Mums the most important weapon in obesity fight
MOTHERS hold the key to shutting down the state's spiralling obesity crisis and should be the focus of the State Government's new Healthy Futures Commission, Queensland's top doctor says.
It comes as new research shows mums who live a healthy lifestyle are 75 per cent less likely to have obese kids.
Australian Medical Association Queensland president Dr Dilip Dhupelia has warned educating young mums on nutrition and exercise is key to improving the health of the next generation.
"Despite the cultural shift of an increasing number of dads doing home duties while mums go to work, mums are still the critical decision makers as to what is purchased at the supermarket, what is presented at the dinner table, what is packed into children's lunch boxes and what is allowed to be purchased by the kids at school tuck shops." Dr Dhupelia said.
"Providing support by way of information and education to young mothers and new mothers, as the key influencers in their children's eating habits, will lead to the right nutritional habits in children."
Harvard University research published in the British Medical Journal looked at 24,289 kids aged between nine and 14 found that those with mums that were a healthy weight, exercised regularly, didn't smoke, ate a healthy diet and were light to moderate drinkers were less likely to have weight problems.
In Australia a quarter of children are obese or overweight.
Dr Dhupelia said healthy eating at home also helped children make better choices when dining out.
"We know that children can exert undue pressure for 'treats' and therefore influence what is ordered in restaurants and fast food outlets," he said.
"If children have developed healthy eating habits at home, then the treat choices are also likely to be healthy."
Jade Dumont loves to live a healthy lifestyle and that attitude organically flows through to her children.
"I am not a total fanatic with the kids. We believe in the 80-20 ratio. The kids get some treats but 80 per cent of the time they eat a nutritional diet. Exercise is just part of life. We take the dog walking or play in the park," she said.