Leader: ‘Vast majority of families are doing just fine’

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EVERY parent worries about their child’s weight at one point or another when they are growing up.

Some get concerned about them being too thin, but most grow anxious about them getting fat.

And it is no wonder when we are constantly told that Scotland is facing an obesity epidemic.

Obesity has become something of a obsession, not just in Scotland, but across the western world.

At times the reaction to the issue has been nothing short of hysterical, like when the US surgeon general claimed that obesity is “a greater threat than weapons of mass destruction”.

That kind of language does little except worry the vast majority of parents who are already doing the right things for their children.

There is, of course, cause for concern when nearly one in seven youngsters is overweight.

We know that children who grow up fat are likely to be overweight as adults and that their health is likely to suffer as a result.

But what today’s report – the most comprehensive of its kind to date – very clearly shows is that the overwhelming majority of youngsters in the Capital are fit and healthy.

And that is more true today than it was at any other point in the last decade and more.

Initiatives like those to encourage healthy lunch boxes in schools have no doubt played a part.

But this survey shows that the vast majority of children and their parents are doing just fine.

They certainly do not need to be lectured about our “chips with everything” diet because for them it simply does not exist.

It is a worry that while the picture for most children is improving there are kids that are being left behind. Our health and education professionals need to work out new strategies to reach those families who may need help to be healthier.

The message for the vast majority of parents is simply “relax, don’t worry” and, in the words of a school report, keep up the good work.

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