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Are parents really to blame for the UK obesity crisis?


I have just read an article in The Telegraph that features TV presenter and Property Developer Sarah Beeny. I found it so patronising that I had to share it with you all. Even given the propensity of the media to embellish and make a good story out of anything, I thought the tone of the article was a little 'smug middle-class' and not in tune with the hard financial times that many families face in the UK today.

Let me start by quoting just one paragraph:

"It's absolute nonsense to say you cannot afford to cook properly. Chicken nuggets are expensive, actually, and it's not about time either. That's nonsense. There's a million recipes. A baked potato takes one minute. You get potato, put it in oven, done. That's not a complicated, time-consuming thing to do. Getting chips out of the freezer and putting them in a deep fat fryer is more effort than a jacket potato. Saying your kid won't eat a jacket potato is nonsense because no child will starve themselves to death."

Well I'm dying to know where the one minute jacket potato comes from!

Sarah Beeny's main point in the article is that: "We're a nation where parents are controlled by their children, they're scared of their children and they indulge their children too much." Which, in her opinion, is the real reason behind children not eating healthily, contributing in turn to the UK's 'obesity crisis'.

I think most parents try to feed their children as well as they can within their financial means, time and knowledge. It is expensive to eat well and I wish Sarah had used her high profile to direct her criticism towards the powers that can improve the situation and not on the parents who are struggling already. Instead, she's using the Telegraph article to promote using mushrooms in cooking - laudable but not a game changer.

I also don't know if we can tell if parents today are more controlled by children. I certainly agree that parenting isn't about indulging all the time and parenting should involve saying no and not being liked on occasions. I've met parents who I've thought were too indulgent and parents who weren't indulgent enough. To blame the fact that Britain has an obesity problem on parents alone is just misguided.

There are many factors and she doesn't mention any of the others. She just attacks fellow parents and it's unfair, unkind and a little bit uninformed.

I was surprised that the comments posted after the article were mainly supportive of Sarah Beeny's stance. So perhaps it's just me that feels this way?







Leave a comment

    From Stellatyler
    I think most parents attempt to feed their youngsters and in addition they can inside their money related means, time and knowledge. but it is expensive to eat well and I wish Sarah had utilized her prominent to administer her feedback towards the powers that can enhance the circumstances and not on the folks who are battling as of now.
    From Richard J D’Souza
    Who are the main feeders of the children? The parents. So obesity predominantly come from this source. It will come down to family finances, priorities and attitudes. Where do the children get these from?
    From Lucy Quick
    Totally! That's interesting re your blog suggestion, I will definitely look at that. Thank you.
    From Grizelda
    Yes, it is patronising!If people are hard-up,putting the oven on for 45 mins to make jacket potatoes would be wasteful.A Girl Called Jack is a great blog, sharing fast,interesting, healthy and cheap recipes.Many of them are suitable for children to help to make too.
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