Knock knock: Government health worker to put fat children on weight loss programs
When children are weighed when they go back to school as part of the national measuring program, the informations isn’t going to just be sent home to parents in confidential reports. The identity of children whose BMIs classify them as ‘overweight’ is going to be turned over to national nurses who will conduct unannounced home visits to enroll them in weight loss programs.
Nurses are to cold-call at the homes of fat kids to sign them up to a weight loss programme. The health specialists are hoping to persuade parents to help their kids to slim. The project by East Lancashire Primary Care Trust will start after primary children in the area are weighed when they go back to school in September. Nurses aim to draw up a fitness and diet plan to get them back into shape... Health expert Dr Tom Smith said it was vital that overweight children were given the help they needed... “a lot of parents just don’t realise that their child has a real problem.”
The Star story was confirmed in the Lancashire Telegraph:
Specialist nurses will call unannounced at obese youngsters’ homes in a bid to sign them up to a weight loss programme. Primary school children will be weighed when they return to school in September. The details of pupil’s identified as very overweight will be handed to nurses at the East Lancashire Primary Care Trust. They will then cold-call at the child’s home in a bid to persuade parents to work with them. Together they will then draw up a individual plan to get them in shape...
The home visits or unique to the East Lancashire Care Trust which covers Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle, Ribble Valley and Rossendale...The trust’s director of public health Dr Ellis Friedman said they were “very serious” about the action because rates of childhood obesity were “worringly” going up...
Lancashire Telegraph health expert Dr Tom Smith said it was vital that overweight children were given the help they need to shed the pounds. He said: “Being a little overweight is the norm now, so a lot of parents don’t realise that their child has a problem and can be very defensive about it, but the fact is that we are seeing weight-related illnesses like diabetes and even heart problems in young children now, and they are gearing up for a lower life expectancy than their parents. Parents need to listen to the advice and take responsibility.”
The evidential review of childhood weight interventions and the conclusions of the U.S. Preventive Service Task Force were covered here.