Analysis Exclusive

Video: “Poverty changes children’s DNA – and not in a good way” – paediatrics professor explains

“The fundamental molecules of their body are changed by living in poverty” – asthma and other ‘epigenetic’ changes in children linked to poverty, malnutrition and unhealthy diet

Last week, the SKWAWKBOX advertised last night’s Skwawk Talk on the Socialist Telly channel as containing ‘mind-blowing’ revelations of the impact of poverty and hunger on children’s development and life chances – even at a molecular level. The trailer did not go far enough.

On Monday evening, Liverpool paediatrics professor and consultant Ian Sinha spoke in harrowing detail about the effects of poverty, hunger and poor diet on children – and told how it even changes the very DNA that will affect them at a molecular level for life:

SInha went on to explain how these ‘epigenetic’ changes increase levels of asthma and other respiratory diseases as well as other illnesses – and can take years off a child’s life, as well as impacting on what they can make of the years they do have – and was followed by working-class Labour MP Ian Byrne, who spoke about his ‘Right to Food’ campaign to enshrine the right to a healthy diet in the laws of the UK.

Listen to the whole discussion below – and don’t forget to sign Byrne’s ‘Right to Food’ petition:

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  1. The kids are starving,whilst the knight concentrates on supporting the onward march to destruction that will set the working-class back a hundred years or more dangerous?…downright imorral and stupid and the final whistle will be made in the streets,because with no longer any Opposition and backed into a corner what can be the only solution other than surfdom…fight back in the only language the right understands…!

  2. In my day job I dealt with the results of food poverty which was described as ‘failure to thrive’., which in my view is blaming the children for not meeting their developmental milestones, and parents for poverty. It is heartbreaking to see 18 month old toddlers who look like babies aged 8/9 months, who just about manage to pull themselves up into a standing position. We, in the main, could only treat the symptoms (lack of food universal response was a food parcel or taking people foods hopping – section 20 of children’s Act) rather than deal with the causes. Most families I dealt with were extremely vulnerable. Many fell through the gaps. Frequently, the only way we could give meaningful support to families, also access to services such as camhs, we had to put children onto cp plans with their family’s consent. The alternative would have been more suffering and the break up of families.
    Poverty in a variety of forms and inequality and its effects have been issues I dealt with throughout my career.

  3. I think this is the reason we, as the sixth richest country in the world have suffered so badly from Covid. The virus has exposed the appalling state of health among poor people. And the propaganda that has the rest believing that it is self imposed.

    1. In exactly the same way as Brexit propaganda had the less well off voting against their own best interests.

      1. Yes they’re stupid aren’t they Jack T? That wasn’t what I was saying or implying at all. The propaganda at work against poor people is made easy by the libertarian political dogma of self reliance, freedom and choice none of which apply if you’re poor, unsupported and unlucky.
        Brexit propaganda had far less effect than you credit it. People had 40 years to make up their minds about the EU. For the poor it was a no-brainer, the EU never benefitted them. But you won’t countenance that with your stubborn blinkered faith in the neoliberal technocrats, fucked up economics and currency and federalist dream cult.

      2. Lundiel, If you don’t accept that it wasn’t the EU which bore down on the less well off in Britain but successive right wing governments, I wonder who you are trying to protect?

        Professor A.C. Grayling will educate you :
        Brexit is about the Mr Moggs of Britain, not anyone else. Yet the Sunderland car workers voted for it – how come? Answer: they were conned. The Mr Moggs and Mr Farages, the Daily Mail and the Express, sang about sovereignty and immigration and put the blame for all the ills of the world on the EU. It worked a treat with just enough of those whose living standards have stagnated under post-2008-crash austerity measures. Yet these latter would be the first victims of what Brexit really means. They have been conned into supporting an exercise that is in their own worst interests. Brexit is not about sovereignty – the government White Paper admits we never lost it. It is not about immigration; immigration cannot and will not stop, because the country needs it and it is a net contributer to GDP. The EU, for all its flaws and problems, has been a huge boon to our economy and a huge success in many areas of our national life, not least in those very regulations that the Brexiters would scrap. No, Brexit is not about any of those things: it is about the pockets of Mr Mogg and the desire to be a bigger frog because the pond is smaller.

        It is also about revenge. Mr Murdoch wants to hurt the EU because it won’t kowtow to him as the UK Tories kowtow to him. Google backs Brexit because the EU has caught them out on their monopolistic practices and tax dodges and it wants to hurt the EU and use the UK as a low-tax offshore aircraft carrier for its activities.

      3. Professor A C Grayling is talking out of his arse. He is a fraud trying to put British austerity to the front when European economics means forced austerity for ever for the majority of members. Even though we’re not in the Eurozone we still had to sign up to a “balanced budget”, something Labour and the Tories still agree with but will be harder to sell after Covid spending didn’t make us bankrupt. Unfortunately for Europe, many of them are close to bankrupt and not in debt mainly with their own money but the money of German, British and international banks who will squeeze them till the pips squeak.
        You really don’t get it do you.

      4. Lundiel, I find it difficult to believe just how indoctrinated you are against our ex partners in the EU. The type of strident language you use is redolent of that used by jingoists everywhere. You’re not a devotee of that Littlle Englander site Labour Heartlands are you?

      5. Not a bad site. Like it says, now we’ve left all our politicians are shitting themselves because the buck stops with them now.

      6. I can’t be the only one here remembers GB constantly being called “the sick man of Europe” before we joined the EC in 1973.
        I googled it to refresh my memory on dates (at which I’m useless) and found this:

        The writer doesn’t give anything like enough emphasis to different governments surrendering industrial manufacture to the Far East – and stupidly believing since 1985 that the City of London, house prices and the High Street could sustain a healthy economy.
        That total lack of economic competence is what’s left us so vulnerable and with such massive wealth inequality – and so righteously angry that some of us are easy meat for populist charlatans like Farage with their easy answers.
        And Trunt. The US has followed a similar path with similar results since Thatcher & Reagan. Except for the fact that Americans still believe in god, the flag and that American goods are better than Japanese or Chinese, the US would be exactly where we are – only their massive and loyal home markets keep them from being as deep down the shitter as us.

    2. Interesting point, lundiel – I forget whether it was WW1 or an earlier conflict which first brought the population’s physical weakness due to poor nutrition to the notice of government – because it was damaging the war effort, obviously – but I do remember reading that.
      I don’t remember what if anything the government did about it.

  4. ‘The class war is over’, according to Tony Blair, an indication of when the ‘Reality’ & the ‘Consequences of poverty’ will ever be taught in schools? Just another working class problem that the bourgeoisie can ignore. Early death has been a characteristic of working class life for multi-generations; for centuries, especially since the industrial revolution where the likelihood of living beyond your teens/twenties was rare Issues of ‘representation of class’ are also ignored
    Poverty is not photogenic & working class culture has always been regarded as primitive. Only Rock n’ Roll & Country n’ Western music emerged in a post war aftermath that included gritty Northern Realism & ‘The Angry Young (working class man) genre in Britain, but as soon as Pirate Radio was eliminated in 1967, the BBC set to work restoring the status quo. Post war Britain, with thousands of military trained working class boys demanding change that included a National Health Service was a ‘difficult time’ for the bourgeoisie.
    Any concept of economic fairness & social mobility has been replaced by an identity politics agenda. Poverty will never be a MSM issue.

    1. Off topic, but snippet on the front page of Daily Telegraph -The flagship Nightingale hospital is being quietly dismantled as medics warn that there are not enough staff to run the facilities despite the NHS being at risk of being overwhelmed by coronavirus…. The majority of the seven 220 million pound Nightingale hospitals are yet to start treating Covid-19 petients since mid-November…..

    2. Good post Steve. I wonder if Max is aware of such things? Probably finds that it’s their own fault for making bad investments, having kids that is. Best wishes.

    1. Had to laugh at “The extra capacity offered by these pop-up hospitals was also vital in ensuring the NHS did not become overwhelmed by the deadly coronavirus pandemic.”

      With no staff other than those brought in from other hospitals – THERE WAS NO EXTRA CAPACITY.

      1. Plenty of graft though. Think of all those beds someone sold them. Someone else will be paid to scrap them all when it’s over.

  5. I wonder if the greasy bastard’s attitude would change in any way if he was told that poverty affects some jewish kids, too?

    Seeing as stamping out antisemistism’s his ‘number one priority.’

    Would that mean keith’d prioirtise lifting the jewish kids out of poverty,; and allow young Rashford to look after the kids left behind?

    I think we should be told…

      1. I apologise unreservedly for linking wealth – or a profound lack of – with Jewish people of any level of affluence; in the same way I apologise for linking (Avian**) birds with flight…Or a distinct lack of in some cases.

        (Reckon I might’ve got away with that one 👍😉)

        ** Easiest way to force a human ‘bird’ to take flight?

        “Hi, I’m Keith Stammer…”

  6. I very much hope Sir Keith Stalin will withdraw the whip from those antisemitic MPs who are plotting to vote against his dictat supporting the Tory Brexit.

    1. Hmmm… That scenario’d certainly leave a certain someone of less than mediocre intelligence in a quandary, wouldn’t it?

      Heheheh…Can’t bleedin’ wait to see what his inevitable and completely misdirected fumeage will consist of THIS time 😏

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