Parents’ reckless attitudes towards food, alcohol and smoking is putting their children’s health at risk, Britain’s top doctor has said.
Writing in The Observer, Royal College of General Practitioners chairman Professor Steve Field calls on the nation to get fit or face the consequences.
These include exposing children to the risk of dying before their parents, he warns.
His comments echo that of Health Secretary Andrew Lansley who has called on Britons to take more responsibility over their health.
Prof Field said: “The truth is that too many of us neglect our health and this is leading to increasing levels of illness and early death.”
He said that patients should not take offence when GPs tell them to slim down or quit smoking or drinking.
The leading doctor also attack parents’ attitudes, claiming that smoking in cars in front of children is a form of “child abuse”.
He added: “Unless parents exert more control over their children’s diets, they are risking a lifetime of health problems, and even premature death - death before their parents, which is almost too sad to contemplate.”