I've been interested in nutrition for decades, ever since as a young schoolgirl my mother repeatedly stressed the importance of "Three square meals a day", "Brush your teeth after you eat" and "You are what you eat". The whole dinner table scenario of a plate featuring some kind of protein (roast beef, chicken, maybe fish or lamb on occasion) with a scoop of either potatoes, rice or pasta, and two different kinds of vegetables (carrots and peas along with broccoli or asparagus for example), and a glass of milk to drink may seem a bit quaint nowadays. Back in the 70's it was considered really healthy eating. I went to school every day fuelled with porridge and eggs, and lunched on a sandwich with some kind of meat inside along with a thermos of soup and some fresh produce as a snack. I was happy to trot along with my Scooby Doo lunchbox, pleased that I had helped my mother prepare my lunch. In high school I studied Home Economics and learned everything from how to properly iron trousers, to preheating an oven prior to baking, to creating a grocery list, to table setting and different kinds of stitch patterns on a sewing machine. To this day I love making one of the recipes I chose as my Grade 8 "Cook lunch for the class" projects: lasagna. Now I modify by using organic ingredients and gluten free noodles, and low fat mozzarella on top :-)
I never worried about calories or fat content until it was suggested that I should watch my weight. I was always an athletic kid, on the slim side with good muscle tone. There was only one "fat kid" in the class at the time. I never gave any thought to weighing myself often or changing my diet until external pressure urged me to do so.
Fast forward to present day. What percentage of kids are overweight? What do they eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner? I bet the picture is very different than it was in my elementary school days.
If parental examples, peer pressure and media influence are such huge factors in determining what young people eat, then why isn't everyone on board with promoting a genuinely healthy approach to nutrition?
OK, that's a whole other discussion. But hey - think about it - the toll of an obesity epidemic in an era where parents will outlive their children is something that CAN be reversed.