David Ludwig, MD, PhD, director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center and the Optimal Weight for Life (OWL) Program at Children’s Hospital Boston, was recently featured in the annual medical issue of the Boston Globe Magazine. Ludwig was profiled for his leadership role in the war on childhood obesity.
“Ludwig, who holds a chair in pediatric endocrinology at Harvard and directs the Optimal Weight for Life (OWL) program at Children’s Hospital, is arguably the nation’s leading crusader in the battle against childhood obesity. With nearly a third of US children and teens overweight, and fully 17 percent obese, Ludwig believes this battle is one we cannot afford to lose.”
In today’s technologically driven schools, the idea of home economics classes, which were designed to arm kids with half a dozen easy-to-cook recipes, seems a little dated. And faced with busy academic schedules, schools have largely abandoned these lessons. But given the current epidemic of childhood obesity, is this really the smartest move? In a commentary in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), David Ludwig, MD, PhD, argues that instruction in basic food preparation and meal planning are essential for today’s kids, who can’t rely on their parents to teach them these skills.
(Read a related post from Thrive that asks whether it’s realistic to expect marketers to make changes on their own to how they market unhealthy foods to kids, or whether the government should get involved.)
Many parents never learned to cook and instead rely on restaurants, take-out food, frozen meals and packaged food as basic fare. Many children seldom experience what a true home-cooked meal taste like, much less what goes into preparing it. …