I was truly shocked at what I saw in this programme. You can watch the main points here or watch the whole programme on the i-Player: Spoilt Rotten
Poor little children having to have a general anaesthetic to have a lot of rotted teeth out! Poor little souls. Surely their mothers should/must have known that giving them lots of sweets and sugary stuff repeatedly would rot their teeth? That giving a sugary drink in a bottle to go to bed with is especially damaging? That children need to brush their teeth and go to bed with a clean mouth? - Couldn't/Didn't the mothers notice that their children's teeth were rotting? - Some of the teeth were eroded almost to the level of the gums!
Don't Health Visitors stress this sort of information to mothers? Dental decay like this should not be happening. As the programme stressed, this is an avoidable health problem. It's a great shame.
With regard to the obese children featured in the programme, the one most featured was Leon, a five year old lad who weighs over 10 stone! - Yet I heard not one mention of salt! - Not one! - The doctor advising Leon's mother stressed the need for the lad to exercise more, but it has been proved time and time again that exercise does not reduce or prevent child obesity. Exercise is a good thing but it does not reduce weight. How is it that doctors dealing with problems of child obesity are giving such unhelpful advice? When children become fat it is essentially because they are eating salty food. Parents should be told this.
Children are especially vulnerable to salt because of their small size and small blood volume, and because their blood vessels are weaker than those of adults. Salt, and the water it attracts to it, can more easily distend weak blood vessels than fully mature ones. The resulting increase in blood volume and other fluid retention results in weight gain, as well as higher blood pressure and many other undesirable consequences. The smaller the child, the less salt they should have - and a baby, of course, should have no salt at all. - Babies can die if they are fed salty food.
And see Sodium in foodsThe programme reported shocking instances of children taken to A and E because they were drunk! And we saw a 13 year old boy who regularly drinks excessive quantities of vodka! Maybe it is time, in the interests of child health, to set limits on the ease with which alcoholic drinks can be bought, and to raise the price of them.
Other children who had been treated for glue ear were suffering unnecessarily because of their parents smoking. Apparently the smoke interferes with the working of the grommets that had been inserted into their ears to assist their hearing. One father gave up smoking and that would have benefited both his own and his son's health. Another father claimed not to believe that his smoking was damaging his child and he continued to smoke. His cigarettes were more important to him than his child's health.
Read my Mensa article on Obesity and the Salt ConnectionFAT RETENTION
This article is by Margaret Wilde