A group of GPs from Rotherham, South Yorkshire has tabled a motion to the British Medical Association’s annual meeting later this month which opens the way for social workers to step in when children become obese. The motion says:
“The government should consider childhood obesity in under 12s as neglect by the parents and encourage legal protection for the child and action against those parents.”
The photo on the left I discovered on this blog while researching this topic. It gives a lot of background about the subject. Is this were NI’s children are heading?
This Guardian article (June 14th by Matthew Weaver), Treat childhood obesity as act of neglect, say doctors outlines the position pretty fully and is worth a good read. Among other gems the article quotes Dr Tabitha Randell, a consultant paediatrician from Nottingham, as saying she believed some parents were killing their children with kindness. In one extreme case, she saw a child aged two-and-a-half, who weighed more than 25.4 kg (4st). She said:
“They said she was big boned and they were, too. I think the perception of parents is a very real problem. If you see every other child in the playground with their belly hanging over their trousers, you think that’s normal.”
Now you can read this stuff for yourself – I’ll just point the way to some of it – but what do you think are the main reasons behind the increase in childhood obesity? It’s not all down to genetic disorders or over indulgent parents or too many children locked up without access to friends…is it? The one thing I do know is that if you are an overweight child then you’re in a place of misery with your peers making constant fun of you. If there is anything we can do to help young people avoid this them we need to be doing it.
So…what do the good people of Northern Ireland feel about this?
- Are we heading the way of American children?
- What can be done to stop the trend?
- How much of this is down to lack of exercise and how much is down to poor diet and convenience foods?
- How much of this is the responsibility of advertising that encourages poor diet choices being constantly aimed at children?
- What more can our schools do through education? Can they do anything at all?
I do know when I see kids on the way to school these days they always seem to be stuffing their faces with junk food like crisps and coke.
Any docs out there with bright suggestions?
PS – the world’s fattest person seems to be Manuelo Abberazo from Mexico who tips the scales at 1215lbs. An no…. that is not a holiday snap of he talkniadmin!