The WHO defined Healthy as a state of being physically, mentally and socially fit and not only by the absence of disease or infirmity. Being healthy also includes eating diets that are of less sugar, processed foods, good fats, lean proteins and vegetables and drinking plenty of water. Besides, a healthy diet, physical and mental health are also considered to be healthy. Physical health includes physical activities such as rest and sleep. Healthy physical activity can also be determined as leisure activities like exercise and playing sports. Along with physical health, mental health is also an important factor that completes the definition of being healthy. Being healthy in terms of emotions and social wellbeing are referred to as being mentally fit (Schreiner et al., 2020).
Being healthy is an important aspect of our lives as the need of being healthy can have a positive impact on our lives. Some of the reasons why being healthy are important has been mentioned below;
- Being healthy helps to live longer
- A better health condition makes an individual feel better about themselves.
- Since physical and mental health are related being physically fit helps in reducing the stress level.
- It also helps in reducing the unhealthy lifestyle by reducing the addiction to Alcohol and Drugs.
Besides, the given benefits of being healthy, there are also social, political aspects which help us in making the health condition a better one. Being healthy can help in adapting the social situations, being able to develop a healthy relationship with society, treating others with respect and most important is having fun in life (Seah and Wang, 2021).
Political Aspect includes the reduction of the Government cost to handle the disease. For example, in the pandemic period of Covid-19, if the health conditions are not taken care of properly individually, the government has to incur additional cost such as extra hospital facilities.
The key to a healthy life is good nutrients, especially for young and children. Eating healthy helps the children get the required nutrients for the body to stay healthy. It is important to teach a healthy diet pattern to children as this will help in building a healthy habit throughout their lifetime and will stay even, they get older (Kosti et al., 2020).
Healthy eating helps the children in building better self-respect and fewer psychological and emotional issues such as having fewer friends and being getting bullied. According to Pietrabissa et al., 2020, in young children between two to nine years there is a relationship between a healthy diet and a healthy mind. The children having a healthy diet have better psychological well-being.
The Government has a crucial role to play in promoting healthy eating habits and well-being of children and young people as the government can provide a planned leadership that includes
- Access to improved healthy foods in lower-income areas,
- Serving a substance for change in the attitude of the community by providing healthy foods at government facilities (Jongenelis et al., 2020),
- Creating Awareness regarding the policies and regulation regarding any health condition caused due to unhealthy eating practices.
- Creating awareness regarding the importance of eating a healthy diet.
- The Government should focus on the eating attitude of the community by trying to introduce healthier and easier food choices.
- The Government should focus on the strategies that will help the community to adopt healthy eating practices.
Along with the planning, the Government strategies such as chnage4life and Sugar tax has helped in many ways to curb the unhealthy eating practices by the people. These strategies have been discussed below in detail.
- Sugar Tax
As per this policy, the Manufactures of soft drinks containing more than 5gm of sugar in 100 ml have been charged a tax of 18p to the Government treasury, or 24p is charged if the content is over 8gm per 100 ml. this tax was introduced since April 2018 (Colombo et al., 2020)
- The implementation of the sugar tax has led to providing aid in reducing the consumption of high sugar level foods and unhealthy foods as the tax imposes a high cost to the society leading to reduced consumption of sugar.
- The Sugar tax has helped the Government in raising the revenue as it's been expected that a 20% of the tax could raise approx. $ 1 billion which can be used to fund the other areas of health issues such as setting up a clinic for diabetes (De Crescenzo et al., 2020).
- This tax has helped in reducing the addiction of the people from the demerit goods which can cause health issues.
- The government charge a higher amount of tax percentage from the low-income groups.
- It has been argued that imposing a tax on sugar consumption may not provide much benefit than it could provide by other policies such as banning sugar advertisement to children, educating people about low sugar consumption (Linsley and Roll, 2020).
The Change4life campaign was introduced to create awareness among the different social groups and families to make a small dietary swap to reduce their total intake of calories.
- This campaign has helped in creating awareness to focus on the daily habits to change their behaviour for improving their health for long term and short term (Clark et al., 2020).
- The campaign has helped people in motivating the people of the UK to reduce the chance of developing common health issues such as cancer, heart strokes, and type 2 diabetes.
- The change4life has aimed to reduce alcohol addiction by providing them with a way to inculcate a healthy lifestyle which can be obtained through exercise and physical activities.
- This campaign can be harmful to those who have eating disorders since this campaign aimed at providing healthy snacks to the children.
- This campaign categorizes food as healthy and bad which can lead to a damaging impact on the mindset of the growing child.
- It promotes the idea of taking snacks twice a day which is considered to be incorrect for children as they are active enough to digest the food quickly and can need more food in between the two snack period (Wittels, 2020).
Unhealthy eating habits in children and young people can have an effect on them for short term and long term and these effects have been discussed precisely in below points.
- Short Term effect
- Poor eating habits can lead to stress and tiredness as there is a lack of proper nutrients in the body because of poor eating habits.
- It can affect the development of the brain which can lead to weak learning.
- It can lead to tooth decay because of improper calcium intake.
- It can lead to a decrease in energy which can further lead to weakness in the body.
- Improper dietary habits can also cause improper sleep pattern resulting in poor sleep hygiene (Carter et al., 2020).
- Long Term effect
Children who have improper food intake can have long term health issues and complications. These include;
- An unhealthy diet leads to Osteoporosis in the future life of children.
- Growing up eating foods rich in fats and sugar can lead to risk for high cholesterol, high blood pressure leading to heart diseases.
- Improper diet habits lead to cancer such as breast cancer in women, uterine cancer etc (Kovacs et al., 2020).
The role of teachers in student life is very critical whether in academics or daily personal lives. Teachers can promote children and young people health and well-being physically and mentally. The physical aspects are related to the following actions that are promoted by the teachers;
- Encouraging the students to get their lunch from home rather than having junk food from the food vendors.
- Establishing a healthy physical activity in the curriculum in a creative way.
- Establishing a partnership relation with the broader community such as sporting clubs, local food growers etc (Estrada et al., 2020).
- Providing development programs to the teachers and other staff members to help them understand the importance of being healthy and active.
- Offering a regular interval to the students to eat fruits and vegetables.
- Being the role models for students is another great way to inculcate a positive eating habit among the students.
These healthy habits are different on different levels. For primary schools, extra attention is being given concerning the eating habits of the children as stated above, healthy habits are taught in earlier days of children lives to make them habituated to the habits. For secondary schools, as the students are matured to a certain level, they are only given directions on how they can achieve healthy eating habits along with guidance given on how to lead a healthy lifestyle (Rito et al., 2020).
School is the place where children can gather much knowledge and develop habits quickly when at school therefore, it is necessary for the schools to be responsible for the healthy eating habits as school is the place where the children live, learn and play. Also, the teachers are well placed to reach the children to help both parents and the children in implementing a healthy diet by providing nutritional guidelines (Thibaut et al., 2020).
- Schreiner, K., Grossoehme, D.H., Baker, J.N., Needle, J., Friebert, S. and Lyon, M.E., 2020. “Being healthy and living life as if I never had cancer”: The meaning of “living well” from adolescents with cancer.
- Seah, B. and Wang, W., 2021. SHAPE: A Healthy Aging Community Project Designed Based on the Salutogenic Theory. Health Promotion in Health Care–Vital Theories and Research, pp.329-347.
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- Linsley, P. and Roll, C., 2020. Health Promotion for Nursing Students. Sage.
- Clark, H., Royal, P., West, H., Clothier, S., Smith, S., Chui, B., Howells, K., Hodgson, C., Porter, L., Albon, D. and Bagnall, P., 2020. Healthy families: the present and future role of the supermarket. Royal Public Affairs.
- Wittels, P.Y.E., 2020. Shaping health: understanding and influencing lifestyle behaviours in low socioeconomic women (Doctoral dissertation, Brunel University London).
- Thibaut, J.P., Lafraire, J. and Foinant, D., 2020. A time for a meal? Children’s conceptions of short-term and long-term effects of foods. Cognitive Development, 55, p.100885.
- Carter, P., Anderson, M. and Mossialos, E., 2020. Health system, public health, and economic implications of managing COVID-19 from a cardiovascular perspective.
- Kovacs, V.A., Messing, S., Sandu, P., Nardone, P., Pizzi, E., Hassapidou, M., Brukalo, K., Tecklenburg, E. and Abu-Omar, K., 2020. Improving the food environment in kindergartens and schools: An overview of policies and policy opportunities in Europe. Food Policy, 96, p.101848.
- Estrada-Vidal, L.I., Olmos-Gómez, M.D.C., López-Cordero, R. and Ruiz-Garzón, F., 2020. The Differences across Future Teachers Regarding Attitudes on Social Responsibility for Sustainable Development. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(15), p.5323.
- Rito, A.I., Mendes, S., Santos, M., Goiana-da-Silva, F., Cappuccio, F.P., Whiting, S., Dinis, A., Rascôa, C., Castanheira, I., Darzi, A. and Breda, J., 2020. Salt Reduction Strategies in Portuguese School Meals, from Pre-School to Secondary Education—The Eat Mediterranean Program. Nutrients, 12(8), p.2213.