Dad dot info
Free online course for separated parents
Forum - Ask questions. Get answers.
Free online course for separated parents | Opinion | Latest News | Parents ‘normalising’ obesity

Parents ‘normalising’ obesity

Are you a parent who allows junk food and doesn’t encourage regular physical activity?


Well, according to the head of the NHS in England, parents who do the above are actually helping in “normalising obesity”.

Simon Stevens has called for mums and dads to be aware of the dangers that being overweight or obese can cause to young people.

Mr Stevens said: “Junk food, sugary fizzy drinks and couch potato lifestyles are normalising obesity and, as parents, a third of us can’t now spot when our own child is seriously overweight.

“So we’ve got a choice.

….Condemn our children to a rising tide of avoidable diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and burden taxpayers with an NHS bill far exceeding an extra £8 billion by 2020?

Or take wide ranging action, as families, as the health service, as government, as industry.”

He made his comments yesterday, alongside Prime Minister David Cameron, who announced plans to extend NHS services to seven days a week.

Mr Stevens added that he felt the health service “was entering probably the most challenging period in its 67-year history”.

His comments come just a few days after a pan-European study involving 14,000 people found that less than 50 per cent realise that obesity is a disease and most are unaware that it causes many serious illnesses.

‘Obesity: An underestimated threat’ found that 56 per cent of people think that obesity is less dangerous than smoking tobacco.

Back in March, figures from the British Journal of General Practice showed just under a third of parents underestimated their child’s weight.

Another study by the World Health Organisation warned that by 2030, two-thirds of women and three-quarters of men will be obese in the UK.

Across the country, currently 60 per cent of adults are overweight, including a quarter who are obese. 

The figures are the second highest in Europe after Hungary.

During their election campaign, the Conservatives made clear that they supported a plan put together by Mr Stevens to fill a funding gap in the NHS, estimated at £30bn a year by 2020.

The scheme would see £22bn billion covered through efficiencies, with the £8bn remainder coming from government funds.

Related entries

Should Stella Creasy, MP take her baby into parliament?

Should Stella Creasy, MP take her baby into parliament?

Returning to work after children is tough for everyone, whether you are on shared parental leave or returning after a brief paternity break. It can often make life choices for you, whether you decide to return part-time, go freelance or start paying heavy childcare...

Warning: UK Parents toying with their children’s safety

Warning: UK Parents toying with their children’s safety

Parents have been warned that children in the UK are at risk of death or serious injury from the sale of unsafe toys through various online marketplaces. Health and safety experts from CE Safety say parents should ensure they are not buying cheap, unsafe or fake toys...

Warning: UK Parents toying with their children’s safety

Rule of Six

New Coronavirus rules mean when seeing friends or family you don’t live with you should meet up in groups of six or less. For now, that means it is illegal for my whole family to meet another family inside or outside. In some ways we are lucky, we are only a family of...

Latest entries

Black Friday: don’t waste your cash

Black Friday: don’t waste your cash

It's tempting, isn't it? The promise of bargains, money saved and Christmas all wrapped up. However, once you look beyond the gloss and excitement of Black Friday, are the deals really worth it? Do I need it? Can I afford it? The first thing to consider when...

Thrifty Christmas- how to save money and shop early for deals

Thrifty Christmas- how to save money and shop early for deals

Cost of living crisis slashed your Christmas budget? Never fear. It's entirely possible to have an equally great Christmas for less cash. While you may feel like you don't want to let your children down with a naff present, there are ways to avoid splashing mega cash...

Pin It on Pinterest