Lifestyle

I am a PT – allowing your child to become obese is essentially a form of abuse

A LEADING celebrity personal trainer has said that allowing a child to become obese is essentially a form of abuse.

Nick Mitchell, founder of global gym company Ultimate Performance, said it’s no different than letting your child smoke or do drugs.

Nick Mitchell, founder of global gym company Ultimate Performance, said allowing a child to become obese is a form of abuse

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Nick Mitchell, founder of global gym company Ultimate Performance, said allowing a child to become obese is a form of abuseCredit: PA
It is projected that by 2030, around 40 percent of 10-11 year olds will be obese or overweight

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It is projected that by 2030, around 40 percent of 10-11 year olds will be obese or overweightPhoto credit: Getty

His thoughts came ahead of National Childhood Obesity Week, which runs July 4-10.

Mr Mitchell believes cheap junk food and a screen-fixated “Youtube generation” have led to epidemic proportions of obese children.

Former city attorney Mr. Mitchell, who trained Hollywood actor Glen Powell on Top Gun: Maverick, said childhood obesity is “like watching a car crash in slow motion.”

He said cheap junk food and kids spending hours looking at screens on devices instead of playing outside have created a “perfect storm” giving them the “worst start in life”.

Mr Mitchell said: “It’s a tremendously complex issue, but I don’t think we should have any tolerance for childhood obesity. I view childhood obesity as a version of child abuse.

“We live in a so-called ‘snowflake’ generation.

“Everyone wants to be alert and signal virtue. And we now have a strident minority on platforms like Twitter celebrating victimhood. So no one wants to call that out.

“But basically, if your child is obese and you don’t do anything about it, how is that different from your child smoking cigarettes and not doing anything about it?”

Speaking to parents, Yorkshire-born entrepreneur Mr Mitchell said: “If you allowed your 12-year-old child to smoke cigarettes it would be considered child abuse.

“If your 12-year-old drank six cans of lager a night, that would be considered child abuse and the authorities would step in.”

He added Twitter that childhood obesity should be viewed in a similar way to ‘a child who gets high or drunk’.

Government figures show that 27 percent of children in admission (4-5 years old) are overweight or obese.

For 10- to 11-year-olds, that rises to 41 percent — and the problem is getting worse.

People are so afraid to tell the truth about childhood obesity for fear of causing offense.

Nick MitchellFounder of Ultimate Performance Fitness

Forecasts by the Local Government Association (LGA) suggest that the government will miss its target of halving childhood obesity by 2030 without further urgent action.

Overweight children are more likely to develop serious conditions such as type 2 diabetes, asthma, early puberty, eating disorders and liver disease.

There has been a dramatic increase in the number of children being investigated by the NHS for problems such as sleep apnoea, acid reflux and diabetes linked to mocking fatty foods.

Those who were obese as children are more likely than adults to be, when risk of more problems like heart disease and stroke come into play.

The government is keen on tackling obesity and will present a strategy in summer 2020.

It said the Covid pandemic was a wake-up call to make Brits healthier and fitter.

Children in 11 areas across England were specifically asked for extra help to shed the pounds – Barking and Dagenham, Brent, Enfield, Hounslow and Waltham Forest, Birmingham, Liverpool, Bradford, Tameside, Sandwell and Kingston Upon Hull.

Mr Mitchell called on the government to consider subsidies for healthier food, higher taxes on junk food and an overhaul of physical education in schools.

He added: “Nobody wants to cause offense. But I’m afraid we have to have these difficult conversations.

“Netflix puts a trigger warning on its TV shows when people smoke. So if smoking is a trigger, should there be a trigger warning when you see an obese kid on TV? Because the child is sick.

“People are so afraid to tell the truth about childhood obesity for fear of offending.”

https://www.the-sun.com/health/5697575/letting-your-child-become-obese-abuse/ I am a PT – allowing your child to become obese is essentially a form of abuse

Sarah Y. Kim

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