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Dundee says education is the way forward to combat obesity

Article Date: 2013-07-08

Banning fish and chip shops near schools from opening before 5pm is a bad move, say leading figures in Dundee. They believe that education is the best way to tackle the ongoing childhood obesity crisis.B

Education convener Stewart Hunter said there was very little chance a similar scheme would be considered in Dundee.

He said he was “unconvinced” that it would have any real impact.

He said: “I would need to see data to show what difference it would make to the issue of obesity. I don’t think there is any chance at the moment of that being considered here. It is not just a case of simply banning hot food from takeaways.

“We are doing a lot of work in education and offering healthy meals in schools and the tuck shop. We try to encourage more pupils to get involved in sport.”

Dr Laura Stewart, team leader of the Paediatric Obesity Service Tayside (POST), said they were working hard to show young people how to lead a healthy lifestyle.

She said: “What we need to make sure is that on a local level, schools offer healthy meals that are the type of foods that attract children.”

The POST team works to educate young people and parents about a healthy lifestyle, including information on balanced meals and the importance of getting active.

She said: “There isn’t any age that is too young to teach them what a healthy lifestyle is.”

John Laidlaw, the owner of Mario’s Blue Grotto on Brantwood Avenue near St John’s High, said the measure would not deter youngsters.

He said: “It is a bad idea. We rely on St John’s. We get a lot of trade from them. We use palm oil, which is 100% vegetable oil. It is not unhealthy.

“Pupils would probably just go further afield. They will buy what they want to buy, not what they are told to.”

Dundee was recently unveiled as the worst city in Scotland for child obesity. New figures revealed that almost one in five primary one pupils is overweight, obese or severely obese.

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