Obesity is on the rise and parents are unable to identify this growing ailment among their children. Sedantry lifestyle of parents is the root cause of this problem. Simon Stevens, the chief executive of NHS England pointed out to the danger that fat parents who smoke and live “couch potato lifestyles” by eating snacks have been told to get their act together or “face the music”.
Speaking at a GPs’ surgery in Birmingham, Stevens called on the Government to back “controversial” plans to change to stop people’s bad habits making them ill in the first place.
He said: “It’s a no brainer – pull out all the stops on prevention, or face the music.” Stevens took aim at the millions of overweight Britons who eat the wrong foods, smoke or drink too much and do not do enough exercise. He said: “But smoking still explains half the inequality in life expectancy between rich and poor – and two thirds of smokers get hooked as kids.
“Binge drinking costs at least £5billion a year – in A&E admissions, road accidents, extra policing.
“Junk food, sugary fizzy drinks and couch potato lifestyles are normalising obesity – and as parents, a third of us can’t now spot when our own child is seriously overweight.”
He added: “So we’ve got a choice. Condemn our children to a rising tide of avoidable diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer?
“Or take wide ranging action – as families, as the health service, as government, as industry; using the full range of tools at our disposal.
“It’s a no brainer – pull out all the stops on prevention, or face the music.”
Stevens told the Daily Telegraph that the NHS – which has to find £22billion of savings by 2020 – said it was “entering probably the most challenging period in its 67 year history”.
He said: “We’ll certainly step up and play our part – but the NHS can’t do it alone. Because the NHS isn’t just a care and repair service, it’s a social movement.
“We’re going to need active support from patients, the public, and politicians of all parties. Support that we’re optimistic about getting.”