Childhood obesity at all time high


Statistics revealed one third of British children are either overweight or obese by the time they reach year six.


By Sabrina Parkar

Childhood obesity is at an all time high after statistics revealed one third of British children are either overweight or obese by the time they reach year six.

According to a recent study, the National Child Measurement Programme 2010/2011, London pupils have the highest levels of obesity across the UK.

Though the coalition government have set an eight year target to tackle the problem, it is worrying that in the past year alone, childhood obesity amongst 10 to 11 year olds has almost doubled.

Tam Fry, the spokesman for the National Obesity Forum, said: “Some 82% of obese children go on to become obese adults and doubling the obesity rate in six years of school has to be an indictment of the current healthy schools policy.”

Barbara Tzcakoslenia, a Tooting dinner lady, said that she sees more and more children bringing pack lunches because parents are concerned that a school diet is no longer appropriate.

Miss Tzcakoslenia said: “If the government don’t do something about it then not only will parents be annoyed but I’ll be out of a job before I know it.”

School food standards are believed to not be the sole reason why children are faced with weight issues at such a young age.

Natasha Pullen, senior gymnastics instructor at Chiswick’s The Little Gym, said: “We live in a much broader activity world and a lot of children these days would rather stay at home with their iPhones, iPads and games consoles, than go out and be active.”

The Little Gym in Chiswick runs alongside the school year and designs lessons plans to increase movement while tapping into a child’s confidence and social skills.

Other organisations in the area have also understood the importance of tackling high levels of obesity in London.

YMCA, The Broadway, Wimbledon, runs Club1316, a pay-as-you-go supervised gym session for those aged 13 to 16.

A YMCA spokesman said it encourages young people to enjoy being active, especially when the winter weather kicks in and outdoor activity is out of the question.

Lisa Turner, 43, of Wimbledon, has encouraged her children that eating healthily should be supported with an active lifestyle.

She said: “I’m proud that they realise what is important and have not been overly concerned with all the latest craze technologies that are stopping children from remembering what it’s like to do physical activity.”

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