THE statistics on the numbers of obese children in East Lancashire are shocking.

One in 10 youngsters are already clinically obese when they start primary school.

By the time they go onto secondary school this has doubled to one in five.

Despite high-profile health campaigns in recent years the problem is quite literally growing.

This will come as a blow to health chiefs who have tried hard to fight the flab on our youngsters.

Measures have even included door-stepping the parents of the most obese children and challenging them.

Now another tactic is being used – healthy eating classes for children aged two to five in the area’s children’s centres.

But health bodies will always be fighting a losing battle unless the parents take responsibility.

It is disgraceful that children aged four are turning up at school obese due to a coach-potato lifestyle and diet of takeaways and ready meals.

The situation is now so bad that health trusts need real powers to take action and offer a deterrent.

Otherwise, our youngest generation is storing up terrible health problems for the years to come.