldwide, which is a ticking global pandemic. The United Nations Organization blames unhealthy food and beverage marketing and asks governments to reverse the trend. The focus of the UNO’s concern is that many of these cases of childhood obesity are occurring in developing countries.


1990 – 31 million overweight under-5s. 2014 – 41 million overweight under-5s. 2024 – a projected 70 million overweight under-5s. The culprit? “The marketing of unhealthy food and non-alcoholic beverages is a major factor in the alarming increase,” reads the report by the Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity (ECHO), presented this week to the World Health Organization.

Direct negative effect on health and education

Childhood obesity can directly affect educational development, quite apart from economic hardship and physical and mental health consequences. The phenomenon cuts across all socio-economic groups and is not restricted to Western Europe and North America. Around three-quarters of overweight children of this age group reside in Asia and Africa: around half in the former and a quarter in the latter.

To a large extent, the report blames the environment in which children grow up – in societies that encourage weight gain and obesity by advertising foodstuffs high in sugar and fats and unhealthy non-alcoholic beverages, which all create cravings and lead to increased consumption of fast-burning and calorie-rich products. The result is the time bomb we see waiting to explode in cases of diabetes and even cancer. Do Savor.

Six recommendations

The WHO, therefore, makes several urgent recommendations to counter this growing problem, namely: Promoting the intake of healthy foods, reducing the consumption of unhealthy foods and beverages high in sugar content by curbing marketing on nutrition and imposing a tax on sweetened beverages; Promoting physical activity which reduces sedentary behavior among children and adolescents; Healthcare programs in preconception and pregnancy to reduce low or high birth weight, prematurity, and other complications; Promoting breastfeeding, limiting consumption of foodstuffs that have high fat, salt, and sugar contents, and sponsoring diet control and physical activity in early childcare programs;\

Dennis Bailey

Professional beer geek. Alcohol ninja. Social media scholar. Award-winning twitter fanatic. Writer. Basketball fan, mother of 2, audiophile, Saul Bass fan and communicator, collector, connector, creator. Producing at the sweet spot between simplicity and purpose to create strong, lasting and remarkable design. I'm a designer and this is my work.