COMMENT: Proposed new 'anti-obesity scheme will take the weight off our kids’ minds

The latest plan to fight childhood obesity has been unveiled wherein new fast food takeaways could be banned within a certain range of city schools as part of a ‘superzone’ scheme to fight the flab.

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Monday, 23rd September 2019, 1:00 am

Is it worth it? Well, yes because latest data shows that In 2017/18 24.5 per cent of reception age children were overweight or obese in Portsmouth, more than the national average of 22.4 per cent. And 10.7 per cent were obese, compared to 9.5 per cent nationally.

That’s a heck of a lot of extra weight being dragged around by our kids so fingers are crossed this scheme will pay dividends.

Of course, everyone of us is completely different when it comes to Body Mass Index and there’ll always be (as has been since time immemorial) a range of shapes and sizes, but if measures, such as the one planned, bear fruit this will at least mean our kids get a fighting chance of being the correct weight, or near enough, for their age as laid down by health experts nationwide.

One health professional, Claire Currie, who is a consultant for Public Health England in Portsmouth, said: ‘Being overweight raises huge health concerns not just around physical wellbeing but also emotional wellbeing. These problems can stay with someone their whole life.

‘Clearly there is no one answer – there’s no magic bullet. What is really powerful here is that the children at Arundel Court told us what they wanted to be done.’

And Portsmouth City Council education chief Councillor Suzy Horton said: ‘This was completely led by the children and by doing it this way you start to see that shift in attitudes because they will go home and tell their parents about it – they become teachers themselves.’

This proves our youngsters have a voice which deserves to be heard, genuinely considered and leads to positive action.