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The kids are…all getting fat?!

It's true apparently. Italian children are going the same way as many other youngsters from rich and developed countries; that is they are putting on too many pounds. Is this a surprise? Well, no it isn't, not really. Just think about it for a moment. The telly and other media bombards kids (and their parents) with adverts for fattening foods and drinks. Then there are the Playstations and Gameboys and the like, none of which exactly encourage movement. It is a well known fact that Italians are fascinated by football, but not enough children appear to play regularly enough to keep those calories at bay.

There are other factors too. Italian appartments are, well, flats. This means no garden for children to let off steam in, especially in the large towns. If children do want to do something which involves some kind of physical activity, they need to either wander along to the local park or be taken there by mamma or pappa – if mom and dad are around that is. Next we have the fear factor – gangs of teenagers are mugging other teenagers, persons of a non-European community origin are lurking in the streets and then there is the traffic which gets uppish when someone dares to cross a road. OK some of these dangers are hyped by the media and others are maybe more real. However, mum and dad are both more likely to be working and thus have less time to take the children out and about.

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The net result of all this is that children are encouraged to stay indoors – surfing the web, playing video games, having friends round to surf the web and play video games. Is it any wonder that kids are getting fatter? No not really – but then the human race has never really been too keen on predicting the long term consequences of its actions, especially when hard cash is factored into the equation.

Will anything get done? Nah. It's not a real problem is it? It's like this global warming thingy – just a few scientist types getting all hot under the collar. Now where did I leave that hole in the ground?

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