Kids’ pester power causes ticking time bomb for NHS

Forget the time-outs and the naughty step, many British parents are giving in to their child/children’s every whim during the lockdown and the repercussions could cause detrimental consequences for their health.

Did you know that…

  • • 1.9 million children at risk of obesity due to lockdown eating habits
  • • One third of UK children overweight or obese
  • • 97% of UK children at home during lockdown
  • • 45% of parents are being pestered for sugary snacks by children

Before the pandemic hit, one third of children in the UK, aged between two and fifteen were classed as overweight or obese, with the health crisis costing the NHS £6.1 billion per year. A recent study also showed that 45% of British parents were being overthrown with requests from their children for sugar-filled snacks and drinks whilst stuck at home during the lockdown.

Parents fight an ongoing battle between working-from-home, homeschooling and good parenting. Sometimes, it becomes easier to compromise on the little things help to offer some relief for the other things. So the children learn to use this to their advantage and get that sugary treat whenever they felt like it. Some parents might even do it out of guilt – feeling like they’ve subjected their children to these harsh times so a treat can help keep them happy and positive.

With around 4.5 million children in the UK – 97% of those were cooped up at home during the lockdown. We were one of those families – our children didn’t go out at all during the lockdown but since the easing, we’ve been able to get out and about a little bit more. We don’t always treat the kids to sugary snacks, sweets or drinks but can definitely agree that we have been giving them it more often post-lockdown compared to before.

The NHS could well see a spike in obesity in the next few years to come. Wayne Starkey, CEO and Co-Founder of healthy food and drink brand, The Skinny Food Co, said: Sugar can have detrimental short and long term effects on our children, from mood swings and anxiety, to depression, tooth decay and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

“As a Dad myself, I understand how difficult it can be to change bad eating habits once they start, so opting for healthier alternatives is a much easier way to limit high calorie snacking for everyone in your household.”

The Skinny Food Co is a food and drink brand dedicated to zero calorie sauces, syrups and healthy snacking options. They also offer Free-from food and snacks including sugar-free, gluten-free, vegan-friendly, protein-heavy, diabetic-friendly and keto-friendly.

Best ways to AVOID consuming high sugars:

  • Eat the fresh fruit whole and cut down/avoid eating too much dried fruit
  • Avoid juicing as you don’t gain any nutritional intake, only sugars
  • If you make smoothies, include the whole fruit to make use of the pulp and flesh and add in a variety of vegetables for nutritious smoothie, a fruit-only smoothie is not ideal as it can be high in sugars
  • Eat high-sugar fruits like bananas, oranges and melons when they’re just ripe. Over-ripe fruits have a very high sugar content
  • Avoid or at least limit sugary drinks, foods and snacks – if you might, opt for sugar-free or low-calorie alternatives

For the full range from The Skinny Food Co, to place orders or for more details, visit www.theskinnyfoodco.com, alternatively pop into your local Morrisons, Holland & Barrett, Co-Op and Spar stores.

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