According to a recent poll taken January 2015, our younger generations are more likely to choose healthy foods. The survey was given to over 30,000 people across 60 countries and the results showed that people in the younger generation, Generation Z, were more likely to care about whether or not there are healthy ingredients in their foods. This generation includes those born from 1995 onward.
Why this sudden shift?
We all know children see more than we think they do, and our society’s shifted focus to healthier everyday practices could be the reason. This would certainly be good news for Michelle Obama’s “ Let’s Move” initiative, that hopes to solve the problem of childhood obesity within a single generation. Children and young adults in America have been exposed to this positive campaign to solve childhood obesity since February 9, 2010. Michelle’s goal is to help the children of today grow into healthier adults was strengthened by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which reformed the school lunch program. This step affected the lunches of some 50 million children, whose lunches went from calorie-laden meals to healthy grains and whole foods.
Children now, more than ever, are likely to be educated on the importance of eating healthy, what foods are good to eat and which should be avoided. The growing availability of organic produce and healthy snack options could also be a reason for this health consciousness in children.
The Food Pyramid
Elementary school children are exposed the lesson of the food pyramid early on. In 1992, the Food Guide Pyramid had grains as the largest portion on the bottom, followed by fruits and veggies, then meats and dairy, and the smallest point on the pyramid was designated for fats, oils, and sweets. The pyramid received an update in 2005 to simplify the design and include physical activity and a concept of moderation.In 2011, MyPlate was created that allowed children to get a visual on what the food guide looks in practice.
There’s still a long way to go in America. While this poll shows positive improvement in the idea of health consciousness, our country’s childhood obesity rate is 18% for children ages 6-11 years and 21% for teens ages 12-19 years. Being health conscious is a great first step in the right direction to becoming a healthy adult, and it seems that children are taking part in becoming aware of good food choices.