A healthy future New
The year is 2084. The world has been consumed with rubbish and left as a wasteland. The human race has had to resort to living in space, where they spend all their time sitting around eating and drinking, and as a result are hugely overweight. They don’t care about what’s good for them anymore.
You might recognise this scenario from the animated movie Wall-E. The idea may have come straight from the imaginations of Disney’s best creative brains, but the truth is, we may be closer this kind of future than you think.
OK, so we haven’t completely drowned the planet in rubbish (yet!). So far, the only people who’ve been able to visit space are either astronauts or billionaires (hello, Richard Branson). But eating too much of the wrong foods and not doing enough activity is already a reality for far too many of us…
Did you know that nearly 1 in 4 children starts school overweight, and that this increases to 1 in 3 when they get to secondary school ?
The British Heart Foundation has calculated that the average young person is consuming almost 30 teaspoons of sugar (118g), more fat than a cheeseburger, and over a third of their calorie intake from snacks alone. They’re more likely to eat crisps with their lunch than any kind of fruit. And that’s every single day.
Obesity is set to cost the NHS almost £50bn a year by 2050, if things go on as they are– that’s around half of the total estimated cost of running the NHS. If we don’t do something to change this trend, it will only get worse in future – and we might find ourselves closer to Wall-E’s world than we could have imagined.
Helping children and young people to eat better is a big part of the puzzle. There are lots of ways in which your career might contribute. You might work as:
- A nutritionist – giving expert advice on food for children and advising on regulations designed to improve food for children in school and at home.
- A dietitian – using your expert knowledge to connect food, physical and mental health to help people make decisions about food and lifestyle choices.
- A research nutritionist – finding out on a large scale how children’s diet is changing over time and how national policy is making an impact on this.
- A health promotion specialist – raising awareness of health issues and promoting healthy eating.
- A health trainer – advising people on healthy lifestyles and connecting them with programmes to help them.
- A food advisor – working for a charity supporting schools on improving their food.
- A food scientist – Investigating and testing food safety and quality and ensuring food labelling has accurate nutritional information.
- A cooking trainer – You might work on improving children’s cooking skills as a cooking trainer