BHF The Yoobot To Tackle Childhood Obesity

March 2017

Heart Disease

Country of origin: UK

The majority of Britain's youngsters are unaware of the devastating effects eating junk food can have, according to a British Heart Foundation (BHF) survey published recently. It revealed that seven out of ten children (73%) were unaware that a shortened life was the worst consequence of eating badly.

Nearly half (45%) of all eight to 15-year-olds thought the most dangerous side effects of eating junk food were to make them put on weight, cause their teeth to rot, give them spots or make them unpopular.

The heart charity released the new survey results as it launched its latest Food4Thought initiative and its innovative new online game ? the Yoobot - to help children to make informed and healthier food choices.

Latest predictions show that two thirds of all children will be overweight or obese by 2050 and today?s youngsters may be the first generation to live shorter lives than their parents
Almost a third (31%) of 10 and 11 year olds are currently over weight or obese. But the majority of children are oblivious to the impact obesity could have on their lives with more than half (56%) predicting they will live to be over 80 and one in ten (11%) believing they will live to more than 100.

To get children thinking about their health the BHF has today unveiled the Yoobot - its latest weapon in the fight against childhood obesity. The Yoobot is an online game (yoobot.co.uk) which allows children to play with their future, helping them understand the long term effects of a poor diet.

Users create their own Yoobot - a mini version of themselves that they can personalise with an uploaded photograph. The choices they make for their Yoobot from the food it eats, to the exercise it does, have a direct impact upon the lifespan and wellbeing of their mini-me. The Yoobot has many appealing and not-so appealing habits ? from break dancing to breaking wind.

The Yoobot doesn't just live on the website, it talks to its creator throughout the day using SMS and e-mail. It will complain if it's hungry, ask for junk food and generally make itself a part of the user?s life.

BHF Director of Prevention and Care Mike Knapton said: ?Today?s junk food generation can?t see beyond the burger box. They are missing the fact that eating unhealthily can have dire consequences on their long-term health.

?The Yoobot is an innovative way for children to explore the effects of eating a diet of junk food. The clock is ticking on the obesity time bomb and it is now more important than ever for children to be educated enough to take control of their diets.?

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