Experts stunned by tubby tots
Children as young as four are battling obesity, research shows. And children appear to be losing the fat fight as they get older. A Royal Children's Hospital study found almost one in five kindergarten kids (19.5 per cent) are overweight or obese. And just a year later 21.1 per cent were battling the bulge. Dr Joanne Williams, of the hospital's Centre for Community Child Health, said young overweight children were likely to still have weight problems as adults. "We're just watching the rates go up and up and up, and nothing's being done about it," Dr Williams said. "These kids get teased at school, their self-esteem is low, they have a poor quality of life and there are huge consequences later on in life."
Researchers measured the waistline, height and weight of 340 children aged four to six for the study, which has been submitted to the International Journal of Obesity. Dr Williams said advertising led parents to falsely believe they were feeding kids healthy foods when their diet was packed with sugar and fat.
Health Minister Tony Abbott has refused to crack down on junk food ads during children's television hours. He said parents, not the Government, should be responsible for what their children ate. But Deakin University nutrition lecturer Dr Tim Crowe said junk food TV advertising should be outlawed from 4pm-6pm to remove some temptation from households. "We have to acknowledge we are dealing with a health problem so serious that a group of children are not going to outlive their parents," he said.
Many parents did not seem to recognise when children were overweight. "We are not sure of the reasons why. Perhaps it is because they look at other kids and think their own are not fat," he said. [It's because the mothers themselves are fat!]
OF COURSE kids are getting fatter on average. It is predominantly overweight working class women who are giving birth these days. Huge numbers of slim bourgeois women now consider themselves too grand to have kids. And obesity is highly hereditary. So the increasing prevalence of fat kids is exactly what you expect now that fat women are the main ones having kids. Going on about the evils of junk food or the wickedness of advertisers is flailing at the air.
Schools to put cap back on soft drinks
Water and milk will be the only drinks allowed in some Victorian schools. The primary schools plan to scrap sugary soft drinks this year. Children will be urged to bring water bottles to class in the government-backed trial. Parents will be encouraged to pack only water and milk with lunches. Program co-ordinator and child health researcher Dr Lisa Gibbs said regular water drink breaks would improve students' attention span. Promoting water and milk was also good for teeth, Dr Gibbs said. Six government and private schools in the western and northwestern suburbs will be selected for the trial under the Go For Your Life campaign. The project could spread if successful.
"The idea in the first stage will be that if a student brings a drink into the classroom it can only be water," Dr Gibbs said. "If you have brought a soft drink, it will have to be kept in your bag during class times and only drunk at lunch time. "The eventual aim would be that you would only be allowed to bring water or milk to school." The plan coincides with a ban on sales of high-sugar soft drinks from canteens and vending machines in government primary and secondary schools by year's end.
And what good is that going to do? Milk is extremely calorific and hence fattening. The kids would probably get fewer calories out of drinking fizzy drinks
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