Healthy message needs to combat advertising
LIFE Education Queensland CEO Michael Fawsitt says it is important now, more than ever, to reinforce healthy eating behaviour in schools.
"Kids are being bombarded with advertising and we have to balance that," he said.
He said smoking and obesity rates were high in Gladstone and the program aimed to teach kids about eating well and leading a healthy life.
"Those rates are higher in low socio-economic communities, but also in mining towns where there is more disposable income," he said.
Mr Fawsitt visited Gladstone South State School yesterday with celebrity giraffe Healthy Harold who arrived amid cheers and squeals.
"The kids love Healthy Harold; he even has 150,000 fans on Facebook and most of them are in their 20s," he said.
Life Education visited the school to celebrate 4500 Gladstone children participating in its healthy eating programs.
Principal Kurt Goodwin said while his students were pretty healthy there was always room to improve.
He said it could be hard on parents when there was so much fast food advertising and kids did not understand healthy eating.
"My daughter goes to school with a healthy lunchbox, but she still asks to eat fast food," he said.
He said fast food tasted great to kids and he understood why they craved it.
"There is so much fast food promotion that it is always a fight to teach them why eating well is important."