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Childhood Obesity: Webchat with Professor Paul Gately, Friday 6 July, 12-1pm

(117 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 03-Jul-12 14:23:16

Today one in three children are overweight or obese and research suggests that, if untreated, 85% of these children will become obese adults. To coincide with National Childhood Obesity Week Professor Paul Gately is joining us on Friday at 12 midday for a webchat about childhood obesity.

Professor Gately has over 20 years research experience in the field of childhood obesity and the study of weight loss programmes throughout the world. He formed the MoreLife programme which works across the country in partnership with the NHS to deliver specialist weight management services.

Paul has presented a number of television programmes on the subject of childhood obesity and is a spokesperson for Change4Life. He is also consultant to many government agencies, health organisations and corporations throughout the UK and internationally.

If you're worried your child is obese, or you have concerns about their diet or want advice on how to help them lose weight, join the webchat on Friday at midday or post a question in advance to Professor Gately.

demoskats Fri 01-Feb-13 11:24:29

Hello, I am a student at sussex university and I'm currently investigating the effects of video games on childhood obesity. My goal is to take techniques used in the game industry and utilize them to engage children in group games with active nature, so they exercise with friends while having fun. I have prepared two surveys that you can complete online and help me with my research. Your input is crucial for this project and if you have some time to spare please fill them in.
Thank you in advance, Demos

Ps if anyone is interested in finding more about this project please contact me on dk228@sussex.ac.uk

Link to survey for parents: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/XGFSTMC
Link to survey for children: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/XPMSLCR

lovelydogs Tue 10-Jul-12 17:59:42

It is important to talk about and I do have strange conversations with my dd.
Her: Am I fat?
Me: No
Her: Yes I am look!
Me: You've got a tiny bit of extra weight that's all
Her: So I am fat?
Me: No, you could do with losing an incy bit that's all
Her: What, of fat??
Me: No!

So in answer to your Q's to me Paul we do talk about it in a round about manner. She knows she is overweight and hates it. But I haven't the heart to call her "Fat"! Thanks for answering my Q.

vnmum Tue 10-Jul-12 14:15:20

just read this, i'm late I know.
To be honest it is the same old tripe being repeated again. Follow the government guidelines - because thats worked so far, right hmm, we need carbs full stop - again I would question that to some degree, and if the government guidelines aren't working then you are not following them properly hmm

More sense on the Dr John Briffa webchat!

mumdraw Mon 09-Jul-12 12:13:13

I think one of the problems is 'portion sizes' . I think many parents are unclear on these. On a recent school trip I noticed that the majority of the kids did have a healthy packed lunch, but there was just too much food. Most had adult portion sizes. Perhaps some clear guidelines on how much to actually feed children would help. We are also still have the hang up from our parent's generation where 'finishing your plate' is seen as important. It is if the portion size is right!

JugglingWithTangentialOranges Fri 06-Jul-12 21:45:29

Thanks for your reply, Paul.

Perhaps I was a little disappointed too that you didn't have more to say on my query of the role of breast-feeding in regulating the appetites of babies, children, and beyond (into adult life) ?

PaulGately Fri 06-Jul-12 21:28:00

JugglingWithTangentialOranges

After a quick scan through of these "answers" I do slightly feel that he came across as a little surprised that "mumsnetters" aka "Mums" would have such thoughtful and well informed questions. Brings out the feminist in me where men are seen as the experts, and equally well-informed women are helped and advised with their problems. (So, perhaps I'm being slightly unfair as I acknowledge this is his field of expertise - but as an early years professional I have a professional view too and have given these issues some careful thought) Perhaps it's something inherent in the Q&A format to some extent. But I think some of the problem stems from the approach taken by Paul.

I'd like to have seen more acknowledgement of the good ideas contained within the questions and comments. Reminds me just slightly of the Barnardo's webchat. Just because we have DC's doesn't mean we don't have a brain !
And just because we are mothers doesn't mean we don't have other roles and experiences to draw on smile

Not at all, I'm sorry that was your interpretation of my responses. Mums tend to be the family members I interact with most as they seem to be involved most in their childs weight loss challenges. After 20 years working in this field I totally recognise their knowledge, skills and expertise. Indeed much of my insight is gained from real life situations articulated to me by mums and the children and young people i have worked with.

I recognise that raising some of these issues can be a challenge for many as its a personal and sensitive issue. So some of my comments were made with consideration of such challenges and a recognition of the bravery needed to raise them even in an anonymous forum.

Sometimes there were responses or comments that we not supported by science and I strongly believe it is critical to challenge such misperceptions. I was not being dismissive of the responses, and apologies for anyone who felt I was.

I must admit it was the first time I have done this, I did enjoy it but it was a challenge to consider and respond quickly to the questions and comments posed. In fact each of the questions could have a whole day focused on them as a webchat. This is one of the problems with this issue and why we need more things like this.

JugglingWithTangentialOranges Fri 06-Jul-12 19:32:56

After a quick scan through of these "answers" I do slightly feel that he came across as a little surprised that "mumsnetters" aka "Mums" would have such thoughtful and well informed questions. Brings out the feminist in me where men are seen as the experts, and equally well-informed women are helped and advised with their problems. (So, perhaps I'm being slightly unfair as I acknowledge this is his field of expertise - but as an early years professional I have a professional view too and have given these issues some careful thought) Perhaps it's something inherent in the Q&A format to some extent. But I think some of the problem stems from the approach taken by Paul.

I'd like to have seen more acknowledgement of the good ideas contained within the questions and comments. Reminds me just slightly of the Barnardo's webchat. Just because we have DC's doesn't mean we don't have a brain !
And just because we are mothers doesn't mean we don't have other roles and experiences to draw on smile

AdventuresWithVoles Fri 06-Jul-12 18:08:59

I thought there was loads in there that I wouldn't have known & that was good food for thought. Like the 5-a-day recommendation leads to extra calories, not subbing healthier things for lower nutrition snacks. The nuanced view that not all carbs are the same. And that children should own a weight problem if they have it.

I snack all the time, I come from a family of fatties (by my age, anyway, mid 40s). I eat lots of carbs. I am relatively slender (BMI under 20). So no firm rules for everyone.

RebeccaMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 06-Jul-12 17:55:05

yolo

Hey how can I hear this??? PLEASE HELP!!! confused sad

Hi Yolo,

Apologies for getting to this late.
Our webchats are available online to read, there is no audio version.

If we can help any further with this, then please do mail us contactus @ mumsnet.com

goodasgold Fri 06-Jul-12 16:49:02

I thought the questions were good.

StarlightWithAsteroid Fri 06-Jul-12 15:11:05

Did I miss the breastfeeding bit?

ohforfoxsake Fri 06-Jul-12 15:05:52

hmm is all I have to say.

BIWItheBold Fri 06-Jul-12 13:58:10

What a surprise, PBB hmm

PostBellumBugsy Fri 06-Jul-12 13:35:06

Oh - not one single one of my questions answered. hmm

lostmywellies Fri 06-Jul-12 13:26:26

"the holy grail of healthy eating is a blithe indifference to food for most of the day"

Brilliant, vezzie; I love that! I am going to memorise it!

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 06-Jul-12 13:21:34

The webchat is now closed. Thanks Paul for joining us today.

SpringGoddess Fri 06-Jul-12 13:17:46

To sum up - eat less, move more and attend a Morelife activity - has anyone learned anything new? If that's all we've got why would a parent with an overweight child see a specialist - what exactly are they going to do - measure the child, work out their BMI, then ...... what? oh yes eat less move more - right back to where we started.....am I missing something?

PaulGately Fri 06-Jul-12 13:08:19

thanks everyone!!

PaulGately Fri 06-Jul-12 13:07:53

StillSquiffy

Surely the biggest problem with snacks is that it is impossible to have healthy 'on the hoof' snacks and mums are forever bussing the kids from one activity to the next? It's easy enough to give my kids cucumber sticks and hummous when they are at home, but you can't pick up this kind of stuff in cafes and garages.

Are packs of nuts the answer? I am on the fence about nuts for kids - even though I am mostly convinced by the low carb argument, I still get worried about the very high calorie load and also the salt.... what's your view?

There are lots of snack options out there, i think they will continue to be provided by many retail outlets, the greater the demand the greater the supply!!! Nuts are great, but they are highly energy dense so should be considered as part of the overall energy balance!!

vezzie Fri 06-Jul-12 13:07:23

Thankyou again Paul

SpringGoddess Fri 06-Jul-12 13:06:24

So carbs have no effect on insulin levels and consequently fat storage, massively fluctuating blood sugar levels and consequently increased appetite - really?

PaulGately Fri 06-Jul-12 13:05:38

There are some great questions that have gone unanswered for which we will put some answers together and add to our blog next week. In the meantime, you can like us on facebook at facebook.com/morelifeuk or follow us on twitter @team_morelife for regular MoreLife updates.

PaulGately Fri 06-Jul-12 13:05:16

vezzie

Paul, thank you for your answers. I disagree though because I think we do need to change our "food system" - I think we need to do exactly that, because at the moment we are sacrificing human beings by placing business first. I think it is defeatist to say, oh well, the food industry have to make money so let everyone else struggle and maybe die, except a few lucky individuals with the will and the education and the metabolism to somehow get through.
Also I think it is very sad that you say "many people that will be unable for a variety of reasons to eat a "healthy diet"" - really? What reasons? Why accept that many - not some, many - can't just eat normally, modestly, healthily?

I do believe the we need to change the food system, but this will take a long time to do, and the drivers to do it must be considered!!! I work with lots of children and adults. Changing the food system will not help him.

We know that finances, education, mental health, social circumstances all have an influence on peoples ability to eat a healthy diet. This is well established by the evidence base.!!

I certainly dont sit and accept the status quo, I work hard to contribute to changing these systems but it takes times!! I'm not a defeatist, just a realist !!

StillSquiffy Fri 06-Jul-12 13:04:07

Sorry, should have said low net carb content in that post, am well aware unadjusted carb content v high.

SpringGoddess Fri 06-Jul-12 13:03:01

Interesting view on white pasta - which Dr Briffa described in his webchat yesterday as having almost the same affect on the blood and insulin as sugar. Who is right?

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