Children should be given 'smaller plates at mealtimes'

Parents should give their children smaller plates at mealtimes to help them lose weight, a leading health official has said.

Duncan Selbie, the head of Public Health England, told the Daily Telegraph it was a "national tragedy" so many young people were overweight, claiming the number of people with diabetes in Britain could treble over the next 20 years.

Parents should give their children smaller plates to help control their weight. Credit: PA Wire

He recalled an encounter with a mother of an overweight child from Manchester who had been raised on the idea that "you have to clear your plate".

"The child (her son) was overweight at school, and it was a definite problem," he told the newspaper.

"The prescription was that they brought them smaller plates. The child was back on track: he went on to be ahead of the class."