Timebomb that earmarks kids for early grave

There are many things in life that can seem serious, only to be dismissed with the rational thought that they're not exactly a matter of life and death.

Sadly, the same cannot be said of the obesity epidemic that continues to plague Leeds and West Yorkshire.

One in every three youngsters in our city is either overweight or obese by the time they leave primary school.

In what represents the greatest challenge confronting the modern NHS, our region is awash with tiny ticking timebombs who face a grim future of serious health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer as a direct result of their weight.

It's one thing to bombard the public with statistics, of course, quite another to actively do something that's going to change them.

We don't want a government that is interfering and overbearing, preaching to us about how we should lead our lives.

But it's different when it comes to children. Schools have a responsibility to teach youngsters the importance of healthy eating, as well as serving up nutritious school dinners.

And, whether we like it or not, better education for parents must also play a part, creating a better understanding of the impact our eating habits have on our kids.

If a child starts out in life eating healthily at home, he or she has a far better chance of continuing to eat the right foods and live a longer, healthier and more rewarding life.

To leave them to eat as they wish, developing bad habits that will haunt them in the years to come, is to condemn them to a miserable future and an increased risk of dying before their time.

Hero's farewell

WHEN David Kirkness wrote to his mother from Afghanistan and told her that if the worst happened he wanted to be 'a firework over Morley Town Hall', she smiled at the sense of humour she knew and loved.

But the worst did happen. David stopped a suicide bomber entering a crowded marketplace and was killed.

He kept his word to protect the vulnerable and preserve peace.

Now Maggie has done the same, last night fulfilling his wish by sending some of his ashes up in a firework over the town hall.

It was a unique way to bid an emotional farewell to a truly unique individual.

Looking up?

THE raft of cancelled building projects in Leeds over the last couple of years has been an accurate reflection of the city's changing fortunes.

Now we learn that plans for a city centre skyscraper mothballed during the recession could soon be resurrected.

After coming back down to earth with a bump, let's hope this is a sign that things are once again on the up.