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Devon MP calls for regular weigh-ins for school children

A Devon MP has called for schools to do more to tackle the childhood obesity epidemic. Dr Sarah Wollaston wants youngsters weighed every year to ensure schools can pick up on any unexpected increase in their size.

One in five children are currently classed as overweight when they start primary school in Devon and Cornwall - and one in three when they leave. Francesca Carpenter reports:

Totnes MP calls for children to be weighed at school

Health problems linked to obesity already cost the NHS more than £5bn every year. Credit: PA

Totnes MP Sarah Wollaston has called for children to be weighed at school to help prevent obesity.

Dr Sarah Wollaston said it was wrong primary pupils were only weighed in reception class and year six.

Instead, they should be put on the scales every academic year so their weight and health can be monitored.

She also called on food companies to charge more for fizzy drinks, as they were laden with sugar and could push children into obesity.

Sarah Wollaston is chairwoman of the Commons Health Select Committee Credit: ITV News West Country

Without urgent action the health service will struggle to cope with the raft of long-term conditions coming down the track, she said.


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Obesity is 'a very important cause of health inequality'

Low-income children were more at risk of obesity than their peers, dubbing it "a very important cause of health inequality, according to a GP turned MP.

The chair of the Health Select Committee, Sarah Wollaston told Good Morning Britain 12% of children from the most deprived backgrounds were obese when they started primary school, where as "24% being obese," by the time they finished primary school.

Totnes MP becomes Health Select Committee chair

Sarah Wollaston, MP for Totnes Credit: ITV News West Country

The Conservative MP for Totnes - a former family doctor - has been elected chair of the Parliamentary committee that scrutinises the work of the department of health.

Dr Sarah Wollaston was chosen by fellow MPs to lead the Health Select committee. She has in the past criticised several aspects of government policy- calling the failure to bring in plain cigarette packaging and unit pricing for alcohol "a day of shame".

Garden built to help grieving parents

A memorial garden's been built in Totnes to help grieving parents come to terms with the death of a baby.

A Portland stone sculpture sits at the heart of the garden. It's designed as a peaceful place for people to think about and remember their lost child. The charity SANDS says 17 children every day are still-born or die shortly after birth.


Storms damage historic building

Damage to one of South Devon's most historic buildings is being assessed.

Conker Shoe Company in Totnes, which dates back to the 16th century, partly collapsed in Friday's storms.

Much of the High Street had to be evacuated and remained closed while scaffolding was put up. Investigations show that much of the historic facade is affected.

Conker Shoe Company in Totnes partly collapsed in Friday's storms. Credit: ITV News West Country

Towns with small shops like Totnes boost house prices

Totnes, which recently won a battle against national chain Costa, is a good example of independent shopping Credit: ITV News West Country

High streets populated with thriving independent businesses have added an average of £40,000 to nearby house prices over the last decade, according to a study by American Express.

It suggested that homeowners living close to a flourishing high street could see their property value outperform similar homes elsewhere by as much as £70,000 over the next 10 years.

The study identified five "high street hot spots" it described as good examples: Whitstable, Kent; Marlborough, Wiltshire; Hungerford, Berkshire; Totnes, Devon, and Yarm, North Yorkshire.

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