‘Times’ agrees with us: ‘Early programming in the womb predisposes a developing baby to obesity later in life’ – Helen Clark writes

On 28th July, ‘The Times’ resident health expert, Dr Mark Porter warned:

‘Saying ‘Get on a bike’ will not solve the obesity crisis.’

The APPG fully backs Dr Porter and I have sent him a copy of our report on Maternal Obesity

I was absolutely delighted to see Dr Porter pointing out in his ‘Times’ column that asking GPs to present bike riding as the silver bullet to conquer obesity is way off the mark.

Some people certainly do find riding a bike beneficial and that’s great; let’s extend that opportunity. But for lasting solutions we need to delve a bit deeper. Dr Porter hit the nail on the head yesterday when he said:

Parental weight is probably the biggest single determinant of whether a child will go on to be obese. …indeed, there is now plenty of evidence that early programming in the womb predisposes a developing baby to obesity later in life. If you are pregnant and overweight – as are half of all pregnant women – it is not just your health that may be adversely affected, but that of the next generation too.

Dr Mark Porter, The Times

I commend Dr Porter for his comments. Members of the APPG on A Fit and Healthy Childhood had identified this issue and that is why we devoted an entire report to it. I have now sent Dr Porter a copy of ‘Maternal Obesity’ and very much look forward to his comments.

We are also sending a copy to Secretary of State Matt Hancock and the Prime Minster’s Obesity Strategy team because as they have said – we must get serious about obesity if we are going to face future health crises such as Covid-19 at our fittest and most resilient.

We know that the recommendations in our report ‘Maternal Obesity’ make sense and I look forward to the responses we receive from Dr Porter and Government sources.

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