We as a generation of exponentially grew out of the cooking stage. Back when diners, fancy restaurants, and home cooked food was the only option you had, your diet was different. Less pizza and fried chicken and more roast beef and meatloaf. Our determination has changed along with our expectations. Now we are more accustomed to the lazy life. We do drive-thrus for fast food or postmate it to our doorstep. We moved from our nutrition filled, time consuming regimen and moved onto a less mobile approach.
Middle childhood, for many children, is a time where skills learned from earlier experiences are refined and tested within new challenges (Craig & Baucum, 2002, p. 316). Additionally, with an increase in solidification of valuable neurological circuits, there is an enhanced and sustained ability to learn. Also, a more sophisticated approach is displayed towards decision making, planning and problem solving. Socially; friendships become more powerful and significant as dependence on parents shifts to peers. This coincides with a heightened social comparison and self-understanding. Physically, height and weight gains occur at a steady rate, basic gross motor skills stabilise and fluency in fine-motor skills begins to emerge. However, despite an increasing athletic ability, it is indicated that time spent engaged in physical activity decreases (Berger, 2009, pp. 393, 403; McDevitt & Ormrod, 2010, pp. 21, 154).
In the article “Junk Food Advertising ruling on Marketing to Children,” by Mark Sweney, he shows that, “Last year, there were 13,477 complaints about 10,202 digital ads in the UK” (Sweney). Mark shows that a large number of people are upset by how the food industry is marketing food to children, people only seem to be wanting the unhealthy foods. As teachers generally recognise that their role extends beyond being an information dispenser (Harden & Crosby, 2000), there are practical strategies that can be implemented in facilitating children to build on the concept of health. However, the role of the government has often been questioned on its part in the obesity epidemic.
Signs can be used and put up to spread the rumor that healthy foods while also showing how unhealthy foods should not be consumed in big amounts. In Jane E. Brody’s article, “Attacking the Obesity Epidemic by First Figuring Out Its Cause,” she mentioned that, “Schools that introduce healthful foods in the classroom have shown that they are more likely to be eaten in the lunchroom and at home” (Brody) Jane states how the influence of advertisement at school affects what they eat in and outside of school. Research suggests that the benefits of physical activity during middle childhood are multifaceted. Goran, Reynolds ; Lindquist (1999, p. 18) conceptualises that is not merely a means of increasing levels of fitness, but a foundation in promoting healthy lifestyle patterns and psycho-social well-being. If advertisements were to focus on the major benefits of eating healthy and exercising then maybe schools, restaurants, and work would change their eating habits.
This essay seeks to address the benefits of physical activity in middle childhood, and the strategies teachers can implement in promoting self-awareness in healthy lifestyle choices. If the industry were to show children more healthy foods in commercials and or advertisements or to show that unhealthy foods aren’t always the best options, it will get people and children to change their eating habits. Advertisements greatly influence the public’s eating habits and should be catered to the benefit of their health in order to get them to change their eating habits.