All parents should be offered state-funded classes in how to bring up their families in a bid to tackle rising levels of child obesity, mental distress and underachievement, one of Britain’s leading doctors has said.
Prof John Ashton, President of the UK Faculty of Public Health, called for programmes to be introduced across the country, and said “nanny state” interventions were needed to project the most vulnerable.
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The doctor, who represents specialists working in public health, said the current NHS crisis could not be solved without radical changes in the lifestyles of most Britons – starting at birth – to encourage healthier habits.
He said he was particularly concerned about the psychological pressures on children, facing “information overload” from the internet and video games, and levels of serious distress and self-harm among teens.
In an interview with The Telegraph, he called for the creation of parenting programmes and telephone helplines to help those bringing up young families and those with teens “going off the rails”.