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Obesity warning for parents

22nd October 2007

Parents of obese children could be sent warning letters under new government plans in an attempt to reduce the growing number of dangerously overweight youngsters.

Two years ago the government introduced a national child measurement programme for five- and ten-year-olds but parents have to request the information.

Under the new plans being developed, parents would automatically be told if their child is obese.

The proposal is one of a draft of measures being considered by the government to target the country’s growing obesity crisis.

Last week a report from Foresight warned that if current levels continue then a quarter of children will be obese by 2050.

It concluded that reversing present trends will take several decades and will need the support of government, individuals, communities and organisations.

In response health minister Dawn Primarolo said a long-term anti-obesity strategy is being developed by the government.

“There is no single solution to tackle obesity and it cannot be tackled by government action alone,” Ms Primarolo said.

“We will only succeed if the problem is recognised, owned and addressed at every level and every part of society.”

Obesity is estimated to cost the NHS about one billion pounds per year and increases the risk of type two diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.

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