Posts Tagged ‘obesity’

We are losing basic survival skills.  Home Economics is essential for learning about the basics of growing, transporting, purchasing, preparing, nutritional values, cooking, presenting, enjoying, cleaning up and storage of food.  ‘Food literacy” is about learning food skills as a holistic concept.  

Eating food is a basic human need.  Food preparation is not… it is a learnt skill.  In a recent article, Professor Donna Pendergast from Griffith University called for compulsory home economics education in secondary schools to help fight the alarming rise of childhood obesity.  She points out that parents may outlive their children if something is not done… and I would suggest done quickly.  Lichtenstein and Ludwig (2010) published an article in The Journal of the American Medical Association and have made similar claims about the relationship between home economics and addressing childhood obesity.  Technology driven lifestyles and safety concerns are keeping children inside and sitting still instead of riding bikes to school and building cubby houses.  It is basic mathematics – energy input does not equal energy output = fat. 

Access to convenience foods may not be so convenient.  Kids learn by doing.  Providing commentary to Lichtenstein and Ludwig’s article, Dr Sharma (Director of the Canadian Obesity Network) says “time to bring back home economics” because “the art of basic food preparation and meal planning may be a very real part of the obesity solution”.

Many home economics teachers would probably say “but we never left!”  Home Economics is in place in many schools and already on the job educating our kids.  But government decisions are pulling home economics from many schools.  This may have disastrous consequences. 

It is time to have your say.  Donna Pendergast (Griffith University, Australia) and Yvonne Dewhurst (Aberdeen University, Scotland) have requested home economics teachers of the world send a strong message on the importance of home economics.  Please follow this link and complete their online survey “Home Economics and food literacy – an international investigation” before 22 July 2011.



Advocacy for home economics require strong voices.  Add your voice.
Jay Deagon


Lichtenstein AH, & Ludwig DS (2010). Bring back home economics education. JAMA : Journal of the American Medical Association, 303 (18), 1857-8


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