Saturday, November 19, 2005

Gory burgers for obesity

Concerned about the rapid growth of obesity among children, the UK Government has decided to put posters showing gory images of burger rolls filled with bones and gristle, all across the country, as a part of The Food4Thought campaign to shock children into improving their diets and help fight obesity.

The British Heart Foundation’s posters show common ingredients found in many burgers, chicken nuggets and hot dogs to create an awakening among kids about fatty foods, which are harmful for their health.

The campaign was carried out after a survey done by the charity showed that 36 per cent of the eight to 14-year-olds were not aware that the main ingredient of chips was potato.

It is estimated around 440,000 more UK children will become overweight or obese in the next two years, with a quarter of youngsters predicted to be overweight by 2020.

Nearly one in 10 of the children questioned for the BHF survey thought chips were made of oil, while others suggested eggs, apples and flour.

More than a third (37 per cent) did not know cheese was mostly made of milk.

“It sends a shiver down my spine to discover that so many children don’t even know what chips are made of. Kids have lost touch with even the most basic foods and no longer understand what they are eating,” BBC quoted Peter Hollins, the BHF’s director-general, as saying.

He said banning foods or telling children not to eat them was not enough. “This campaign is about talking to children in their language and sparking their curiosity so that they think about what they eat and start demanding healthier options,” he said.

The images on the posters are partly covered by a “censored” stamp, but full ingredients can be found by visiting the charity’s website.

The BHF is also sending out 600,000 action packs to youngsters and has enlisted the help of celebrities, including actress Fay Ripley, ITV sports presenter Gaby Logan, and cricketer Andrew Flintoff, to help in the campaign.