I recently wrote about how Anna Soubry MP claimed children from poor backgrounds are more likely to be overweight, blaming “an abundance of bad food” for the situation. Soubry, the Member of Parliament for Broxtowe, said 50 years ago youngsters from deprived households were taunted for being “skinny runts”, but this state of affairs had reversed.
Now a new £100,000 initiative will target childhood obesity throughout Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The Cornwall Hearty Lives Project said people living in the poorest areas on average die years younger than those from the richest neighbourhoods.
It is funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and the money will be used to target areas where child obesity rates are highest. The BHF is working in partnership with the NHS services and Cornwall Council.
The initiative will include workshops for parents, health days and a BHF scheme which teaches people what to do in a life-threatening situation.
The NHS said one in three children in England leave primary school overweight.
Dr Kerry Bailey, of NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, said: “An unhealthy weight at a young age can very quickly lead to serious health problems and affect how long we will live for. We are all guilty of making poor lifestyle choices but the key is to recognise them and try to ensure a healthy balance between what we like and what we know is good for us.”
Shirley Hall, the BHF’s head of development, said: “It’s already been suggested that this generation of children may not live longer than their parents due to the implications of their lifestyle.”
A report published in The New England Journal of Medicine back in 2005 said the prevalence and severity of obesity is so great, especially in children, that the associated diseases and complications – Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney failure, cancer – are likely to strike people at younger and younger ages.
In a related article in the New York Times Dr. David S. Ludwig, director of the obesity program at Children’s Hospital Boston, and one of the authors of the report said ”Obesity is such that this generation of children could be the first basically in the history of the United States to live less healthful and shorter lives than their parents.”
“We’re in the quiet before the storm,” Dr. Ludwig said. “It’s like what happens if suddenly a massive number of young children started chain smoking. At first you wouldn’t see much public health impact.” He added, “But years later it would translate into emphysema, heart disease and cancer.”
“There is an unprecedented increase in prevalence of obesity at younger and younger ages without much obvious public health impact,” Dr. Ludwig said. “But when they start developing heart attack, stroke, kidney failures, amputations, blindness, and ultimately death at younger ages, then that could be a huge effect on life expectancy.”
2013 Miles In 2013 – Please Sponsor Me
So after completing a year without all alcohol in 2012 for Cancer Research UK and the Cystic Fibrosis Trust I am now attempting to complete 2013 self powered miles by the end of 2013.
I am doing this challenge in aid of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust as I have been surprised since I started fundraising for the CF Trust just how many people are unaware of this disease and so I hope my efforts will not just raise money, but also awareness of the UK’s most most common life-threatening inherited disease.
The first person to commit to sponsoring my 2013 mile challenge has committed to 1p per mile (£20.13 in total) and this got me thinking. I am hoping that as many as possible of those reading this will commit to do the same and the best thing is, if each person does this on a “pay as you go” type approach all you will need to part with is approx £2 just after each pay day. In January I completed 205.9 miles, so if you can please spare £2.06 to help the Cystic Fibrosis Trust it will be greatly appreciated.
The easiest way to give your sponsorship is to visit my Just Giving page: http://www.justgiving.com/2012-AYearWithoutBeer-CF.
2013 Miles in 2013 – The rules
The rules for my 2013 miles in 2013 challenge are quite simple:
- All miles must be completely self powered (no motors, sails, etc)
- I must be able to evidence all miles, either via GPS or with a picture of any static gym equipment
To complete my 2013 miles I will be running, cycling, rowing and who knows, I might even try a few other self powered methods along the way.