The Royal Society of Public Health has published guidelines on how local authorities could tackle childhood obesity.
They want to see all councils in the UK to have all fast food shops 400m around a school either close the doors after school or to not serve fast food to children.
We all know about junk food, sometimes just the smell alone can make you very hungry! for a child with some pocket money, this becomes the way too tempting and they end up eating, they then will probably go on to eat what mum and dad have prepared for them.
Looking around Trafford what would this mean? most chip shops start to trade at 5 pm although Coppice Fish Bar sin Sale starts at 4 pm, it is the kebab shops and chicken shops that tend to be open all day long that is the cause for concern.
Several schools in Trafford are close to takeaways with Lostock School having several with just a 5-minute walk.
How can the council sort this out? it will have to hope for compliance, many establishments may refuse to shut for an hour after around 3 pm, many may say they will not serve food to children if they want to remain open for other customers but still serve them the food.
It would have to be a compulsory requirement for all takeaways to not serve junk food to children, this must also be the case anywhere, chocolate and crisps at shops, fizzy drinks and cakes must not be sold to children in all shops.
Vending machines where they are stored could be changed also to contain zero sugar drinks and water, healthy snacks and treats could be provided.
If we are to cut childhood obesity in half, radical measures are needed, it also helps at home, serving them good but tasty foods with an occasional treat at the weekend.
The problems will surface though for those who cannot afford to be fussy at mealtime, what kids get at mealtime in some families is all they have, cheap and cheerful or go hungry! of course, mum or dad will not have wanted this if they are struggling to cope.
In the cases where the money is short and a child finds a way of getting something to eat even if it is a fast food outlet, no one can have any complaints and food should be served to him or her.
We liked the idea of getting more cycling infrastructure around schools, this though is something that will take many years to fight for as Trafford Council pretends it has no money and yet buys Trafford Court House, the entire Altrincham shopping centre, now Stretford Mall! and yet they cannot find some money to get some cycling infrastructure in place or close off some roads for pedestrians and cyclists which would improve the environment and the health of everyone.
You can look to Trafford Cycling Forum who do some great work in ‘Stretford’ for help, it is a slow process a very slow process getting cycling infrastructure in place, however the roads are all Trafford owned land, the pavements are also, so for us we cannot understand why nothing can be done sooner to get cycling infrastructure in place much sooner.
The health of our kids and of course everyone else must be of paramount importance to Trafford Council, and we hope that it will look at the report published by the Royal Society of Public Health with some interest and hope for change that will make these people that are obese healthy again.
We would go one further and add athletic tracks where possible, the type you see at Sale Harriers in Sale, so long as One Trafford and the community maintain it, we could have more healthy people in our suburbs, so many people will use these types of tracks, new clubs will start-up and new friendships made.
You can see the entire report from the RSOPH by clicking THIS LINK