On foot or by car? If you can, prefer the first option. Research has found that children who ride home ride more snacks than those who walk or ride bikes. For one thing, it has nothing to do with exercise. On the other, the threat masquerades as a prize that attempts to compensate for the absence of parents.
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The idea that children who walk or cycle back to school would be more likely to eat fast food because they pass snack bars and candy stores has not been confirmed - on the contrary.
A Berkeley School of Public Health study tracked the daily lives of 3,622 children from 44 schools in Southern California.
About 23% of them go to school on foot, by bike and even scooter. On the way back, 27% are actively traveling the route. The rest do so passively, whether by car or school bus.
The survey found that the second group consumes, on average, 78 more calories than the first. All from ready-made food, especially snacks and sweets. Most consumed on the way back, after school.
It is the fault of parents who wish to make up for the time they were away from their children with gifts, usually in the form of empty calories.
The message is clear. Both children and adults cannot view processed foods as a prize or a gift. The option turns out to be a Trojan horse, which increases the consumption of empty calories and trans fat, disguised as compensation.
A tight hug before accommodating the children in the car, or a walk accompanied by lively conversation, can be as effective and exciting as a packet of chips. And much healthier.