Our obsession with food is more about image than nutrition, and I think that's a problem, not in terms of academic performance, but as regards the society we're creating. We've been indoctrinated to believe that good-looking people are more successful, and I think our society is becoming more shallow as a result. I think it's good to focus on eating a healthy diet, but I think our obsession with being more attractive is ridiculous.
I think we need more good advice about nutrition. The messages we receive, which often aren't scientifically proven, have a huge impact. There are a lot of diets out there that aren't necessarily good for your health, such as those that involve taking supplements and eating high-protein diets. What we need to do is to learn how to cook, how to eat well and to eat foods that are in season. That's the most important. We have been evolving for thousands, even millions, of years. Since we lived in caves, we have evolved to eat certain types of foods. That's why it's important to hit the rewind button a bit as regards changing our habits and starting to eat healthy foods that are in season, rather than jumping on diet bandwagons that are neither healthy or necessary.
Obesity is just the tip of the iceberg. The real problem is that children aren't getting the nutrition they need, and this is reflected throughout society. They may not be obese, but lots of children and adults have a very poor diet. We have to eat well in order for our brains to work properly. If we don't eat the right types of foods to give them the fuel they need to work well, they won't be able to generate knowledge effectively. One thing we can do is to try to make healthy eating more fun. Health is a really important issue, so schools should try to help children choose healthy eating options, and not just because of obesity. There are some frightening statistics out there which show that obesity is just the tip of the iceberg. For instance, in Spain almost 20% of children are obese or overweight. However, by encouraging children to live more healthy lives, schools can help to create a much healthier society.
Obesity is a delicate subject, but it is possible to teach children about health so they become much more aware of some of the issues. Sleep is equally as important as nutrition in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If a child's not doing so well at school, I think the first thing a teacher should ask their parents is how well they're sleeping. Because, sometimes we get so caught up in focusing on other things that we forget to think about sleep at all. Sleep, exercise and nutrition are all important if we want to try to create a healthier society. They also help to improve mental health.