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Helping A Generation Seek A Healthier Future - Exclusive Interview With Louise Mercieca

Louise Mercieca is a Nutritional Therapist and Founder of The Health Kick, a business-driven to provide understandable, practical nutritional advice, in a world driven by diet culture and convenience eating. Louise is influential in the early-years health sector, making an impact that can shape the next generation’s eating habits. She is the author of ‘How Food Shapes Your Child’ and is hugely passionate about spreading the message that children can make healthy food choices that lay the foundations for their future health. We don't need to walk into the health predictions set for us, we have the ability to change them!

Louise Mercieca, Nutritional Therapist

Introduce yourself! Please tell us about you and your life, so we can get to know you better.

I’m Louise, I live in the middle of England with my husband, young son and guinea pig Rex. I am most likely to be found talking about food, making food, writing about food or planning something with food so it’s not surprising that I ended up with a business in nutrition!

I am a fidget! This largely stems from my love of exercise and being an ex Personal Trainer. A lot of my work is now writing which does require me to attempt sitting still. I annoy my husband by being a human jack in the box several times an hour as I get bored of sitting and arise to lunge or leap around our shared office.

What is your business name and how do you help your clients?

My business is The Health Kick. I no longer see 1:1 clients, but I aim to get my message out to a wider audience via:

  • my book How Food Shapes Your Child

  • my podcast – Louise’s Health Kick Podcast

In both of these, I aim to show how our health and happiness are intrinsically linked to our food and lifestyle. Not as a temporary quick fix but as a way of life.

I also provide;

  • Early years nutrition consultancy – reviewing and designing menus, telling the story behind the food

  • Content for Apps, books and I write many articles each month

What kind of audience do you target your business towards?

Everyone eats so there is something for everyone – especially via my podcast where we cover a wide range of subjects. People misunderstand nutrition and think it’s going to be someone telling them what they can’t eat – it's much, much more than that.

In terms of my consulting and my book though it is definitely an early years audience. Nursery owners, food brands, child behaviour specialists etc – I show how influential food is and why we need to take it more seriously when it comes to our children.

What are your current goals for your business?

  • To reach more people via my podcast

  • To increase book sales of How Food Shapes Your Child

  • To get a book deal to write my next book How Food Shapes Your Family – this would take the nutritional science even deeper showing how inter-generational health is influenced and much more!

Who inspires you to be the best that you can be?

I see our one role on this planet be to leave a legacy. I wish mine to be helping a generation seek a healthier future. Children need to be respected to make their own informed decisions but to do that they need to be educated. I guess my inspiration would be my own son. He was the reason I took the advanced study into nutrition and children’s brains, the reason why I wrote my book and he is a great example of how children can embrace their own biology and make their own healthy food decisions.

What is your work inspired by?

One thing:

  • The scientific prediction that this generation will not live as long as the one before it.

We cannot accept that and it is within our gift to change it.

80% of ill-health and premature death is due to lifestyle – the way we live our lives impacts on how healthy and how long our life will be. Global health concern is obesity, yet it is now so normalised even amongst children, it is as if we have forgotten that it is a serious medical condition.

I aim to change perceptions of obesity so that people can hear the word without switching off, without feeling blame, guilt even shame.

I aim to ensure that children are informed of the role that food, movement, sleep, stress has on their health and their role in that.

Tell us about your greatest career achievement so far.

This was a bit of a turning point but also a bizarre series of events! Not long after my book had been published a Nanny based in Bermuda bought a copy. Whilst it’s exciting getting international sales, that isn’t the story! She contacted me to say that she loved the book so much she was going to come to London to put on a 2-day conference and she wanted me to be the keynote speaker.

I hadn’t even entertained the idea of keynote speaking at this point but I went along with it all! The event was arranged and Nannies came from all over the world. It was a fantastic opportunity to get my message out there to a room full of early years professionals, all of whom feed children!

I drove down with a car full of vegetable balloons and wrestled with them in the lift (rather difficult to do).

Whilst at the event I found out that my book had won its’ first award too so we all had a celebratory drink!

I have since gone on to speak at other early years events on the important subject of formative nutrition.

If you could change one thing about your industry, what would it be and why?

Without a doubt, it would be the food industry. Wherever there is a ‘western diet’ there is ill-health and premature death. The food industry has largely contributed to an obesogenic environment by normalising unhealthy foods and making healthier options unobtainable for many.

In all western countries, we have an escalating health and wealth divide. The global public health priority has been obesity for some years yet the food industry continues to churn out ultra-processed foods (UPFs) at low cost and high convenience. We now literally have a generation of people who do not know any different.

These changes to our food landscape come at a cost and not just obesity. In the UK today we have over 3400 children (children) living with Type 2 diabetes compared to one child 20 years ago.

As humans, we are experiencing the first prediction in human evolution that this generation will not live as long as the one before them. Is it all to do with food? Not all, but a very large percentage of it and something needs to change.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!



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