As regular visitors to this site will know, the Big Conversation event and report (available in the tab above) provided an overview of the barriers new parents face in trying to give their very young children the best food possible. The barriers can be grouped into four main themes – time, cost, lifestyle and information.
New research (carried out over Summer 2016) by leading polling company Populus, commissioned by Danone Nutricia Early Life Nutrition, has gained a fresher insight into the thoughts of parents. The findings are useful for policymakers, industry and healthcare professionals in the round. In this blog we look at one particular finding that goes to the heart of the childhood obesity crisis – measurement.
With the rise in number of children entering primary school obese (recent figures put this at around 2 in 10) the importance of early intervention and getting a healthy balance in those crucial first thousand days is more stark than ever. But for many families, entering education is the first time in years that their child has been weighed, ridding them of a fundamental barometer and benchmark opportunity.
These latest statistics have found that 62% of parents with children under the age of 4 would like their children weighed every year. That number increases when looking at parents in the round – 73% want their children weighed either every year or every two years.
Yet the new Integrated Review being rolled out to local councils by the Government does not include mandatory checks on measurement at two and a half – focusing its regulations on educational attainment instead. But parents are clear – they would welcome greater measurement to keep abreast of their children’s weight development.
The rollout of the new Review scheme provides an opportunity for Government to change its current approach. In seeking measurement as part of the checks parents desire parity with educational checks. We look forward to continuing to work with others in order to highlight the benefits of more measurement as part of wider attempts to ensure children get the best start in life.