the Spanish Federation of Nutrition, Food and Dietetic Societies

the Spanish Federation of Nutrition, Food and Dietetic Societies

A date to raise all those issues in which what we eat, how and how much influence our health. Something very close to yesterday’s entry … awakening conscience is what it is ultimately and be aware of the role played by daily food in health, something that apparently is quite underestimated by the general population. This year’s motto, you see, is: ” Eating healthy is fun, obesity is not “; with a focus of attention clearly focused on the child population .

At this point I will not deny the importance of these issues but perhaps questioning to a certain extent (with the most positive of intentions) how to highlight them and provide solutions, recommendations and advice. I anticipate that the bulk of the campaign seems right but there are details with which I disagree, as well as having left in the pipeline some things that in my opinion are important.

In all the material that accompanies this commemoration, both in the triptych , and in the presentation for conferences , a special allusion is made to the issue of overweight or childhood obesity , the factors that facilitate them , while indicating a series of recommendations in regards to life habits. These facilitators are divided into 3 groups of influence: inadequate nutrition, low physical activity and obesogenic environments in the home, school and community. Nothing new, but that should be remembered and kept well in mind.

The importance of breakfast

The importance of breakfast

However, when focusing on recommendations, the bulk of the message focuses significantly on the importance of “full” breakfast . First of all I am not totally convinced of the importance of breakfast (to do or not) in the treatment and prevention of overweight and obesity. I remember this entry ( Is it mandatory to have breakfast if you want to lose weight? ), Which highlighted that, at least in adults and today , it is unclear whether the fact of making a breakfast or not is a preventive element or valid therapeutic. I do not know very well on what the FESNAD can be based, I insist, to put the accent on an element with a usefulness … at least so diffuse, are there not other issues to pay so much attention to before breakfast?

The importance of “full” breakfast

The importance of "full" breakfast

Secondly, what I do not have the slightest doubt is the unfortunate when talking about a “full” breakfast in the terms to which this campaign refers. What is supposed to be “complete” or “balanced” in these cases? Well what you imagine and fear at the same time: the presence, apparently unavoidable , of at least three elements in the breakfast, a food of the dairy group , one of the cereals and one fruit . The auction of the play is when among those foods of origin “cereal” also prominently included cookies . And it is that, with these parameters in the spotlight to catalog a breakfast as “balanced, complete or ideal” I am not surprised by the statistical data offered that only 3.8% of Spanish children had a “breakfast” complete ” … Ay, ay, ay.

And what happens if a child has a potato omelette and that’s it … is it wrong? And if you eat rice with lentils or a portion of gazpacho or a piece of hake in the Roman … is it bad too, does the risk of obesity increase by having breakfast like that? Well, in my opinion, not, and I explain.

(Thinking aside: I prefer not to think about whether the companies in the food industry that have sponsored this day will have had something to do, because, that’s another, for when a DNN without direct sponsorship of the food industry? Is it impossible? ?)

We should already leave so much ideal food, balanced breakfast and full dinners and start to put the accent on the general goodness of the diet … in the adult and in the child. We should therefore stop making unjustified and unnecessary perfectionist pressure on plots as concrete and reduced as the intakes taken one by one and focus more on two aspects: on the one hand on the role of people to decide and give, within a order, taste to your preferences and; on the other, begin to observe lifestyles as a whole, as the important element when proposing improvements. It should not be in my opinion to continue along this path that ends up atomizing and disintegrating each and every one of our behaviors (and therefore that of our children).

I apologize for the FESNAD, but nobody has shown me the existence of a breakfast “balanced, ideal and complete” that serves the whole world as it is expressed in this information (you can check this entry about it: Is there a “ideal” breakfast? ). If it were up to me, keeping the motto and leitmotiv of DNN 2014, I would have focused on the role of parents and caregivers, on the example they give and on the food options they put in front of their children at all times. These relationships and all the questions related to training are those that for me have an overwhelming weight in our weight status and therefore in which our children will have a certain probability. Remember, a child does not eat what you do not put at his disposal . But this issue, for me central to these issues, was discussed in the DNN of 2012 ( Teaching to eat is to teach to grow ) and hence my enthusiasm to applaud, then yes, that initiative.

Weight reduction or change of habits

Weight reduction or change of habits

And finally there is the question of making everything happen for the “weight” and not so much for the “bad habits”. Because if it comes to useful measures, there are interesting studies that suggest that what really matters should start from focusing on changes in lifestyles rather than weight loss as such. To begin with, with these changes in lifestyles , both the obese and the non-obese population would benefit ; and finally, it is a much better way of not stigmatizing anyone (especially children at such a delicate age) and of maintaining long-term weight goals .

So long life to the DNN, if it can be without the sponsors of the type that usually are the habitual ones; I hope it serves to remind the general population about the importance of food and its importance in health. And remember, do not let yourself be misled: a healthy diet does not necessarily involve breakfast with milk with cookies and an apple (or its typical substitutes).