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Sunday, 27 April 2014

Parents also have responsibility


Top doctor slams schools policy for fueling epidemic of child obesity

Children healthy school lunches Swindon
Children queue for healthy school lunches


Perhaps it is about time that the concept of "parental responsibility" was introduced into this seemingly circular debate. It may reasonably be assumed that the major number of meals, snacks etc are in fact consumed by "children" at home. It is all too easy to lump the responsibility for food selection onto the schools, academies or other institutions where children spend less than 10% of their time. True, these institutions have a role to play in the health of children specifically in the selection of food for the school canteen menu, but it is ridiculous to blame schools for the obesity of children, when as soon as "little Johnny" (or little Angela), get home they are almost immediately given a beefburger, fried egg and chips (or some other equally unhealthy option) for their evening meal. The logic of some, but not all, parents, is that it is easier to pop the "ready meal" into the microwave or oven than to prepare fresh ingredients for cooking in the conventional way.

Burger, egg and chips


Of course, this is a generalisation which glosses over many factors which contribute to the attraction of convenience foods. Constraints of time, family budgets, commitments to work or other activities are amongst those complications which effect the way in which we feed our families.

Ready meals

However, the ultimate responsibility for what our children consume lies with the parents. The school can hardly be blamed for the obesity of a child who is given sweets, cakes, burgers, chips, KFC, ready meals or any of the numerous options when he or she is outside the school environment.