One in three primary school pupils is too fat

Deputy Health Minister Ektoras Nasiokas yesterday urged parents to make their offspring take more exercise and adopt healthier eating habits, as new research indicated that one in three Athens primary school pupils is too fat. «It is not only depressing, but also worrying to see such high levels of obesity, and not to be doing anything about it,» he told a press conference. «We must include sports and healthy eating in our daily program.» A survey of 4,648 six to 12-year-olds in Attica schools by the Athens Aglaia Kyriakou Children’s Hospital found 23.4 percent to be overweight and nine percent obese. This is more or less as bad as US figures. Only half the children surveyed engaged in sports, and 70 percent spent at least two hours a day watching TV. «Juvenile obesity is a long-fused public health bomb,» warned Antonia Trichopoulou, head of the National Dietary Policy Committee.