UK social service teams may soon crack down on child obesity

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London, Aug.16 : Social service teams in Britain have been tasked with the responsibility of taking obese kids away from their parents if the latter do not take steps to keep them within their age-specific weights.

According to a report in The Independent, Britain is facing a worsening "obesity epidemic", and in what appears to be a rearguard action, the Local Government Association (LGA), which represents 400 councils in England and Wales, has said that social services teams would take drastic action to improve the health of seriously overweight children.

According to latest estimates, about a million children will be clinically obese within four years, storing up future problems from heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Twenty-one percent proportion of boys aged six to 10 who will be obese in 2025. In 2004 the figure was just 10 per cent. For girls', the proportion in the same age group for the same period was pegged at 14 percent, as opposed to 10 per cent in 2004.

The LGA said Britain was fast becoming the "obesity capital of the world" and the increasing weight of the average citizen was pushing up council tax bills.

The costs come from the need for bigger furniture in classrooms, canteens and gymnasiums to cope with larger pupils. Crematoria furnaces are being widened at a cost of tens of thousands of pounds for heavier corpses.

Ambulances too are being re-equipped with extra-wide and strengthened stretchers and winches. Fire services are called in to winch obese people out of dangerous buildings. Local authority homes are being adapted for the overweight.

David Rogers, the LGA spokesman on public health, said: "Councils are increasingly having to consider taking action where parents are putting children's health in real danger."

"It is vital that councils, primary care trusts and the NHS work with parents to ensure children don't end up dangerously overweight in the first place," he added.

Government Ministers, however, do not want the word "obese" to be used in the letters after research showed people find it "highly offensive".

ANI

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