Some people say that childhood is the best times of our lives. Perhaps it used to be but nowadays millions of children are suffering ill health because of modern lifestyles. A third of all children are obese when they leave primary school and an obese child nearly always becomes an obese adult. Obesity is linked to type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease and early death. Is there anybody who wants this for their child?

Tooth decay among children continues to rise. Over the four-year period from 2011 to 2015, there were 128,558 cases of children under 11 having teeth removed because of decay. The need for tooth extraction continues to be the number one reason why five to nine-year-old children are admitted to hospital. The damage is caused by contact with too much sugar and the bacteria that feed on sugar causing brown, rotten teeth that are ugly and painful. Is there anybody who wants this for their child?

Myopia is the technical term for short sightedness. It happens when the eyeball and the lens do not grow in the correct proportion to each other and to a child’s growing head. It is a lifestyle problem caused by spending far too little time outdoors where children experience bright light and can focus on distant objects. Sitting indoors in artificial light and focusing a couple of feet ahead makes it much more likely to occur. There is now an epidemic of short sightedness in young people and it means they have to wear glasses for the rest of their lives. Is there anybody who wants this for their child?

Rickets is a disease of bone deformation linked to vitamin D deficiency. It was common in Victorian times when children worked underground in mines and never saw any sunshine. When free school milk was introduced and children played outside instead of working underground the disease practically disappeared. However, it is on the rise again. It is linked to a widespread lack of vitamin D, which is fat soluble and needs fat to be absorbed. A combination of  low fat diets and an aversion to sunshine are making rickets more common. Is there anybody who wants this for their child?

Mental health problems in children are rising rapidly. There has been a big increase in the number of young people being admitted to hospital because of self harm; over the last ten years this figure has increased by 68%. Nearly 80,000 children and young people in the UK suffer from severe depression. The number of young people aged 15-16 with depression nearly doubled between the 1980s and the 2000s. This is the same time period when obesity rates soared and I believe it is no coincidence. Failure to eat correctly causes obesity and failure to eat correctly diminishes the brain’s ability to function properly.

Please select an article from the drop-down menu to learn how to improve your child’s chances of avoiding these entirely avoidable problems.