The shadow of childhood obesity is ever looming over the youth of Britain, and would appear to have a direct link to the obesity problems in the adult population of the UK. Studies have often proven that kids who are overweight have a far greater risk pf becoming an overweight or obese adult, along with all the accompanying higher risks of developing diabetes, heart disease or suffering a stroke.
NHS Lincolnshire is trying a new approach to combat the tendency; and each child in reception class in schools all across Lincolnshire will be given a free ‘me size plate’ intended to help insure that they receive and eat child-size portions of the proper foods. The plates are designed to get kids interested in what and how much they eat. They also serve to remind parents that young children are not meant to eat adult portions, and to emphasize the importance of different food groups.
The Lincolnshire Research Observatory recently published figures indicating that well over 11% of Boston pupils in reception classes last year, and at least 18.5% of year 6 students, were classified as overweight. In the county the average figures were even higher, at more than 14% for Reception pupils and 19% in year 6.
Lynne McNiven, consultant in public health for NHS Lincolnshire, said that the ‘me plates’ are just one step in raising awareness in both parents and children about the benefits of a healthy diet. Exercise is also crucial for healthy growth, and children should get at least an hour of it every day, whether playing outdoors, just walking to and from school, or any physical activity more strenuous than sitting in a classroom or on a couch at home.