12 August 2013: The topic of childhood obesity re-entered the headlines this week when new NHS guidelines told school nurses to be 'non-judgmental and positive' in their annual letters home to parents. This means hard truths about children's obesity aren't welcome, so parents don't 'feel that their parenting skills are being criticised.'
This comes as statistics last month showed almost a third of children aged between 2-15 are overweight and 14-20% of those are obese. All this has re-ignited the question, 'Are parents to blame for childhood obesity?'
Joining Jeff Brazier and Jenni Falconer on ITV This Morning was Sally Windsor, who says obesity in children is unacceptable and should be treated as a form of child abuse, and Natasha Evans who feels sorry for parents of obese children and believes we are all in the wrong when it comes to the childhood obesity epidemic.
Jenni said that in a week where we've seen headlines about children being overweight, that there is a 10 year-old pupil who is 24 stone in weight. She asked Sally Windsor if parents are to blame for overweight kids? Sally said there was no one else to blame. We are their role models, we're responsible for everything about them - especially when they are younger, no doubt about it.
(Previously on ITV This Morning: Matt Johnson talks about his depression)
Natasha said she had a problem with the word 'blame' - that it implied intention, and that she did not think parents intended for their children to become unhealthily overweight. She said that the villains are the advertising companies with multi-million pound budgets trying to persuade us to eat food that is bad for us. Jeff commented that when he goes to the supermarket with his kids, the advertising may be there, but it is him who makes the decision to buy or not to buy.
Natasha argued that there was a lot of conflicting advice out there and that a lot of the parents also have weight issues, and we have to change our attitude towards obesity.
Sally said when you fill your trolly with unhealthy foods you know you are doing something wrong. Jenni asked if the women had children of their own. Sally replied that yes she has a small child, and Natasha said no she didn't have a child of her own but did work in schools, and she would concentrate on the behaviour of the child and not what they eat.
Aurora James is a single parent, published author, professional journalist, keen home cook, and yo-yo dieter. An expert at family budgeting, useless at DIY, so an avid viewer of ITV This Morning!