The importance of healthy eating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is taught to children in a number of subjects throughout the curriculum including food technology and PE. All children are told the saying “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away”, yet the population in England is becoming more and more obese.
Stats from 2014 show that over 57% of the adult population are classed as overweight, the classification for this is a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 25 and anyone with a BMI of over 30 is classed as obese.
There are two popular forms of showing students what a healthy diet looks like; either a circle or a pyramid shape. The circle shapes are broken down into a pie chart to show the different food groups and the amount advised per group.
Another option is a pyramid affect which, at the bottom shows the groups which are the main building blocks to be built upon and at the top the groups such as fats and oils. Being able to clearly demonstrate to the students the importance of placing the correct food groups on the pyramid can be the difference between them having a healthy eating habit and therefore a healthy living as a result.
The different food groups are carbohydrates, fats, protein and fibre, however they can be broken down into good versions of that particular food group or into bad versions. Also another consideration is the amount of each food group being consumed can contribute towards either a healthy or bad eating plan, with fats being the perfect example.
Fats are broken down during the aerobic energy system so some athletes require small amounts of fats in their diets to be able to perform at the highest level, however if their dietitian gets that amount incorrect then that will negatively affect their performance and training.
However, there is a difference between the healthy eating promoted and encouraged to children and to other people in society. This is very different to the diets that professional athletes will eat, which they require to be able to perform to the level and standard that they do a daily basis.
They will have sport dietitians who will complete lay out a diet which will have the correct food groups in to facilitate all of the energy systems required for their sporting needs.
Overall healthy eating and healthy living are connected and that this should be educated to children in schools because if they get into the wrong habits too early while at school those habits may be hard to break in later life.