Holyrood Baby

It takes a village...

The saying goes "it takes a village to raise a child". What is it like for the Holyrood baby to grow up in "our village" and keep a healthy weight?

In our village, children are surrounded by adults where 2 out of 3 are either overweight or obese. Our village provides us with a lifestyle of TV, computer games, fear of playing outside, of supermarket price promotions on every aisle end, of adverts and marketing that sells us a lifestyle of time saving, mouth-watering, even romantic food if we just buy that ultra-processed ready meal, of checkout areas in shops where impatient children wait - hands twitching - to pick up a colourful, well-packaged, eye-height sugary snack.

Are we really stacking the odds in favour of the child staying a healthy weight? Is our village providing the right environment for the child? No. Let's change that.

The Holyrood baby needs adults of a healthy weight at point of conception and as parents, support for breastfeeding and weaning, a healthy diet and plenty of physical activity throughout life.

To achieve this we need to ensure that the healthy choice is inevitably the easy choice. We need to use price and regulation carefully to imporove the Scottish diet; we need to reduce the sugar and fat content of food produced by the industry; we need to cut back radically on promoting energy-dense foods; we need to improve the labelling of food in shops and restaurants; and we need the public sector to leady by example.

The new Scottish Parliament, local councils, public, voluntary and private organisations have the opportunity to change our village. The Holyrood baby is the most important citizen in the place.  It ought to be there, happy and healthy, when everyone else has left.



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