Spence's Weekly Column

Now if you, like me can't seem to shift those extra pounds, it may be time to stop using that old excuse – “It’s in my genes!” To which my partner always replies “It is in your jeans! A big fat bum!”

I’m not a parent so I have no idea about the pressures of parenthood or how to deal with awkward, whinging offspring.But I do know one thing and that is if I did have any little ones running round snapping at my ankles I would not be sending them to school with a packed lunch simply containing a Smarties sandwich!

As ridiculous as this sounds, one parent was discovered to be doing just that after snooping workers at one UK health authority went in to assess what porky pupils were bringing in for dinner or ‘lunch’ depending how posh you are. They also found a wealth of other whipper snappers were gorging on crisps, sweets and chocolate for their lunch. As fab, mint or sick as this sounds to a child I was quite frankly appalled that some mum or even dad would think of doing this in an age when the nanny state is constantly badgering us about childhood obesity. 

I mean do some people not listen to the government propaganda? Is the only Big Brother they take notice of, been won by a man who told dodgy jokes in the 70s? In case you didn’t know, the government says tackling child obesity requires “changes in the behaviour of individual children and their parents and of society in general, which reflects recent trends across most developing countries to greater fat and sugar consumption and reduced physical activity”. In other words get your kids to eat less and exercise more and while the majority of parents are genuinely concerned about their children’s health there are that odd few we’ve all seen in town giving their kids a massive sausage roll just to shut them up. I even believe that this is known as a ‘Gregg’s Dummy’ which although quite amusing, also sums up the problem some kids face with their parents giving in to their every dietary whim. 

I know it’s hard when little Amelia or Ethan is screaming and shouting when you’re out shopping but when they’re off to school surely they have to eat what you’ve packed or quite frankly starve (for a bit). Maybe this parent was concerned there wasn’t enough confectionary based bread-filled offerings available in the school dinner hall, I can only guess, but we don’t need a government to tell us not to pack Smartie Butties! Surely that’s just common sense? Anyway all this wouldn’t have happened in my schooldays, no way! It would have been an Opal Fruits sandwich with my mum at least giving me a portion of my five a day there!

Spence x