Wednesday, August 06, 2008

British government bans the word 'obese' to describe overweight children

How confused can you get? They want to harass kids into losing weight but don't want to hurt their feelings. What do they think the kids feel about being told that their weight is unacceptable?
"Parents of primary schoolchildren will start getting letters next month telling them how fat their children are under Government plans to tackle childhood obesity. But however much they weigh, no child will ever be described as "obese".

The Department of Health faced criticism yesterday for a "prissy" approach to tackling obesity after it said that it did not want the term "obese" included in the letters.

The department said that research had shown that the term was a turn-off, so instead it will use the term "very overweight" for those children whose body mass index exceeds 30, in an attempt to enlist parents' support.


Cotton wool kids

Children are being denied adventurous play because their parents are nervous about exposing them to risk, a new survey suggests. The UK-wide poll, commissioned by Play England, found half of 7-12 year olds have been stopped from climbing trees. It also showed 21% of those surveyed had been banned from playing conkers, and 17% were not allowed to play chase.

The ICM poll interviewed 1,030 children and young people aged 7-16, and 1,031 adults during July 2007. Play England, which says it promotes free play opportunities, insists that parents "constantly wrapping children in cotton wool" can harm the children's development.

The poll found showed 51% of children aged 7-12 were not allowed to climb a tree without adult supervision, with 49% stopped from climbing trees altogether because it was considered too dangerous.

According to the research, 70% of adults had their biggest childhood adventures outdoors among trees, rivers and woods, compared with only 29% of children today. It found children's experiences of adventure are confined to designated areas such as playgrounds (56%), their homes (48%) or theme parks (44%).

Adrian Voce, director of Play England, which is part of the charity National Children's Bureau, said playing was "an essential part of growing up". "Adventurous play both challenges and excites children and helps instil critical life skills," he said. "Constantly wrapping children in cotton wool can leave them ill equipped to deal with stressful or challenging situations they might encounter later in life. "Children both need and want to push their boundaries in order to explore their limits and develop their abilities."

The survey was carried out to mark Playday, the annual celebration of children's right to play, which is co-ordinated by Play England.


Secret deal kept British Army out of battle for Basra: "A secret deal between Britain and the notorious al-Mahdi militia prevented British Forces from coming to the aid of their US and Iraqi allies for nearly a week during the battle for Basra this year, The Times has learnt. Four thousand British troops - including elements of the SAS and an entire mechanised brigade - watched from the sidelines for six days because of an "accommodation" with the Iranian-backed group, according to American and Iraqi officers who took part in the assault. US Marines and soldiers had to be rushed in to fill the void, fighting bitter street battles and facing mortar fire, rockets and roadside bombs with their Iraqi counterparts. Hundreds of militiamen were killed or arrested in the fighting. About 60 Iraqis were killed or injured. One US Marine died and seven were wounded. US advisers who accompanied the Iraqi forces into the fight were shocked to learn of the accommodation made last summer by British Intelligence and elements of al-Mahdi Army"

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