PARENTS in North Somerset are not pulling their weight when it comes to obesity, health statistics have revealed
PARENTS in North Somerset are not pulling their weight when it comes to obesity, health statistics have revealed.Latest figures from North Somerset Primary Care Trust (PCT) show a 28.7 per cent rise in obesity during 2005 and 2006.Health chiefs say the rise is an 'epidemic' and is happening in children as young as five and six - with one in four youngsters now overweight. This compares to one in five last year.Statistics show one in three overweight children have obese parents. North Somerset Council and the PCT want these mums and dads to get their children slimmer.Health visitors and school nurses will be approaching parents whose children are at risk of being obese with advice on weight management.Lynda Mitchell, the council's contract manager, said: "We have in some places a third generation of parents who don't know how to cook or shop for fresh food."There's mums who have never been shown how to make food from scratch. It's just a lack of knowledge."There's a lot that could and should be done to work with parents to give them the confidence and skills to cook at home. We will be encouraging children and parents about the health benefits of school meals."The council is proposing to employ a 'food in school' worker to address nutrition with money from the Government.PCT director of public health, Dr Max Kammerling, said: "Overweight children can experience lifelong problems. North Somerset schools are working hard to combat the epidemic of overweight in their pupils. "Parental support for this work is vital, as parental example and family lifestyle seem to be crucial factors.