Tuesday 6 December 2016

Sinead Moriarty: Blame lies with parents as poor diets condemn our children to obesity

Published 07/02/2013 | 04:00

Cheap food is not a bargain when it produces obese children who face a barrage of abuse from their peers and are prone to serious illness
Cheap food is not a bargain when it produces obese children who face a barrage of abuse from their peers and are prone to serious illness

AS a parent, I am very slow to judge other parents. No one knows what went on in the hours before that mother shouted at her child in the supermarket. No one knows what happened prior to that father telling his son he's a "nightmare" on the side of the football pitch. It is not for us to judge – except in the case of obese children.

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According to consultant paediatrician Dr Sinead Murphy, children are putting on weight because they are living in a "toxic environment" where healthy food is not available. Some 40pc of children being treated for obesity are at risk of heart disease. The same percentage of children treated at Temple Street Hospital in Dublin already had potential heart problems.

A six-year-old child who weighs seven stone is not to blame. A seven-year-old boy with heart problems due to obesity is not at fault. His parents are. Young children do not cook for themselves. Young children do not decide what to have for dinner.

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