People in Bradford think parents should do more to prevent child obesity, according to a snapshot poll conducted by the Telegraph & Argus.
The T&A took to the streets to gauge public opinion on the issue after a new report suggested predictions that half the British population will be obese by 2050 “underestimate” the scale of the obesity crisis.
The UK is in danger of surpassing predictions of a 2007 report which estimated that 50 per cent of the nation would be obese by 2050, the National Obesity Forum (NOF) said.
The forum’s latest report calls on health officials to introduce hard-hitting awareness campaigns – similar to those for smoking – to try to stem the problem.
With 35 per cent of Bradford children currently overweight or obese, the T&A asked people in the city centre for their views on the root of the problem.
Two thirds said they thought parents should be doing more, while some blamed a lack of education about nutrition and fitness in the classroom.
The introduction of the National Childhood Measurement Programme to schools has already been welcomed by many parents across the city.
Nevertheless, with children being measured only twice, in reception class and year 6, many are calling out for more frequent measurements in order to prevent extensive weight gain throughout primary school.
The NOF is also recommending that GPs should be routinely checking the height and weight of children.
Some people also pointed to the cost of leisure centre activities in Bradford as an off-putting factor.
Some reductions are already available thanks to the ‘Passport to Leisure’ scheme, which offers discounts to both adults and children on each visit to the leisure centre.
Meanwhile, Bradford Council has continued to increase the range of sports activities available, especially during school half-term.
Within Bradford, there are currently nine schemes that aim to re-educate families about healthy living. All of these plans are part of the Bradford district food strategy, designed to “support educational initiatives across all sectors of the community to raise awareness of the production of food and its role in supporting health”.
The council’s Good Food Advice Stall in Oastler Market is already proving to be a hit with local shoppers, with up to 12 events each month providing tips about weight management, food disposal and growing food.
To find out more about Bradford’s weight management programmes, call (01274) 435387.