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From The Socialist newspaper, 25 October 2007

Who's to blame for teenage obesity?

Education Minister Ed Balls blames parents, teachers and "embarrassing" PE kits for the rise in teenage obesity.

Bob Severn

"If the kit is awful or embarrassing it's much more likely the kids will forget to bring it," he said. "I don't think it's sensible for parents to be shoving food through the fence outside the school but I'm not going to say they must have this standard in their packed lunches."

This comes from the same government that has no problem with school fields being sold off to property developers, or cancelling PE or swimming lessons for SATs exam training.

The national obesity forum questions the food industry's ethics in marketing junk food to children.

In a gross understatement, Professor Philip James said that food industry actions to help ensure public health have been too little, too late.

Just banning junk food advertising during TV programmes is not enough.

The Foresight report predicts that, within 25 years, half of Britain's population could be obese and that obesity-related health care will cost 45 billion a year by 2050.

While Balls is pushing a School Food Trust campaign for a million more pupils to have school dinners, in Walthamstow it took a battle involving teachers, kitchen staff, children, parents and the Socialist Party to stop Waltham Forest council abandoning local authority provision of school dinners and letting private contractors take over the service.

Wouldn't a better solution be to take the food industry giants out of the control of the fat cats who put profits before healthy eating, and into public ownership with democratic planning that involves health experts, kitchen staff, parents and teachers?

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In The Socialist 25 October 2007:

Public health not private wealth

Join the 3 November NHS demonstration

NHS: What the Socialist Party says

March to save the NHS

Michael Moore's latest film 'Sicko' reviewed

Huddersfield SOS: Class fighters' bold initiative


Postal dispute

Reject Royal Mail deal: Vote 'No' and reinstate the action

Striking Liverpool postal workers return to work


Campaign for a New Workers Party

Why workers need a new party

Respect in crisis - what lessons for socialists?


Socialism 2007

Socialism 2007


Socialist Party feature

Pakistan: Suicide bombings at Bhutto rally


International socialist news and analysis

Turkey's invasion threat increases regional instability

Release Saburi Akande Akinola, Taiwo Hassan Soweto and Olatunde Dairo now

France: Biggest public transport strike action since 1995


Socialist Party women

Do women still have the 'right to choose'?


Socialist Party news and analysis

Liberal Democrat leadership: Two candidates, one background, no answers

Classroom assistants challenge the Stormont Assembly

Who's to blame for teenage obesity?


Workplace news and analysis

Glasgow: On strike for a fair deal

Train drivers prepare for action

Fight Cadbury's factory closure

Teachers' union election time to change!

BBC threatens hundreds of jobs


 

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