Monitoring school children’s diets and establishing clear goals for them to reach is one of several proposals to combat obesity that were put forward by the Nationalist Party today.
The party said at a press conference that the government’s strategy for dealing with the national problem had failed and pledged to prioritise it when elected to government.
Among the proposals put forward by the PN was for a greater emphasis to be placed on ensuring that school children understand the need for a healthy diet.
This includes more awareness about the need for nutritious meals and the dangers of obesity. More nutritious food should also be made available in schools, the party said.
“There should be regular monitoring of children’s diet and the progress they are making with clear goals established that should be reached like any other scholastic goal,” the PN said.
The PN pointed out that studies had shown that between 40-42% of Maltese school children were already obese. “These figures are the highest in the EU and the PN understands the importance of starting the fight against obesity from within the country’s schools.”
Another proposal was for there to be more physical education classes to ensure that children get enough physical activity.
It noted that several studies had shown that Malta had a problem with obesity, with the country regularly registering among the highest rates of obesity across the European Union.
The problem was so serious, the party said, that Malta was considered to be an obesogenic Mediterranean state, meaning a country with an environment that tends to result in obesity.
“In light of the inexistent strategy on obesity, the PN is asking the government to update the nation about its success because it is clear that it has failed,” the PN said.
If elected to government, the party said it would embark on a nationwide study of obesity to determine where the government’s strategy had failed and to address those specific issues.
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