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North East city leaders plan to tackle childhood obesity

Councillors in Sunderland have taken action to combat the high levels of child obesity in the city.

According to members of the City Council, regulations are required to prevent the “poisoning” of children with junk food, which is usually laden with sugar. The recent action follows a report that revealed the alarming number of obese children in schools.

The research indicated that 10% of children in reception class are considered obese, with the percentage rising between 13 and 17% in some areas. The average figure was found to be 21% for pupils in Year 6, although the percentage increases to 34 points in some regions.

The promotion of junk food has been blamed by Paul Watson, leader of the Council. He said:

“It’s not just about lifestyle. It’s about regulation. We have restrictions on things that are completely innocuous, while we are letting other things that are poisoning our children go on.”

Pat Smith, who carries the portfolio for young people and children, said that she was welcome of the action that was being taken, although she stated that the plans needed to be enforced by the whole of the council.

Smith said that there were a number of services in place to encourage families to eat healthy foods. The councillor also said that packed lunches that contained unhealthy foods had been banned from some schools.

The education authority could encourage healthy tuckshops for schools, incorporating business enterprise ideas for kids. Tyne and Wear is just one region that is encouraging nutritious food options in schools.

Posted by Mark
April 23, 2014
Schools

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