Seeing Beyond The Burger Box

posted 20 Jan 2009, 04:58 by   [ updated 20 Jan 2009, 05:05 by South Edinburgh Net Admin ]
The British Heart Foundation recently launched their latest weapon in the fight against childhood obesity across the UK at Liberton High School.

Yoobot is an online game that allows children to play with their future, aiding them in understanding 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 in fact talks to you regularly via SMS or e-mail. It will complain if it’s hungry, ask for junk food, tell you if it’s feeling unwell, and even write you a poem for your birthday.

BHF Scotland’s Prevention and Care Adviser, Andy Carver, says: “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 Scots 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.”

Almost three quarters of Scottish youngsters are unaware of the devastating effects eating junk food can have, according to a British Heart Foundation (BHF) Scotland survey published today. It revealed that seven out of ten children (71%) were unaware that a shortened life was the worst consequence of eating badly.
Nearly half (40%) 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 or give them spots.