Unhealthy attitudes by parents towards smoking, drinking and eating is endangering the health of their children, the chairman of the Royal College of GPs has claimed.
In an article for The Observer newspaper, Professor Steve Field (pictured) said adults need to get themselves fit or the repercussions will be too severe to contemplate.
Professor 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."
People ought not be too offended when doctors instruct to them stop drinking or smoking, or to lose weight, he wrote, adding that some parents have dangerous attitudes, and even claimed that smoking in a car in the presence of a child is tantamount to child abuse.
He wrote: "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."
Copyright © Press Association 2010
Do you agree with Professor Field's comments? Your comments (terms and conditions apply):
"Yes – it is about time parents took responsibility for their own health and their children's instead of making it everybody else's. I never had children as I am far too selfish but I do not want the burden of other people's. There is far too much 'help' for them, which the Children's Act only extended resulting in a nation that expects and demands others to look after them and their family. Why should I?" – Margaret Hooper, Suffolk
"Yes, the NHS cannot possibly meet levels of demand if they continue to escalate at current rate. Time for more people to take responsibililty and fewer to demand what they (often erroneously) regard as their rights. Perhaps no child allowance if they fail to turn up to antenatal appts or fail to get kids immunised etc. That would focus a few minds" – Name and address withheld