As a kid I was never fat (nor as an adult). My parents brought up six children and although they were poor, we ate well and none of us was overweight. Possibly being poor in those days helped us to eat well. My mother cooked and baked. She bought raw ingredients and turned them into delicious meals. She never bought processed foods, no ready meals, not even tins (except tomatoes). She baked wonderful cakes and we had dessert every Saturday and Sunday. I remember the odd chocolate bar only because they were so rare. Fizzy drinks or junk food never entered the house.
Today child obesity has become a national crisis – a third of children between the ages of 2 and 15 are overweight or obese. Jamie Oliver has called the government’s obesity strategy ‘shit’. I agree. Children aren’t taught much about food at school. They think a cow is burger shaped. The school kitchens where pupils used to learn ‘domestic science’ have been closed for many years.
Now when I go to the pool at Highbury there are fat kids everywhere. We are killing our children, feeding them junk food high in salt and sugar. Then we complain that they can’t concentrate in class and are excitable and hard to discipline.
It's a disaster – another of those economic time-bombs that are set to go off in the next decades. We should be treating it as an emergency but instead we make a few gestures, say how awful the situation is – and carry on as before.