The NHS released data that 58% of women in England are obese and more than 1 in 5 children in Reception were overweight, which goes up to 1 in 3 children by Year 6. It is therefore, of little surprise that dieting culture surrounds us constantly with various passing sensations and quick fixes. The question this raises though is how to sift the fact from the fiction?
As a parent, the struggle of remembering to maintain not only your own health but also that of your child is real. The media is saturated with ever changing opinions of what is best for your health and beauty. Separating the media's nutritional nonsense from reality will in fact make meal planning and not to mention life in general a whole lot easier.
One universally accepted rule with regards to health and nutrition is that diet plays an essential role. However, the playing field is left wide open to various interpretations of what exactly that diet ought to consist of. Whether you are a working parent or a stay at home parent, you are guaranteed to be a busy parent, which can often have an impact on your diet. One go-to diet choice is the detox diet, with the myth being that it is essential for flushing out toxins. Detoxing could be in the form of taking laxatives, fasting or juicing for a period of time. One of the anti-juicing arguments is backed up by nutritionist Kyla Williams in the Telegraph, who states that juicing can contain too much sugar and not enough fibre. In actual fact, eating fruit and veg whole gives us a healthy hit of antioxidants and fiber that our bodies need to regulate their assimilation.
There is a long list of foods we know we should not eat although situating that against vices and guilty pleasures means that we sometimes lose that battle. Imposing those rules on children can (sometimes) be an easier feat. However, being aware of what really should be cut from a diet and what doesn’t really need to be can make a huge difference to your child’s health, attitude towards food and your own convenience.
The media’s current war is with gluten. While going gluten free is important for those diagnosed with coeliac disease (which affects 1% of the population), the Independent refers to a team of nutritionists and medicine experts who suggest that cutting gluten may actually do more harm than good. This is because by restricting gluten products, you are also likely restricting whole grain intake.
The myths related to nutrition often have a speck of truth to them which gets magnified into fad diets and media fodder. When it comes to your and your families diet, it is useful to identify the strings of fact but be able to shred them away from the fictional hype to actually serve you fully.
Jane Sandwood is a professional freelance writer and content editor with over 10 years’ experience across many fields. Jane has a particular interest in issues relating to health, fitness and nutrition.
Artist, Baker and Blogger. Mum to my two beautiful, cheeky girls. Muddling my way through parenthood with equally cheeky Husband.