Over-protective parents must let their children play in the street to save them from obesity, Labour’s Diane Abbott recently the Standard (thisislondon.co.uk).
Ms Abbott, the shadow public health minister, said: “I think London kids are especially at risk because so many mums and dads are fearful about letting them play in the streets. I think parents need to be tougher on their kids’ diets to save them from ill-health. Carrying on with the chips and PlayStation 3 culture is not an option.”
NHS figures have revealed that more than one in five children in London are obese by the time they leave primary school. The problem is worse in the capital than in any other UK region.
Ms Abbott, MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, said Londoners needed a “revolution” in their approach to children’s lifestyles.
“Schools should be on the front line in the battle against obesity. Healthy school dinners and the teaching of domestic science are crucial tools in improving health.
“It is important that we develop an environment where people can make healthy choices – and that we understand the significance of issues like safe play areas for kids, physical activity and also of the advertising of junk food, sugary soft drinks and alcohol.
Childhood obesity costs the capital £7.1 million a year to treat, and the National Child Measurement Programme found that 21.9 per cent of London children were obese when they left primary school, compared with 19 per cent nationally and 16.5 per cent in the South Central region, which includes Oxfordshire and Hampshire.
Children raised in towns and cities were more likely to be overweight, suggesting that outdoor play and exercise could be a factor.
Scary figures eh?
I think we do have to be very careful of letting our kids run around in the streets. But if you have a big back garden why not encourage them to get outside and play. Playstations and computer games are really not as fun as old-fashioned games like IT or tag. Why not take advantage of parks too? Swinging and climbing and swinging all use far more muscles that pressing a remote control, which burns calories and helps fight this obesity crisis affecting us. Come on parents, its time we took charge of getting our children fighting fit and in the best shape for their future!