One of the top public officials in Britain has said that children should have their meals provided on smaller plates to help overcome obesity and them being overweight.
The head of Public Health England, Duncan Selbie, has warned that unless young people start eating less and do more exercise, millions would suffer from health problems as adults.
Official statistics indicate that more than 33% of schoolchildren in year six are now classified as overweight. The number of people in the UK with diabetes may treble over the next two decades.
Mr Selbie obtained the idea of smaller plates from a mother in Manchester who had been raised to always clear what is on her plate. As her son was overweight whilst at school, she decided to serve his meals on a smaller plate which helped him reach his ideal weight.
Official figures released last month indicated that almost 10% of four to five-year-old school starters in England was classified as obese. This figure increased to about 20% among young people ready to commence secondary school.
This growing level of obesity in the country has led to suppliers of school uniforms making massive trousers with 50 inch waists to meet the demand.
The National Obesity Forum’s Tam Fry said that their research indicated that during the next 15 to 20 years, around 50% of the entire population in the UK will be overweight. He said that this is an appalling situation and it is quite disturbing that waist sizes are being increased to 50 inches. However, he agreed that a huge amount of adults do not follow a healthy diet and this is normally passed on to their offspring. He added that something drastic needs to be done to overcome this problem.
According to the Health and Social Care Information Centre, 45.1 million prescription items, including anti-diabetic drugs, diabetes monitoring devices and insulin, were handed out to UK patients last year. This indicates a higher than 50% rise on the number which was prescribed during 2005/6.
During the interview with Mr Selbie, he stated that minimum pricing for alcohol should be introduced and more of the available fizzy drinks should be sugar-free. He praised the bans which have introduced regarding smoking in public places and in cars with children, but added that there is a likelihood that smoking in homes in front of children will be the next step. He commented on the increase in the incidence of tuberculosis cases and stated that this was because the UK was an ‘open nation’.
Image Credit: Phalinn Ooi