I'm a PT – letting your child become obese is basically a form of abuse | The Sun

A LEADING celebrity personal trainer has said letting a child become obese is essentially a form of abuse.

Nick Mitchell, the founder of global gym business Ultimate Performance, said it was no different to letting your kid smoke or take drugs.


His thoughts came ahead of National Childhood Obesity Week, which runs from July 4 to 10.

Mr Mitchell believes cheap junk food and a screen-fixated “Youtube generation” has resulted in epidemic-levels of obese children.

The former City barrister Mr Mitchell, who trained Hollywood actor Glen Powell for Top Gun: Maverick, said childhood obesity is “like watching a car crash in slow motion”.

He said cheap junk food and children spending hours looking at screens on devices rather than playing outside has created a “perfect storm” that is giving them the “very worst possible start in life”.

Mr Mitchell said: “It is a tremendously complex subject, but my view is that we should have zero tolerance for childhood obesity. I view childhood obesity as a version of child abuse.

“We live in what’s called a ‘snowflake’ generation. 

“Everyone wants to be uber-woke and virtue signal. And we now have a shrill minority on platforms like Twitter where they celebrate victimhood. So no-one wants to call this out.

“But, at heart, if your child is obese and you are doing nothing about it, how is that any different from seeing your child smoke cigarettes and doing nothing about it?"

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Talking to parents, Yorkshire-born entrepreneur Mr Mitchell said: “If you allowed your 12-year-old child to smoke cigarettes, that would be considered child abuse.

“If your 12-year-old was downing six cans of lager every night, that would be considered child abuse, the authorities would come in.”

He added on Twitter that childhood obesity should be looked at in a similar vein to “a kid getting high or drunk”.

Government figures reveal 27 per cent of kids in reception (4-5 year olds) are overweight or obese.

This rises to 41 per cent in 10-11 year olds – and the problem is worsening.

People are so frightened to tell the truth about childhood obesity because they’re frightened of causing offence.

Predictions by the Local Government Association (LGA) suggest the Government will miss its target to halve childhood obesity by 2030 without further urgent action.

Children who are obese are more likely to end up with serious conditions such as type 2 diabetes, asthma, early puberty, eating disorders and liver disease.

The number of kids being seen by the NHS for problems such as sleep apnoea, acid reflux and diabetes linked to scoffing fatty foods has risen dramatically. 

Those who are overweight as kids are more likely to be so as adults, when risks of more problems such as heart disease and stroke come into play.

The Government is keen to crackdown on obesity, unveiling a strategy in summer of 2020.

It said the Covid pandemic was a wake-up call to get Brits healthier and fitter.

Kids in 11 areas around England have been targeted for extra help in shifting the pounds – Barking and Dagenham, Brent, Enfield, Hounslow and Waltham Forest, Birmingham, Liverpool, Bradford, Tameside, Sandwell and Kingston Upon Hull.

Mr Mitchell called for the Government to consider subsidies for healthier food, higher taxes on junk food and a revamp of physical education in schools.

He added: “No-one wants to cause offence. But I’m afraid we need to have these difficult conversations.

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“Netflix puts a trigger warning on its TV shows when people smoke. So, if smoking is triggering, should there be a trigger warning when you see an obese child on TV? Because that child is ill.

“People are so frightened to tell the truth about childhood obesity because they’re frightened of causing offence.”

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