Lancashire TelegraphNutrition crisis must be tackled (From Lancashire Telegraph)

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Nutrition crisis must be tackled

Lancashire Telegraph: Nutrition crisis must be tackled Nutrition crisis must be tackled

Unfortunately, we’ve got very used to poverty and health indicators which underline the deep social problems in East Lancashire.

But the latest statistics, unearthed by the Lancashire Telegraph, are shocking on a grand scale.

They point to a borough which has severe malnutrition problems in the primary school population.

As Dominic Harrison, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s director of public health says himself, food poverty is ‘unfair, unjust and avoidable’.

Almost as disturbing is the fact that one in five 10 and 11-year-olds are obese in Burnley.

Mr Harrison has pledged an investigation and, in Burnley, they have said they want to get children more active.

What we really need is a massive response from our boroughs: starting with an enquiry, a big and effective strategy backed by an equally impressive economic response to bankroll a series of sweeping measures is required.

A key part of the strategy has to be education. Clearly, hundreds of parents are not giving their children the right message about diet and nutrition.

Thousands more are struggling to make ends meet and it could be that we need to look at the Blackpool model where free breakfasts are given to every child.

It’s a costly option but what price a child’s development?

Comments (2)

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12:56pm Tue 1 Apr 14

rudis_dad says...

"Clearly, hundreds of parents are not giving their children the right message about diet and nutrition. "

Yes, and the reason for that is that many parents and in some cases grandparents have no idea about nutrition - gone are the days when Domestic Science/Home Economics was taught in every secondary school, which gave everyone a basic understanding of how food works, what it contains and how to prepare it. This is a very misguided conception that healthy, nutritional food is expensive and difficult to prepare - it isn't. In many cases it's a lot cheaper than most of the pre-prepared, factory-made muck that we're shovelling into our kids (or not). The downside is that it isn't as convenient - you have to put some time and effort into its preparation, and regrettably todays "everything right now" culture doesn't allow for setting time aside to prepare meals. I'm not saying that there aren't genuine and deserving cases, but I'll put money on a lot of the problems being preventable through better education and improved priorities.
"Clearly, hundreds of parents are not giving their children the right message about diet and nutrition. " Yes, and the reason for that is that many parents and in some cases grandparents have no idea about nutrition - gone are the days when Domestic Science/Home Economics was taught in every secondary school, which gave everyone a basic understanding of how food works, what it contains and how to prepare it. This is a very misguided conception that healthy, nutritional food is expensive and difficult to prepare - it isn't. In many cases it's a lot cheaper than most of the pre-prepared, factory-made muck that we're shovelling into our kids (or not). The downside is that it isn't as convenient - you have to put some time and effort into its preparation, and regrettably todays "everything right now" culture doesn't allow for setting time aside to prepare meals. I'm not saying that there aren't genuine and deserving cases, but I'll put money on a lot of the problems being preventable through better education and improved priorities. rudis_dad
  • Score: 3

7:33pm Tue 1 Apr 14

Legal Beagle says...

Unfortunately it's just another symptom of an area in terminal decline. The local population are increasingly poor and uneducated. Those jobs that do exist tend to be either low paid unskilled work or provided by the state in some capacity. The net effect is that there are no decent jobs for the children who are bright and talented so they move away, often these days to London.

As the middle class people leave and those remaining become more and more dependent on the state the area gradually loses any attractions it may have once had for bright, ambitious people and so it goes on, a gradual downward spiral.

And it's impossible to pretend that mass Asian immigration hasn't had a negative effect. Islam is an alien religion in England, and whilst nobody used to mind the odd mosque here or there any more than the odd synagogue, their proliferation is just too `in yer face' for most English people who live in those areas, who quite justifiably feel that their native culture has been overwhelmed and largely eradicated.

I'm not blaming the Muslims. They take their religion very seriously (another alien concept to most native Britons) and it's hardly surprising that they behave as they do. The fault lies with those who allowed them to enter the UK in such numbers in the first place, and then compounded the error by making it far too easy for their uneducated and illiterate kinfolk to follow them. They had nothing at all in common with our native culture and neither the ability nor the desire to integrate into it, and it should have been blindingly obvious that the policy would create a divided community.

But now it's too late. The clock can't be turned back and as the immigrant population is growing much more quickly than the indigenous population the trend can only become more pronounced. It's happened in the USA and as usual where they lead we follow. We may bemoan the prejudice of those who take to `white flight' but it's a fact of life - people vote with their feet and their wallets and those who can afford to move out do so, leaving only the poor behind, trapped by falling property values.

By almost every indicator East Lancashire, with the notable exception of Ribble Valley and a few small islands of affluence, is now one of the most depressed areas in England. It truly is a great shame, particularly when you look at the history of the area and the contributions that it once made to the life of the nation, but for all the well-meant initiatives and very genuine efforts made to reverse the trend the damage is done and you just can't beat history.
Unfortunately it's just another symptom of an area in terminal decline. The local population are increasingly poor and uneducated. Those jobs that do exist tend to be either low paid unskilled work or provided by the state in some capacity. The net effect is that there are no decent jobs for the children who are bright and talented so they move away, often these days to London. As the middle class people leave and those remaining become more and more dependent on the state the area gradually loses any attractions it may have once had for bright, ambitious people and so it goes on, a gradual downward spiral. And it's impossible to pretend that mass Asian immigration hasn't had a negative effect. Islam is an alien religion in England, and whilst nobody used to mind the odd mosque here or there any more than the odd synagogue, their proliferation is just too `in yer face' for most English people who live in those areas, who quite justifiably feel that their native culture has been overwhelmed and largely eradicated. I'm not blaming the Muslims. They take their religion very seriously (another alien concept to most native Britons) and it's hardly surprising that they behave as they do. The fault lies with those who allowed them to enter the UK in such numbers in the first place, and then compounded the error by making it far too easy for their uneducated and illiterate kinfolk to follow them. They had nothing at all in common with our native culture and neither the ability nor the desire to integrate into it, and it should have been blindingly obvious that the policy would create a divided community. But now it's too late. The clock can't be turned back and as the immigrant population is growing much more quickly than the indigenous population the trend can only become more pronounced. It's happened in the USA and as usual where they lead we follow. We may bemoan the prejudice of those who take to `white flight' but it's a fact of life - people vote with their feet and their wallets and those who can afford to move out do so, leaving only the poor behind, trapped by falling property values. By almost every indicator East Lancashire, with the notable exception of Ribble Valley and a few small islands of affluence, is now one of the most depressed areas in England. It truly is a great shame, particularly when you look at the history of the area and the contributions that it once made to the life of the nation, but for all the well-meant initiatives and very genuine efforts made to reverse the trend the damage is done and you just can't beat history. Legal Beagle
  • Score: 1

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