Food Time Bomb
The experts drew a dramatic contrast between modern children and the 'leaner and healthier' generation raised during the rationing years of the s and early s. They said today's children risk diabetes, heart disease and cancers because of what they eat and the damage is compounded by a 'couch potato' lifestyle. The stark facts of the 'nutritional timebomb' were spelled out at two separate conferences. Leading nutritionists and dieticians revealed that:.
TimeBomb! A Genocide of Deadly Processed Foods.
One toddler in eight has an iron deficiency because of a lack of meat, pulses and fortified breakfast cereals;. Part of the blame was directed at schools which put chips on the menu every day and food companies who aggressively market high-fat and high- sugar snacks and drinks to children. But changes in family life are also a major factor in the nutritional breakdown which has accelerated across Britain since rationing ended in A meeting of specialists at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, organised by children's vitamin specialist Haliborange, heard that a whole generation of children may now be 'pre-ill' because of their diets.
Weight problems caused by an addiction to junk food - or simply ignorance of the alternatives - carry the risk of heart disease and diabetes later in life.
But even children who look healthy may be missing out on vital nutrients and putting themselves at risk of the brittle bone disease osteoporosis and some cancers, including those of the breast and prostate gland, in adulthood. Dr Margaret Lawson, senior lecturer on paediatric nutrition at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, said: 'The post-war years did provide a very good diet - we were never better nourished as a nation. Dr Lawson warned that today's junk-fed children were storing up a lot of trouble for themselves later in life.
She said: 'They may look healthy - the fact is they certainly get fewer infections than the post-war generation - but in the long term they may have a higher risk of some cancers, osteoporosis and diabetes because of what they are putting in their mouths. Not only that, but the boy had developed bony nobbles at the ends of his ribs all the way up, known as a rachitic rosary.
At such a young age, children are growing so quickly that their bones can correct themselves — so long as the body starts receiving the right nutrients. This is a beacon, right? Diets may become less balanced and so intake of micronutrients will decrease as a result.
Some of the first deficiencies to emerge might be iron deficiency — as experienced by Kerry Wright — along with vitamin A and iodine deficiencies. Iodine — plentiful in white fish and dairy products — is particularly important for brain development. And let us not forget obesity. In fact, while under-nourishment is a form of malnutrition, obesity is another.
View image of Crdit: Getty Images. Unfortunately, a deficient diet may never provoke a response from doctors unless these problems become severe. When Donaldson learned just how transformative a healthy diet could be while working at CFine, she changed her cooking habits at home.
She has already noticed weight loss in her youngest boy. Even the organisations that run them say that. She is a project leader at a charity called Centrestage, which is based in the town of Kilmarnock, south-west of Glasgow. Her job is to manage two programmes: one that provides fresh meals to people in deprived areas and another that runs community cooking courses. Before she worked here Boyd was employed by a bank.
She was overwhelmed. When Centrestage was launched, 13 years ago, its founders had no intention of feeding people. They wanted to provide a theatre group for locals. The idea was to put on big shows with a bit more buzz and pizzazz than is possible for, say, school drama departments. Plus, anyone would be able to join in, no matter their age or background. It was only as the leaders started working more closely with local communities that they realised food insecurity was such a problem — indeed, it could even be a barrier to people taking part in something like a theatre project.
Centrestage continues to put on community shows, but filling bellies is now a key objective. She has seen for herself how a lack of food can take its toll on young people. Children may become fatigued due to hunger — but they may also experience the opposite effect.
For children with ADHD, for example, hunger can trigger hyperactivity. She handed out sandwiches. But before I see the bus, I need to witness the kitchen that churns out thousands of prepared meals every week, says Boyd. We pull up to a big grey warehouse unit on an industrial estate.
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The sky is grey too. Chefs hurry about, all in black and comfy walking shoes, with jugs of various mixtures or huge trays for the ovens. The food portions cooked here are given to people at Centrestage locations. I try one later — pasta with roast vegetables, a tasty sauce and some cheese sprinkled on top. A genuinely enjoyable meal. Also available that day was paneer curry with rice, and pots of red pepper soup. View image of Credit: Centrestage. Volunteers will happily hand out food for free, though they do ask if people can try to budget each week and make a small donation, say a pound or two pounds.
Either way, Maconochie says, no one gets turned away. Between July and September , adults received food nearly 6, times and children on about 2, occasions. The assembly hall will be converted into their flagship theatre space. Classrooms will be let out to local initiatives seeking to teach people skills such as hairdressing.
And the old home economics department will be where Boyd organises her cooking courses. The first time she saw the rows of sinks and hobs, she was overwhelmed. Boyd and her co-workers, along with many volunteers, are trying to tackle poverty in an intentionally holistic way. So besides the cheap meals and cooking workshops, Centrestage staff and volunteers aim to help with benefits forms, or housing applications or employment issues. We can help you in any other way. Kerry Wright and her colleagues at CFine in Aberdeen also find themselves providing a wide range of support to local people.
Charities like this aim to get under the skin of something much bigger: deprivation itself.
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Food might just be the first thing that brings someone through the door. But the level of crisis he sees people in means running the food bank as well is essential.
For Wright, it was working for a food charity that really got her back on her feet, not access to free food. Today, she expresses a true zeal for the job she does. She now works 29 hours per week at CFine.
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She finally has a steady flow of income. This year, she says, she will become debt-free for the first time in a long time. Of the 30 local authorities with a high number of takeaways, 25 are in deprived areas in the north, the research found. It has takeaways - equivalent to one for every residents. The research also identified Manchester, Leeds, Hackney and Bournemouth as areas with high concentrations of food-to-go diners from fish and chips and doner kebabs to burgers.
But well heeled areas like Windsor, Oxford, Chichester and Sevenoaks, Kent were found to have less takeaways per head of population. These trends are very worrying.
Physiology & Behavior
Since , more than 20 councils have tried to clamp down on the number of takeaways opening up in a bid to tackle obesity. But they are fighting a losing battle as big businesses either overturn rulings or cash strapped councils bow to financial pressures caused by cutbacks and rake in lucrative business rates. Experts are now calling for health chiefs to play a bigger role in deciding if a town needs another food-to-go outlet. Figures from Public Health England PHE show almost two thirds of adults and a third of children aged two to years-old are obese or overweight.
And health conditions such as high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes caused by obesity claim 30, lives a year.