British television chef Jamie Oliver has set up a global petition fighting for practical food education for every child in the world and needs your help to reach one million signatures. This comes ahead of his annual Food Revolution Day on Friday. Oliver (pictured) plans to take the petition to the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Turkey in November and present it to the governments represented there. “We’re currently facing a global obesity epidemic, with 42 million children under the age of five either overweight or obese across the world. The bottom line is the next generation will live shorter lives than their parents if nothing is done to rectify these alarming stats,” says Oliver on his petition page at change.org/jamieoliver.
“It’s essential that we arm future generations with the life skills they urgently need in order to lead healthier, happier, more productive lives. I passionately believe this is every child’s human right, and I hope you agree.”
Parents often fail to see their children as obese
Although rates of childhood obesity have risen over the past several decades, a vast majority of parents misperceive their children as “about the right weight”, according to new research led by New York University’s Langone Medical Centre. Published online in the journal Childhood Obesity, the study analysed data from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. They studied nearly 7,000 children over two time periods, 1988-94 and 2007-12. The children in the second time period were significantly more overweight than the children in the first period.
Parents were asked whether they considered their children, aged two to five years, to be overweight, underweight, or just about the right weight. Nearly all parents of overweight boys from the first period perceived their sons as “about the right weight” (97 per cent), with a very similar result from the second period (95 per cent). About 88 per cent in the first period perceived their daughters as “about the right weight” and 93 per cent in the second period.
Late-night snacking: is it your brain’s fault?
A new study has revealed that images of food, especially high-calorie food, can generate spikes in brain activity, but those neural responses are lower in the evening. And because there’s lower reward-related brain reactivity to food images in the evening, the researchers at Brigham Young University in the US state of Utah suggest this leads people to eat more at night to try to become satisfied. In the study, which appears in Brain Imaging and Behaviour, functional MRIs were used to monitor the brain activity of study subjects while they viewed images of both low- and high-calorie foods.