The ITF supports call for action for parent interventions to help combat child obesity

The Infant & Toddler Forum (ITF) supports the advice of Professor John Ashton, the president of the UK Faculty of Public Health that all parents should be offered state-funded classes on how to bring up their children in an attempt to tackle rising levels of child obesity, mental distress and underachievement. He called for more parenting programmes and telephone helplines and said schools should introduce daily meditation sessions.

Judy More, paediatric dietitian and ITF member, said: “It’s now well accepted that what happens during the very early years  of life  (starting in the womb) has lifelong effects on certain aspects of health and well-being. It is clear that we do need to act earlier to ensure every child gets the best start in life. Education is paramount to achieving this. Our latest report  Early Nutrition for Later Health: Time to Act Earlier, not only echoes this call for education but highlights the need to take a life course approach to health and wellbeing starting before pregnancy  – at preconception and continuing throughout the very early years to encourage healthy family  lifestyles. Families need consistent, simple, advice to get back on the right track if we are going to halt the obesity epidemic.”

Posted in News, Position StatementsTagged

Further Reading

  • Katie Fox, Primary School Teacher   Due to coronavirus, playgroups and nurseries are shut and those children due to start school in a few months will be out of routine and away from friends. It is understandable that many parents are worried about getting their children ready for September. Children learn and progress at different rates so there are no set criteria on what they need to be able to know or do when they first start nursery, but if they have had some experience learning at home it could help to make it a smoother transition. Turn taking games, imaginative play, reading, and developing fine and gross motor skills can promote independence, build confidence and help develop simple skills.
  • Dr Gill Harris, Consultant Paediatric Clinical Psychologist Dr Maddy Harris, Clinical Psychologist   In times of crisis – such as the one we are currently living in – parents may find that the normal stresses of everyday life are magnified and additional worries and concerns emerge. Knowing how to cope may prove difficult, but an approach which has widely been discussed in the media and on social media is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).The premise of ACT is that fears and anxieties are seen as real and cannot be ‘challenged’ away, unlike with cognitive behavioural therapy. By concentrating on our actions we are able to work past our fears. This method may help those struggling with this new chaotic routine we find ourselves in. The Infant & Toddler Forum are here to help with our top tips on how to apply this intervention.
  • Lucy Upton, Specialist Paediatric Dietitian and Nutritionist   As social distancing policies are put in place, and schools and nurseries shut their doors indefinitely, keeping your toddlers entertained and active for hours on end during COVID-19 may seem daunting and at times virtually impossible! Parents and carers have been thrown into a cozy and chaotic ‘new normal’ and may wonder how they can meet the recommended three hours a day of physical activity for under-fives who are walking. But do not panic, the Infant & Toddler Forum are here to help make sure you have plenty of ideas to keep your toddler happy and entertained whilst encouraging physical activity.