Let our children be... children
In the Sunday Independent today, we focus on 'Reclaiming Childhood' with reference to a recent study in Ireland which has found that 89pc of adolescents have not mastered fundamental movement skills that would have previously been achieved by the age of six.
In effect, this means that nine out of 10 teenagers cannot run, skip or kick a ball in a way that once would have been expected of a young child, a finding which has been described as "an unprecedented low and potentially catastrophic" for human health.
The most recent results from the national childhood obesity survey show that levels of excess weight in children are stabilising, which is welcome news. But at least one in five is overweight or obese, including more girls than boys across all ages and those in disadvantaged areas who tend to have higher levels of overweight and obesity, a gap which becomes wider as they get older.