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Child obesity plan

22nd October 2007

New government proposals mean parents could be warned if their offspring are weighed and found to be overweight.

weightwatchers1

The DoH stated that ministers intended to tackle the obesity problem but had not made concrete decisions. The proposals follow a report from the Foresight Programme which predicted that most of the population would be obese by 2050 if current trends continued.

In England, up to a third of children are believed to be overweight and doctors have warned that bad health in relation to this problem is set to rise in the future.

Children in England are currently weighed when they reach the ages of five and 10. However, parents are only given the results if they specifically ask for them. Under the new proposals they could be sent the information automatically.

Dr Terry Dovey, a psychologist at the University of Staffordshire who specialises in childhood obesity, said it was important not to "stigmatise" families for being overweight.

"The most success you can possibly have is being vigilant in both what you're eating and how much of it you are eating," he said.

Tam Fry, from the National Obesity Forum, said it was good for the government to expect that parents should take primary responsibility for bringing up their children and knowing healthy weight ranges.

He said that the process should begin "earlier... around the age of two and three from nursery, then you've got the time to start to implant the healthy eating [and] healthy exercise education" for the future.


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