Gransnet forums


Childhood Obesity

(53 Posts)
specki4eyes Thu 10-Oct-19 19:40:44

Just reading about the proposed ban on eating on public transport. What a great idea! I'm not too old to remember that at my grammar school in the swinging sixties we were banned from eating anywhere except at a table. Our headmistress would patrol in her car after school and if any girl was spotted eating outside whilst wearing her school uniform she got detention and/or lines the next day. One girl was even expelled for twice eating an ice lolly on her way home. In a school of 680 girls you could count on one hand the number of overweight ones. Now I know very few youngsters (including my own grandchildren) who are slender and fit. Their eating preferences revolve around snacks, fizzy drinks,McDonald's, Nandos, full restaurant meals (adult portions) Ben & Jerry's. ..etc etc. I'm not permitted to comment. Activities involve various screens and sitting around in each others bedrooms eating snacks.

janeainsworth Thu 10-Oct-19 19:51:35

Why will banning snacks on public transport help?
Children will still eat snacks in their cars and their homes.
How many children actually use public transport?

Are the rail companies going to be banned from stocking snacks in their buffet cars?
What’s a snack anyway? Does a bacon sandwich count as a snack, or is that a meal and can be served at specified meal times?

Don’t get me wrong. I feel sad for any child who is going to face a lifetime of health problems because of poor eating habits, whether that’s due to poverty or parental ignorance.

But I think Dame Sally has lost the plot with this one.

janeainsworth Thu 10-Oct-19 19:53:14

What if you’re travelling from Edinburgh to London on public transport?
Do you have to starve for 5 hours?

Whitewavemark2 Thu 10-Oct-19 19:54:28

Both my grandsons are thin and fit. But have always been very active (huge encouragement from parents).

I’m yet to be convinced over the public transport ban. I’m not sure it is enforceable. What about long train journeys! You can’t expect people to starve on a long journey. Domestic plane travel? Even long coach journeys. Commuters often eat breakfast on the train. The trolley is always on the commuter train.

TBH I don’t think it’s been thought through.

I do agree though that constant snacking is not desirable.

GrandmaKT Thu 10-Oct-19 20:12:55

I agree, I don't think this is practical at all. How is a bus driver supposed to stop people eating on the bus? They can't even stop young people taking knives on public transport, let alone a Cornish pasty!!

GrandmaKT Thu 10-Oct-19 20:14:56

I agree btw that eating on the streets etc is not desirable. Like the OP, I had it drummed into me at school and just could not bring myself to eat in the street. Sitting at a table on a long-distance train ride however, yes I would.

Gonegirl Thu 10-Oct-19 20:24:41

It's only local public transport they are talking about.

paddyann Thu 10-Oct-19 20:29:03

If the children are living on junk surely the parents have to take some responsibility .I know I'm fortunate ,we dont have many fast food outlets here ,one McDonalds and the usual chip shops and they aren't near schools .Its school dinners or packed lunches ..or go hungry.We live in an area where children are still out on bikes and being active ,my GD was wakeboarding in the Clyde on Sunday ..frozen to the bone but had a brilliant time .

I dont think banning food on ransport will be the answer,surely they'll just eat it quicker so they dont miss the bus

SueDonim Thu 10-Oct-19 20:48:00

This idea is never going to fly. Who's going to police it? Like others here, I was raised to not eat in the street and I think the current obsession with snacks is weird, but banning snacks on transport isn't going to win the war on obesity.

grannylyn65 Thu 10-Oct-19 20:51:32

Had fission chips in town yesterday, felt very naughty 😁

M0nica Fri 11-Oct-19 19:54:39

Eating on public transport does not mean eating junk, nor does it mean eating snacks. At various times I have taken sandwiches, fruit and a drink on a train or coach to eat my lunch, or occasionally an evening meal, while I travelled.

In fact when I went by Eurostar from St Pancras to Marseille, I ate breakfast on the London - Paris leg, as my train was delayed and I didn't have time to go to a cafe for breakfast but bought a croissant and coffee and consumed them on board. In Paris, my sister and I purchased our lunch at the station and took it on board to be eaten on the long trip south.

Silly idea from some silly idiot.

KatyK Fri 11-Oct-19 21:03:31

Daft idea. I travel on public transport a lot but rarely see children (or adults) eating. If we go on a long journey we have to take food as my husband is diabetic and has to eat at regular intervals.

BradfordLass72 Fri 11-Oct-19 21:04:30

WHO study of childhood obesity in 94 countries.

Tedber Sat 12-Oct-19 14:09:39

I agree with the poster who asked "How will banning snacks on public transport help?" Even IF people adhere to it for their short ride they will probably just stuff their faces at the bus stop and when they get off? So what would you do now...Ban ALL eating outside? Ban popcorn and fizzy drinks at cinemas? Ban chips and Pizza etc in kiddies play barns? (not pointing the question at anyone in particular btw)

From my knowledge, school kids are given plenty of advice about healthy eating (certainly my lot are) Do they like it or stick to it? No! It is up to the adults to ensure they don't over snack on sugary sweets and choose wisely. I admit some never will and I don't know what the answer to that is, but Heaven help us all if it ever came that we had "the sugar police" to watch out for.

"I saw you eating a fruit pastel on the number 49 that will be £70 fine please" grin

Daisymae Sat 12-Oct-19 14:17:15

Well at least it's something. Childhood obesity is a real issue. Parents seem to be abdicating responsibility so I guess someone else had to step up to the plate.

M0nica Sat 12-Oct-19 17:55:32

Daisymae I guess someone else had to step up to the plate. grin

PamelaJ1 Sat 12-Oct-19 18:02:59

I read an article, don’t ask me when and where, that said that parents seem to be a bit blind when it’s comes to their child’s chubbiness.

I have just been researching trips from Sydney to Melbourne.
No eating on their bus. It’s quite a long journey so we’ll be going by train.

Antonia Sat 12-Oct-19 18:36:05

The idea is quite ridiculous and non enforceable. Chikdren today are micromanaged, with almost all their movements being supervised by adults. Playing out with their friends no longer exists. They used to get far more exercise than they do today, both playing outside and playing more sport at school. It needs a multi-disciplinary approach; teaching basic cookery and nutrition to children as they are growing up, with more exercise at school as our streets are now no longer safe for unsupervised play. This would be more beneficial than trying to police where people can eat.

trisher Sat 12-Oct-19 18:38:25

Is it OK then to eat in a car? If children are on public transport at least they will get some exercise whereas those dropped and picked up at the school gate won't. How many of them climb in the car and open a chocolate bar or a bag of crisps? Should we ban eating in cars as well? Maybe we could have food police who wait at traffic lights or bus stops or patrol trains carrying black plastic bags they drop confiscated food into.It's a barmy idea!!!

trisher Sat 12-Oct-19 18:39:22

that should be" barmy idea"

Atqui Sat 12-Oct-19 18:43:49

I’ve said this before, but it would make more sense if they stopped serving puddings for school lunches. I know there is a choice of fruit usually but what sweet toothed five year old is going to chose that over chocolate brownie? ( seen on school menu) .Pizza with potato wedges?
Another bugbear of mine is the junk food in hospital vending machines.Total hypocrisy ( sp?)

aprilrose Sun 13-Oct-19 05:38:49

I may be out of turn here but am I the only person not totally convinced by the obesity arguments? Admission, I have a child. I had my child when most people are becoming grans, hence I fit here better than netmums. I do not see the obesity constantly spoken of. I do not think anymore children are fat than were when I was at school That's just an observation.

I am inclined to think that obesity goes with other lifestyle issues, like parents not being there, mothers who prefer to go to the KFC than feed their children. I think sweets and biscuits are less of a problem that fast food and processed food in supermarkets.

Obesity has become one of those moral panic things.

M0nica Sun 13-Oct-19 08:49:32

I have recently begun to read the book by Tim Spector called the 'The Diet Myth'. Spector is a Professor at Kings College, London and described as in the top 1% of cited scientists world wide.

He has been studying the natural biome, mainly the over 2lbs of bacteria etc that lives in our guts and the contribution it makes to our health and weight. There is a close connection between the range of bacteria present in the biome and the level of variety in a person's diet and the extent that they eat processed food. Those with the poorest diets and the least number of different species in their biome have the most weight problems. Weight gain is not necessarily a function of how much you put your mouth, as what you put in your mouth. Generally the lower family income, the more likely they are to be relient on cheap over-processed food.

I understand aprilrose's argument, but would modify it. She is obviously quite young and the rate of childhood obesity has been growing long term. I started school in 1948 and today's children are significantly better nourished and larger than children in school with me.

The other thing that affects is childhood obesity is income. The higher the family income, the fewer children are overweight. I live opposite the primary school in an affluent commuter village in south Oxfordshire. Obesity among children there is unobservable.

My DGC go to a school in York. Their school catchment area covers, in about even quantities, a large council estate, still mainly in public ownership with many families there having every difficulty from drug use, poverty and disability and half from a prosperous, but not affluent, area of pleasant interwar semis and new estates. When I collect DGS from school, I do see a significant number of visibly overweight children.

travelsafar Sun 13-Oct-19 08:57:03

We were never allowed to eat in the street as children. My mum said it makes it look like you hadn't had enough food whilst indoors, and it was bad manners. Even if we were 'straving' while playing outside with friends we did not bother with food as we did not want to miss out on playing. I can remember running in one day for tea and standing at the kitchen sink and drinking two large glasses of water as i was so thirsty but hadn't wanted to miss out with friends. Now children take a bottle of water, etc, with them where ever they go.

Barmeyoldbat Sun 13-Oct-19 09:37:00

First, how about if your diabetic and need to eat? I really think this ban has not been thought out, how is it going to be policed. It would be far better for councils to cut back on the fast food outlets in their area and bring in more education for the parents, it has to come from the parents.

I have a bus stop opposite our house and there is a father and two young children waiting for a bus. Both children are eating something and holding a soft drink bottle, its probably breakfast and let us somehow make children walk to school instead of driving the half a mile, like my neighbour