by Dr Amelia Stephens
Easter time is seen as a family time. We have days off and school holidays that allow us to come together as families and communities to enjoy what has been a festivity for what seems like many aeons. Easter is when all sorts of chocolate eggs, bunnies and alike treats line the walls of our supermarkets, making it very much part of our societal playout at this time. Schools give out Easter egg treats and families have Easter egg hunts. Giving and receiving more sugar than most of us would normally otherwise contemplate is commonplace, and we really do need to ask, why?
Some may say that not having the colourful eggs and bunnies would take away the joy and fun of this time – and that I might sound like a Grinch for implying that we shouldn’t have them. I would say, have you ever observed children playing in the playground or in their own back yard? Left to their own devices, they have more joy and natural laughter without and need for additional whiz-bang colourful toys or sugar. To say we would be depriving them of anything by not having chocolate at this time really isn’t the truth.
More where the problem comes in, is when children whose families choose not to have sugar or chocolate are in the same environment as those that do. By virtue of what is seen as commonplace all around them, they may feel like they are missing out on something, which in fact they are not.
Have we ever observed a group of children eating sugar, and shortly afterwards? If we have, the answer here is self-explanatory as to whether it is necessary or not for them, and whether in fact it indeed does add any long-term value to their health and lives.
In an environment where NCDs (non-communicable diseases) such as heart disease, diabetes and various other conditions are causing our planet and people so much distress, it makes me wonder why we are not looking more at these types of ingrained events and seeing them for what they really are in this day and age.
We would not be robbing anyone of any joy if we decided not to include chocolate at Easter time, and in fact offering an opportunity for far greater.
It’s something for us all to consider, as we are part of our world and communities moving forward.