LETTER OF THE WEEK: Parents have to take some blame for obese children

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Childhood obesity is in the headlines again.

A 10-year-old boy in the UK has somehow been allowed to reach the staggering weight of 17 stone!

His mother says that “the NHS has let him down” and is now demanding that her son be enrolled in a weight loss programme that will cost the NHS £4,000.

It isn’t the NHS that feeds the boy concerned, it’s his mother, so she must be in some way culpable for the life threatening amount of weight that her son has piled on at the tender age of 10.

However, according to official figures there are 2.5 million primary school age children in the UK that have been classed as obese.

Which, if allowed to continue unchecked, will become a financial ticking time bomb for the NHS, with bariatric surgery for the most severe cases costing in excess of £10,000.

When I went to primary school there was no getting away from PE.

If you forgot your kit, you were compelled to do PE in your underpants, which is probably one of the reasons why mother always instilled in me the need to leave the house in a pair of clean underpants; the other being in case you had an accident and ended up in hospital.

How much PE is done in our schools today?

At break time, the first thing that we did was to head to the playground, and start impromptu games of football, which by the end of playtime, would have about 30 players aside on each team.

What do kids do today; stand in the playground huddled together all looking at their smartphones, which can hardly be considered as a calorific activity by any stretch of the imagination.

When it was time to go home, for me it involved a two-and-a-half-mile walk, and towards the end of my school years, I was allowed to take my bike to school.

What happens now? Almost every child is either taken to school, or brought home by car. If children went to their nearest school, the school run wouldn’t be necessary.

And what do they do when they get back indoors, head straight upstairs to their game consoles.

Meanwhile, Kettering’s number of dwindling green spaces are almost devoid of any children engaged in sporting activity.

The local traveller community seem to be the only people making any use of our parks today.

As one gets older, we all have issues with our weight caused by our lifestyle choices such as a bad diet and too much alcohol.

As a child, with boundless energy to burn, that should not be the case.

Ivan Humphrey