Friday, November 10, 2006

Eat To Live: Real food and sports for kids

Sensible advice for everyone to follow. Eat to live...don't live to eat. The new video games I have seen for the kids which get them to moving look to be a good thing to me. Almost like an exercise video for kids. For my money anything which will entice them to move and be active is a good thing, especially when combined with a healthy diet.

Yours in Health and Fitness,


Eat To Live: Real food and sports for kids

LONDON (UPI) -- It's dismal to learn that a British company has come up with an exercise machine for kids designed to make them work out while playing computer games.

It's a step machine linked to a computer games console. Only if the child keeps up a steady rate of exercise will the game's controller function. How depressing is that.

Still, it may become a vital piece of equipment in any family with a PlayStation. In Britain alone, 1 million children are expected to be classified obese by 2010.

On Nov. 15 health ministers from nearly 50 countries are meeting in Turkey at a World Health Organization conference. They are being asked to sign an anti-obesity charter that states children should not be exploited by food companies. It calls for pressure from marketing companies to be lowered.

Professor Phil James, chairman of the International Association for the Study of Obesity, told the BBC, "If you are a parent you are in big trouble in most countries in Europe. Your attempt at being a good parent is being sabotaged -- and I am using that word deliberately."

Different European nations have different methods of addressing the issue of advertising controls. Finland and Ireland have guidelines to follow. In France, television advertisements for processed foods or foods with added fat, salt or sweeteners must carry a health warning. If they don't, advertisers are obliged to make financial contributions to health campaigns. In Norway and Sweden there are statutory bans on advertising. Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands expect advertising and the media to self-regulate.

Dr. Francesco Branca of the WHO said while the food industry preferred self-regulation, "Early indications are that this may not be sufficient."

British health campaigners are hoping to see food advertising on British television restricted before 9 p.m.

The BBC reveals that the draft WHO charter calls for a "reduction in marketing pressure, particularly to children." It declares: "Special attention needs to be focused on vulnerable groups such as children and adolescents, whose credulity should not be exploited by commercial activities."

Children need to eat better and exercise more. We know this. Pressing for wiser food choices is made even harder by our management of the food supply.

By 2048 the world will run out of seafood (always promoted as a healthy diet option) if steep declines in marine species continue at current rates, according to a new study in the journal Science.

There is little time in today's high-pressure school curriculum for sports. In Britain there is little space; 34,000 school and community pitches have disappeared since 1992, about 45 percent of the total, many of them sold off to developers.

But instead of buying Sony's EyeToy interactive sports games or a step machine that powers up a PlayStation, why don't we just turn our television screens off and send our children out for a walk while we cook them a healthy meal.

Jamie Oliver's efforts to improve the quality of school dinners have this week been blamed for a 5.8 percent drop in take-up. It's too soon to tell if the drop is only temporary. But let's not throw out the baby with the bathwater by going back to the old fried, processed school food.

At school and at home, we should strive to keep cooking healthily. Here's a recipe adapted from his book "Jamie's Dinners" that no child or adult will decline.

-- Roast chicken with lemon and rosemary roast potatoes

-- Serves 4

-- 4 pounds free-range organic chicken

-- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

-- 4 pounds potatoes, peeled

-- 1 large lemon, scrubbed well

-- 1 whole bulb of garlic, broken into cloves

-- handful of fresh thyme

-- handful of fresh rosemary sprigs, leaves picked

-- olive oil

-- Rub the chicken inside and out with a generous amount of salt and freshly ground black pepper, in the morning if possible, then cover the chicken and leave in the fridge until you're ready to start cooking it for lunch or dinner.

-- Preheat oven to 375 F and bring a large pan of salted water to the boil.

-- Cut potatoes into golf-ball-sized pieces, put them into the water with the whole lemon and the garlic cloves, and cook 12 minutes, drain and steam dry for 1 minute (to give you crispier potatoes), then remove the lemon and garlic.

-- Toss the potatoes in the pan while still hot so their outsides get chuffed up and fluffy -- this will make them lovely and crispy when they roast.

-- While the lemon is still hot, carefully stab it about 10 times.

-- Take the chicken out of the fridge, pat dry with kitchen paper and rub all over with olive oil.

-- Push the garlic cloves, the whole lemon and the thyme into the cavity, put the chicken into a roasting tray and cook in the preheated oven for around 45 minutes.

-- Remove chicken to a warm plate, toss the potatoes in any juices remaining in the roasting tin with the rosemary leaves.

-- Shake the tray around, then make a gap in the center of the potatoes and put the chicken back in and cook for a further 45 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked and the potatoes are nice and golden.

-- "I remove the lemon and garlic from inside the chicken, squeeze all the garlic flesh out of the skin, mush it up and smear it all over the chicken, discard the lemon and rosemary and carve the chicken at the table. Heaven!"

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