Ziger the Tiger is back!! The 3rd story now available in digital and paperback.
There were a lot of factors which went into deciding the theme of this story. Childhood obesity is all around us and there is far too much junk food easily available and advertising it is still allowed. In addition, we have kids staying at home all the time and not getting enough physical exercise. But we also need to instil in kids the idea that body image is not the whole story! We need to encourage kids to look at their values, hopes, aspirations and to cultivate a positive outlook on life. We have brought this out in the story.
Here are some scary facts about overweight in children-
Overweight children are now making up 33% of the child population. This is a quote from the American Heart Association
Overweight in Children. Today, about one in three American kids and teens is overweight or obese. The prevalence of obesity in children more than tripled from 1971 to 2011. With good reason, childhood obesity is now the No. 1 health concern among parents in the United States, topping drug abuse and smoking. Jul 5, 2016
In the UK, the government has shirked its responsibility by not imposing any restrictions at all on junk food ads – the companies are supposed to do it voluntarily! What company would do that?!
Jamie Oliver, the famous UK chef is leading the Food Revolution which is aimed at reducing obesity in children. The figures for the UK are similar to those in the USA.
Obesity is a complex problem, but what’s really terrifying is that it’s a precursor to a whole host of diet-related diseases. For me, it’s junk food marketing, inadequate food education and unregulated sugar in everyday products that are putting the health of future generations at risk. And we can’t ignore the financial impact either – obesity globally costs us an estimated £1.5 trillion a year in health care and lost productivity.
Doctors and healthcare campaigners in the UK are appalled at the government’s weak response to what is becoming a really urgent problem. In addition, all this unhealthy eating is putting enormous pressure on the NHS, already on the verge of collapse. Theresa May has told the NHS that they will have to make ‘efficiencies’ In the services to the tune of £22 billion! Yet, they cannot act incisively to help kids become healthier.
Medical experts and campaigners have criticized the government’s childhood obesity strategy as weak and embarrassing, and accused policymakers of throwing away the best chance to tackle the culture of unhealthy eating that is crippling the NHS.
Enter Ziger the Tiger. I wanted to create a story which kids could identify with and show them that fast food could lead to obsession with body image, fat shaming and all the other health issues related to a poor diet.
Ziger learns all about the eating the rainbow and they soon start to experiment. But there are, as usual, certain unsavory characters in the jungle who are determined that Ziger gets fatter and fatter.
We meet a new nasty character called Sniper Viper who is determined to do just that. Kids will find out how Ziger manages to get off fast food and return to being a normal , active and healthy tiger. We have not forgotten video games either.
In the end Ziger learns that body appearance is just one aspect of growing up and not the most important one either!