Jo Smith: Obesity figures in Eastbourne are unsurprising

Unless you’ve never read a paper or watched the news then you can’t fail to be aware that childhood obesity figures in England are on the rise.

But even I was shocked when I heard that almost a quarter of four to five year olds and one in three 10 to 11-year-olds are overweight or obese in Eastbourne.

When the figures relate to your own town it brings it closer to home.

It’s bad news, but probably of no surprise to some.

With more people rushing around taking their children to school and here, there and everywhere in the car and with little time to cook dinner from scratch many youngsters don’t get much fresh air, let alone know what a banana is.

But while it’s easy to blame the fast-paced world we live in how long does it take to cut up an apple of an evening?

Good eating habits start at home. I’m not overly fussed about cabbage but I eat it because as a youngster I was encouraged to by my Nan, now I’ve simply grown accustomed to the taste.

Granted some children may have medical problems which contribute to their weight but I’m sure there’s those that prefer to be glued to a TV or computer screen than go outside.

And as for exercise, there are so many parks and open spaces to kick a ball around in and the beautiful seafront right on our doorstep to go for a walk.

The Eastbourne Herald has been lending its support to the Healthy Eastbourne campaign.

It was developed by the Eastbourne Strategic Partnership and also has the support of the county council’s health team as well as other groups and organisation.

A website provides information on activities and events on offer, eating well, details about mental health services and more.

Go to www.healthyeastbourne.org.uk

Next Friday will see my lovely colleague Juliet Mead down tools and head off on maternity leave.

Her sunny nature will be greatly missed in Beckett Towers but we all wish her and husband all the best and look forward to meeting their little bundle of joy in the near future.