Leading article: Diets: not for children

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The Independent Online

A diet book for six-year-olds is shortly to be published in the United States and will soon find its way across the Atlantic. Predictably, nutrition experts are throwing up their hands in alarm. Between the ages of six and 12 is a prime time for the emergence of anorexia, which can develop into a lifelong, and sometimes fatal, condition.

On the other hand, there is the threat of an epidemic of childhood obesity, and a child who is overweight is likely to grow into an overweight adult, with associated serious health problems, such a diabetes and heart disease. Can this contradiction be reconciled? Yes it can: don't target the children – target their parents.