childhood obesity, childhood obesity prevention, childhood obesity statistics
Scott Heppell/AP
Connor McCreaddie aged 8 who weighs
218 pounds outside his home in Wallsend,
300 miles north of London, England.

Britain Tries Another Tactic to Address Childhood Obesity

December 30, 2008 03:56 PM
by Lindsey Chapman
Are you killing your kids with kindness? Britain says some parents might be.

Childhood Obesity Still a Concern

Britain is still pursuing efforts to tackle its growing childhood obesity problem. This week officials are rolling out a new campaign to warn parents that they may be “killing their children with kindness,” according to The Guardian.

Parents who indulge too many of their children’s food-related desires may be unwittingly setting them up for problems with heart disease, diabetes or cancer. According to The Guardian, a government health report revealed “shocking” statistics about parents not taking responsibility for helping their children stay healthy.

Tam Fry of the Childhood Growth Foundation explained, “We’re really concerned that parents are using sweets, chocolates and fizzy drinks to reward their children. Those less than healthy foods are the last rewards they should turn to, because they are storing up problems for their children’s future health.”

This is not the first time Britain has tried to curb childhood obesity, and critics say the British government’s past initiatives to fight the problem have failed. New figures show that a quarter of all four- and five-year-olds are overweight in England, and about one-third of children age 10 or 11 are also obese.

“We had high hopes that there would have been a marked improvement after all the money that is being thrown at the problem but it seems that more radical measures will be needed to reduce obesity levels,” Fry told British paper the Daily Mail. “The Government’s much-vaunted healthy schools policy and other measures are obviously not working, or very slow to get off the ground.”

Related Topic: Previous efforts to address obesity

In August 2008, England announced that it had decided to work with schools to raise awareness of childhood obesity. As part of a new national measuring program, schools would record each student’s height and weight and send a letter to parents to notify them if their child had a weight problem.

Reference: Obesity resources


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