Dear Parents

With all the media attention being paid to the problems of obesity in the UK recently, it seems reasonable to expect that the message will have hit home to some degree that unless we teach our children to eat healthily now, our younger generation as a whole is a ticking time bomb.

I have been dismayed, therefore, on a number of occasions recently when I have observed the eating habits of primary school aged children on their way to school. I say habits because these fat laden breakfasts are a daily thing, rather than an occasional treat.

I take my 5 year old daughter to school on the bus, and every morning there is a mother with her 2 daughters, both under the age of 7. The girls sit on the bus whilst their mother hands out their ‘breakfast’ from a carrier bag – sausage roll or pasty, fizzy drink and crisps. The mother eats the same things. She is severely underweight, her skin is pitted and her hair looks brittle and dull. At the moment her girls are an average weight for their age and height, but who knows what damage is being done to their health? It doesn’t take a lot to give a child a healthy breakfast in the morning, and it’s far cheaper. I heard this same woman complaining that she didn’t have enough money to buy fruit the other day, and yet she must spend at least £30 a week on the junk in the mornings, and then she gives them more crisps and chocolate on the return journey. She’s also a chain smoker. But she can’t afford fruit.

Please parents, stop filling your children up with dangerously unhealthy fatty foods, set them an example and let’s protect our children’s futures.