How to Live to 100

The summer holidays are finally here, school has broken up, and our days are much less structured.  During school time, I really dislike that rush in the morning and then having to keep my eye on the clock for picking up time later, so this chilled out and more relaxed time is very welcome and very lovely; quality time with my boy.

Regular readers will know that I’m very keen on my son having as healthy and nutritious a diet as possible.  I don’t mean to say that he never has sweets or cake, never has fizzy drinks.  It’s what we do regularly that matters and I believe that maybe these things should not be given every day.  We all need to take the easy option sometimes, and goodness knows we have our share of take-away food in particularly busy weeks, but it’s what we do the majority of the time that counts.

In the holidays it’s very easy to let things slip a little and life would be very boring with no treats or splurges.  We all let our hair down and make different food choices when we are on holiday, things we wouldn’t normally eat every day, and I don’t see why it should be any different for children.  So you might well find a box of Coco-Pops in the cupboard and cake in the tin, but we try to limit those things.  An example from breakfast time:  Coco-Pops go very well with porridge made with milk and they stir in beautifully to make lovely chocolatey swirls.  Brilliant with strawberries!  This way, my little one has a predominately healthy breakfast with a small handful of Coco-Pops, which of course he loves, because they are full of sugar and designed to be irresistible.

I’m not keen on the so-called Nanny State or the idea that we should be nagged into making the “right” choices.  Balance is the name of the game, in my opinion.  But I do think that education is important.  Our dentist tells a story from not long ago when he was at another practice, where he was required to fit a seven year old for dentures.  His parents had allowed him to have sugar every day, in the form of sweets, and more potently, fizzy drinks, and hadn’t been properly aware that this was going to rot his teeth faster than anything else.  A constant wash of sugar over the tongue promotes the desire for it even more, leading not just to weight issues, but dental problems too.

How to live to 100 ChildrenHow to live to 100 Middle Aged Adults

 

 

 

 

 

 

So I was interested to see these two infographics produced by BMI Healthcare entitled How to Live to 100.  They have been produced in response to a study conducted by them into how it is that unhealthy habits that begin in childhood can have a serious impact on longer term health.  Although it’s never too late to make changes such as giving up smoking, never to begin smoking in the first place would be preferable.

According to the BMI study, currently one third of children aged 10 and 11 suffer from obesity or weight related issues.  When I was that age, it was unusual to see an overweight child, now even very little ones are overweight; BMI Healthcare reports that 1 in 10 reception age children is obese.  Why this should be, why this change has occurred are questions currently puzzling greater minds than mine.

How does the current way of living impact on childhood nutrition?  Life is very different now and our lifestyles can impact in many different ways, on adults as well as younger ones.  None of us feels safe letting our children out to play on their own, as children used to do.  In years gone by, ice creams and desserts weren’t readily available in the supermarkets like they are now.  What used to be consumed occasionally can now be consumed every day.  As the graphic suggests walking or cycling to school is a good idea, but this isn’t practical for everyone.  Many parents work, they drop their children at school in the car and then drive to work.  Our house is too far from our school to walk there; it would take over an hour each way.  Another suggestion is to organise an activity for the weekend.  After a busy week, everyone needs some down time, including the adults.  Money and time availability due to shift work may also be considerations.  These are great suggestions, but the pace and structure of modern life often doesn’t make it easy.

If we agree that our children are the future, then the disadvantages of poor nutrition are going to affect the future of us all.  Besides health and dental issues, overweight children are physically less comfortable and may be socially less confident.  How will they blossom into smart, thinking adults of the future if they are hampered so early on in life?   If they are not eating the foods which will give them energy, how will they concentrate at school?  Life may be busy, but it’s still important to ensure our children, and everyone, are properly fed.

This post was written in collaboration with BMI Healthcare.

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12 Responses to How to Live to 100

  1. Quite shocking stats, those and that poor little boy with the dentures? Great innovation here :)

    • Hi Anya, thanks for commenting. The dentures thing is so shocking, isn’t it! I’m amazed that people don’t know this stuff. I couldn’t believe it when I first heard it. Our children’s health is so important.

  2. Ally Bean says:

    [Here is my contrary point of view as a child-free woman.]

    Are you sure that your dentist isn’t pulling your leg? There’s more to that story than just eating sugar. Certainly family genetics play into tooth loss.

    And as for living to 100? Sounds like a miserable idea to me! No one who I know is going to be alive at 100, so who would I be with? I’d be very lonely. I’ll eat the sugar now, live fewer years at a heavier weight, and enjoy my life with friends.

    • Hi Ally, thanks for commenting. No I’m sure the dentist wasn’t pulling my leg. The area he spoke of is certainly conducive to this kind of thing. I don’t think it’s a one off, just a bit extreme. I have to say, I think you can eat sugar and have friends, or not eat sugar and have friends, or eat just a bit of sugar every now and then and have friends, and indeed enjoy life. I don’t see a correlation. I feel as if my post has offended you, and I’m sorry for that.

      • Ally Bean says:

        Not offended in the least. My joking tone of voice didn’t come through on this comment. Sorry.

        What you wrote made me smile because I’d just had a conversation with someone who was about to retire and she was hoping that she wouldn’t live to be 100 years old because her money wouldn’t hold out that long. We both decided that eating less healthy [i.e. more sweets and drinks] would, in their own way, probably solve the money prob.

        • Ally, :-) I read and read your comment and just didn’t get that. :-( I’m sorry too. I love what your friend and you agreed on, and you are absolutely right. What fun is there in being old if you’ve not enjoyed yourself? I love that poem about “when I get old, I will wear purple, which doesn’t suit me, and run my umbrella along the railings….” etc or however it goes. You know the one. If you can’t do these things when you are old, then when can you! Personally I plan to be a lush when I’m old. Cava for breakfast, unless I have plenty of money, it which case it will be Champagne. I will be well preserved, or pickled, depending on which way you want to look at it.

          • Ally Bean says:

            Mea culpa. I didn’t explain myself well in my first comment. Re-reading it I can see how what I said made no sense to you. I forgot to add the context that I provided in the second comment.

            [The lesson to me is: Do Not Write A Comment On A Blog While Texting With Your Husband About Meeting For Lunch.]

            I love that purple poem! May I join you in your quest to be a purple-wearing old lady lush? Sounds like a marvelous way to live out my golden years. :-)

  3. Zazzy says:

    Heya! I was just thinking of you today when I was making “English” muffins! :)

    I agree about the balance thing. What I wonder is, I was raised by a mother who cooked everything from scratch and treats were treats, not every day foods. There were food issues at home – food was the major reward and comfort. Personally, I think the emotional attachment to food is probably worse than processed foods, at least for me. But I do agree with the concept of healthy balances. I don’t want to live to be 100 particularly, but I do want to be healthier now and better balance is the key.

    • Hi Zazzy, thanks for commenting. I think you are right about the emotional side of eating. I may be wrong but I don’t think anyone comfort-eats spinach, or brussels sprouts, or poached eggs, it’s all about the things we know are going to put weight on us, which doesn’t seem fair. We had food issues at home, too. Despite being a big lady, my mum didn’t enjoy food or cooking it. There was never any suggestion of food being there to be enjoyed, it didn’t have to be tasty. She withheld treats too, to quite a degree – we hardly ever got them, which sent its own message. When I was old enough to offer myself acceptance through food, I did. And that led to it’s own problems. So balance, yes, definitely. The more I read and talk to people, the more I think its more to do with how we feel about food and whether we’re interested in it, rather than the food itself. I don’t think I want to live to be 100 either, unless I’m really fit and healthy and still enjoying life. :-) Very thought provoking comment, thank you.

      • Zazzy says:

        By the way, I’ve been looking around and I really need a good recipe for crumpets if you have one. Apparently, I also need crumpet rings.

        • OK Zazzy, I’ll get on to it. On holiday in rural Ireland at the moment, but will sort it out when we get home. I’m sure I’ve got an Australian bread, cake and biscuit baking book that has crumpets in. More later!