Obesity has become part and parcel of modern life in a way that would be hard for previous generations to fathom. The replacement of old-style playground slides with wider versions is just one of many examples of how times (and people) have changed. The associated risks of cardiovascular disease, stroke and diabetes mean that the life expectancy of today’s children may well be shorter than that of their parents. Obesity-related bullying, social discrimination and low self-esteem can wreck childhoods – obese children often rate their quality of life with scores as low as those of young cancer patients on chemotherapy.1 With a third of 11-year-olds overweight or obese, it’s rapidly becoming the new normal – making it harder for parents to recognise that their children are above a healthy weight, because they look like other children.
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