DRIVING to work this week I couldn't help listening to radio snippets on the likes of Israel Dagg, Valerie Adams and Brendon McCullum highlighting the need for a sedentary generation to act now because their parents may outlive them.

It's part of the Government's long overdue "part of the solution" to childhood obesity.

The soothe-sayers will, no doubt, pull out politically correct cards to declare the campaign alarmist and doing more harm than good.

Here's a snippet of what is said in case you are like me and only listen to radio while driving:


"We feed our families because we love them - to show them we care. But we're feeding them too much food.

"And too much junk. So some of our kids could end up living shorter lives than their parents. We're giving our families too much love."

Amen, I say.

Scaremongering? Absolutely and, dare I say it, it's better to sound the civil emergency siren now rather than when the collective ills start weighing the country down - if it isn't already doing that - like ill-conceived gluten bread.

From a sporting perspective, it's all good to talk about elite athletes taking performance-enhancing cocktails or getting caught urinating in a public place in a drunken stupor or, for that matter, smoking dope.

All poor choices, of course, but they are exceptions rather than the norm.

I remember my two university-aged daughters coming from schools in Hastings not long ago championing the virtues of making nourishing and affordable salads and sandwiches in almost the same mould as prompting anyone sitting in a car and not automatically strapping on their seatbelts.

You see, it's staggering that people even need sport stars to change their children's shocking diets.


The role-model balderdash just doesn't cut it because the responsibility for raising children always has and should rest with the parents/guardians, not with schoolteachers and politicians.

Like it or not, it is about choices.

Should your children play winter/summer sports or engage in electronic gadgets that rob them of sleep?

Should you chuck in $2 discounted crispies, biscuits and fizzy drinks into the supermarket trolley for snacking or go for fresh fruit, nuts and low-sugar natural confectionary?

The bottom line is weight-related illnesses are a bigger threat to lives, never mind where the next All Blacks or Black Caps will come from.

While the butter/margarine, bacon and cured meat-type debates will rage, the fact remains that processed sugar is potentially the No1 killer.

It's staggering that the Government allows manufacturers to continue supplying goods to supermarket shelves with advertising blurbs on packages that are up there with horoscopes.

It's equally disconcerting that TV is allowed to stream junk food propaganda at dinner time and during children's programmes into everyone's living rooms.

Hey, it's always a person's choice but you have to sympathise with the conscientious family who send their children to school with a healthy meal only to find they are sitting next to others whose parents probably will sneak them junk through school fences just to exercise their rights.