Clinic to help overweight children could be first of many
The 11/3/02 Observer published this report of the January ’03 planned clinic in Leeds, to great excitement and interest in the UK.
Pediatric obesity is almost as bad
in Europe as it is in the U.S.—and the culprits are the same: too much time in front of the telly and the computer and the videogame monitors. Kids see “…around 10 food commercials for every hour of television that they watch.”
The health consequences are the same—raging high blood pressure in kids, type II diabetes in adolescents, taunted psyches and bodies by the bullies in the classroom, and anywhere kids can hide.
To make it even tougher, some information is hidden. In Britain, for example, manufacturers are not required to say how much salt is included in products unless they make “low salt” claims.
Is a free piece of fruit at school—the NHS’ first step, planned for 2004–enough to fight Spiderman cereal, McDonald’s Happy Meals and Pepsi Cola? No. But it’s a start.
The secret to getting kids to eat healthfully is to model it at home, and to get the brilliant marketers of these alluring products, sights and sounds to work for the healthful food industries.