Topic

children's health

15 petitions

Update posted 2 days ago

Petition to Oxford University Press, Michael Gove

Nature related words should be reinstated in the Junior Oxford English Dictionary.

By removing many words to do with nature from the Oxford Junior Dictionary, Children will, rather than caring for the earth and everything on it will be more insular and lead less healthy lives. This is alarming at a time when there are more and more species approaching extinction and more and more children suffering from mental illness and obesity.  Some of the replacement words are also questionable choices. For example Blog must surely easier to spell and discover the meaning of than say hedgehog or cygnet.  A group of authors have written to OUP and point out "“When, in 2007, the OJD made the changes, this connection was understood, but less well publicised than now. The research evidence showing the links between natural play and wellbeing; and between disconnection from nature and social ills, is mounting.” They also said, “There is a shocking, proven connection between the decline in natural play and the decline in children’s wellbeing,”   Research reveals that a generation ago, 40% of children regularly played in natural areas, compared to 10% today, with a further 40% never playing outdoors. “Obesity, anti-social behaviour, friendlessness and fear are the known consequences,” they say. This petition echos their request to the Publishers: “that a deliberate and publicised decision to restore some of the most important nature words would be a tremendous cultural signal and message of support for natural childhood”, and ask it to “take that opportunity, and if necessary, bring forward the next edition of the OJD in order to do so”.  We understand that the Oxford Primary Dictionary does include a variety of nature words of use to Primary age children and that this is a more encompassing dictionary than the Oxford Junior Dictionary, but are concerned that some very basic words for the very young are being supplanted by words that they are probably quite familiar with anyway.  We do NOT condone any abusive comments and these will be removed from the discussion if spotted.   

Terry Jackson
200,299 supporters
Update posted 2 days ago

Petition to Jeremy Hunt, Jon Ashworth, Amber Rudd MP

Please save my son Alfie by allowing him to legally use medical cannabis!

My six year old son Alfie has a very rare genetic epilepsy condition called PCDH19. It causes clusters of seizures which are unresponsive to almost any medications. He can have up to 30 violent seizures a day. It’s so severe that he had 3000 seizures in one year and ended up in hospital 48 times.The only legal medication in the UK that helps are steroids. But they are toxic to the body, especially when used regularly. If we continue giving them to Alfie there is a high likelihood he will develop psychosis or his organs will fail. Last year, in desperation, we travelled to Holland where doctors treated him with cannabis oil. Miraculously, with a dose of three drops a day, Alfie didn’t have a seizure for 27 days. He's only had 2 seizures in the last two months. Dutch doctors say that cannabis oil could get his seizures down from 30 a day to twenty a year. My baby went from a death sentence, to the prospect of a normal life, with school, friends and fun. But that prospect could be taken away now we are back in the UK because here the use of medical cannabis is illegal. I don’t want to have to break the law so I am pleading with the UK Government to make an exception for Alfie and grant his doctor license to prescribe medical cannabis so Alfie can live life carefree, without constant seizures and ploughing of steroids. Making an exception for Alfie doesn't have to open the floodgates - Alfie is the only boy in the UK that has this condition. We are working with End Our Pain (https://endourpain.org/ to get a better life for Alfie and hope this will lead to help for other children who need to try this medication. To legalise the use of medical cannabis would enable the quality and consistency of products to be properly controlled, would create a new industry and more jobs, raise taxes, lower crime rates and result in fewer people struggling in hospitals to be well, or being preyed on by unscrupulous online sellers. We assess the saving to the NHS from Alfie’s case alone to be over £100,000 and up to 150 paediatric bed days. It’s a no-brainer! Getting Alfie treatment could be the first step to making medical cannabis accessible to others in need. We urgently need the public to make noise to make that happen. Alfie has been through more than most people go through in a lifetime. He deserves to have a wonderful life full of joy. I just want Amber Rudd and Jeremy Hunt to understand this isn’t about the wholesale legalisation of Cannabis. This is about weekly trips to A&E, watching my son have seizures, watching him turn purple, and praying that he lives to see another day. Please sign and share this petition and help me make our family’s only wish come true. And please like our Facebook page Alfie's Hope for all updates on Alfie's journey. Thank you x

Hannah Deacon
261,718 supporters
Started 2 months ago

Petition to Public Health England

Change Public Health England's new 100 calorie snack campaign

Look for 100 calorie snacks, 2 a day max - no thanks!  Public Health England has recently introduced a campaign encouraging parents to only allow their children two 100 calorie snacks per day (excluding fruit and vegetables). The campaign is aimed towards parents, however, the TV and radio advert appears to be aimed towards a younger audience. The catchy theme tune - 'look for 100 calorie snacks, 2 a day max!' can easily be remembered by young children and thus leads to my concern. Whilst one agrees with the promotion of healthy eating and reducing the amount of sugar in our children's diets, I disagree with using 100 calories as a mark of health. Many processed snacks are under 100 calories whereas many wholesome healthy snacks are over. Laura Thomas (PhD, RNutr) wrote that 'kids energy requirements fluctuate daily, depending on activity levels, illness, and growth spurts. Predetermining how much a child ‘should’ eat, cajoling them to finish their snack, or not allowing them to have more if they’re really hungry can undermine their ability to self-regulate feeding based on their innate hunger & fullness cues.' This emphasises that healthy and intuitive eating is not as simple as cutting out all snacks over 100 calories. All children have different nutritional needs! One fears that using 100 calories as a benchmark of health teaches the wrong message to children. We should be teaching them to nourish their bodies whilst having a healthy and balanced diet. Unfortunately, one feels that this campaign could trigger eating disorders for people with a predisposition at an earlier age. By focusing on calories rather than the health content of food, the promotion of 100 calorie snacks sends out the wrong message to young, impressionable children. This campaign could lead to children counting calories and restricting their diets at an younger age than many already do.  Rather than encouraging two 100 calorie snacks per day, one believes that PHE should give more examples of healthy and balanced lunch boxes to parents. They should be trying to educate parents and children about the sugar content of foods and how to create an overall healthy diet for their child whilst creating sustainable eating habits. One also agrees in giving parents vouchers to buy healthier snacks as this will help make healthy eating more accessible to many people. By changing this campaign we can try to teach children about balanced and healthy diets whilst moving away from calorie counting and restriction. Diet culture is a massive problem within today's society and one believes that if we teach children how to nourish their bodies without depriving themselves at an early age, we can try to combat the problem.  Healthy eating is important, but having a healthy relationship with food is more important. Children need healthy minds as well as bodies. We have a responsibility to teach children that individual needs differ and that there is no 'one size fits all' approach to nutrition. Also, we should teach children about intuitive eating rather than restriction and calorie counting. Food is fuel and is designed to be enjoyed by all - it is much more than numbers. Children need to be taught that calories are not an indicator of the health content of food.

Meg Ellison
6,053 supporters
Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to NZ & Australian Governments

DITCH THE "HEALTH" STAR RATING SYSTEM!! #kidsrealfoodrevolution #buildabetterlunchbox

Hi there! I'm Claire Deeks and together with my son Dominic today we're asking for your support to help our children make healthier food choices. What's this petition about in a nutshell? We're asking you to sign below to confirm your support of petitions to the NZ and Australian Houses of Representatives to ditch the Health Star Rating System in both countries in favour of a much simpler visual depiction of how many teaspoons of sugar are in the product and more education on why and how to eat real food. Your help is needed to make a real difference. We need your help to make a real difference. We've got a serious situation in children's health in our countries. NZ and Australia rank 3rd and 4th respectively in the obesity rankings globally with over 30% of New Zealanders and over 28% of Australian's are considered obese. Obesity is one of the most important risk factors for a number of major diseases, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and several common cancers. Rates of diabetes (including juvenile diabetes) are now epidemic in both countries - estimates put the number of diabetics at over 1.5 million in Australia and over 300,000 in New Zealand. While experts are not all in agreement on causation for these diseases there is growing consensus that sugar is public health enemy number one. What is the Health Food Star System? This system is a government led initiative developed in 2014 for packaged foods in New Zealand and Australia. The number of stars associated with each food - 0.5 to 5 stars out of a possible 5 stars - is determined by complicated algorithms that supposedly consider the overall nutritional value of the food product and give more stars to those foods said to have better nutritional value. Despite the good intentions that may lie behind the it, the fact is that, in creating this system, governments in both countries have fallen into the trap of effectively endorsing packaged food - and hardly the healthiest packaged food at that. What’s the problem exactly? The rating system is a classic example of the type of thinking that's led us to the health issues most prevalent in western society today. It encourages a focus on single nutrients and calorific information. Proponents of the system argue that the stars allow for comparison between similar items on the supermarket shelf. That may be true. So for example the system rates one high sugar cereal against another high sugar cereal and then gives a higher rating to the product that complies best with the algorithm (perhaps less salt or more added vitamins). However, the practical reality is that where any star is awarded to a product (but particularly where it's 3 star or higher) then that product is seen having been given an outright seal of approval (regardless of comparative products on the shelf). And indeed the labelling on the packets encourages this stating as it does: "Put simply, the more stars the healthier the choice." This is highly misleading. Specific examples of the problem. The World Health Organisation recommends no more than 3 teaspoons of sugar per day for a child. There are also numerous studies showing the problems with vegetable oils and also (especially for children) significant issues with many additives and preservatives. With that in mind, here are some examples of where the star rating system goes horribly wrong: Flavoured milk with over 9 tsp of sugar in a single serve with 4.5 stars. Vegetable oil spreads made with preservatives and colours with 5 stars (whilst butter gets 0.5 stars). Juice being awarded 4 stars. Artificially flavoured low fat yoghurt receiving 5 stars. Cocoa powder blend that's almost 50% sugar awarded 4.5 stars. Snack bars with added flavours, vegetable oils + other additives & preservatives obtaining 3 stars. Cereals with added flavours, vegetable oils + other additives & preservatives having 4.5 stars. This is a fundamentally flawed system which sends entirely the wrong message to busy and tired parents shopping for their kids. The bottom line is, the Healthy Food Star System isn't intuitive. On the contrary: It's very confusing (some would say deliberately deceptive) and, most of all, it's ultimately government endorsement of packaged, processed food.  What’s the alternative? Well to start with if there's to be any labelling of packaged foods then such labelling ought to relate to the degree of processing the food has gone through as well as the amount and type of additives and preservatives and of course the nutrients provided by the food and their known effects on human health. But a very simple and easy to understand system (that's gathered significant support and would help clear up a lot of confusion by dealing with one of the worst issues of many processed foods) is to simply ensure that all packaged foods carry on front of package the amount of sugar in actual teaspoons. (Yes - an actual picture of the teaspoons.) Alternatively - instead of spending millions (and it really is multiple millions) trying to educate people on yet another labelling system - we could put renewed focus on eating real foods. Whole foods. Which don't need labels! What can you do? We really need your help today to sign & share this petition. Share it on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram - let's get it out there and make a difference! Tell the NZ and Australian Governments it's time to ditch this ridiculous ratings system and get back to emphasising consumption of real food. If there is to be any system let it be simply the visual representation of teaspoons of sugar. So please sign & share (it only takes a minute) and let’s help our governments to do the right thing. Thank you for your support we very much appreciate it. Claire & Dom xo Petition organised by: Claire DeeksDom’s Kitchen E: claire@domskitchen.co.nz | M: 021 755 646A: Dom’s Kitchen Ltd, P O Box 106026 Auckland 1143. About Dom's Kitchen At Dom's Kitchen I'm on a mission with my son Dominic to get more children eating more real food and making it as fun, easy and delicious as possible. I'm especially passionate about helping parents build a better lunch box - a lunch box with more real food and less packaged/highly processed foods - to nourish their children's growing bodies. Find out more at www.domskitchen.co.nz and follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/domskitchen.blog You can also see what we're up to at www.instagram.com/kidslunchboxrevolution (for ideas for real food lunch boxes) and www.instagram.com/thesupermarketsleuth (for the best and worst of the supermarket including plenty examples of the ridiculous health star rating system.

Claire Deeks
5,832 supporters