Medicine

New report on childhood obesity asks education providers to help more

New report on childhood obesity asks education providers to help more

The weight and height of all children in England is measured when they start and leave primary school, under the government's national child measurement programme.

Obesity can lead to severe health problems and can also shorten a person's lifespan by ten years.

MPs called for the government's next childhood obesity plan to set out further "fiscal measures" under consideration following the sugar tax on soft drinks.

Whereas 15,000 out of 629,000 children, aged four and five, are classed as severely obese.

In England, obesity rates have risen among children and it is concerning health officials.

A BMI of more than 40 means adults are severely obese, but in children it is based on reference growth charts for boys and girls.

The number of 10 and 11-year-olds classed as severely obese in the final year of primary school is almost double that of those in reception, new analysis has found.

But the LGA warned essential prevention work, including the ability of councils to provide weight management services for children, is being hampered by an 800 million US dollar reduction in councils' public health budgets by Britain's central government.

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New data has shown that 1 in 25 children are obese or overweight.

Severe obesity rates are highest among children living in the most deprived towns and cities, and those from BAME groups, prompting the LGA to suggest more targeted interventions are required.

There should be a 9pm watershed on the advertising of "junk" food and a total ban on having recognisable branded and licensed characters (i.e. ones that children identify with and admire) advertising HFFS (high fat, sugar and salt) products in the media.

"The UK is already the most obese nation in western Europe, with one in three 10 and 11-year-olds and one in five four and five-year-olds classed as overweight or obese, respectively".

The government launched its childhood obesity plan in England in 2016.

The Commons Health and Social Care Committee also wants more to be done to tackle obesity risks in the first 1,000 days of a child's life, including setting breastfeeding targets.

Childhood obesity is an ongoing issue with chefs, Jamie Oliver [VIDEO] and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstail pushing for more to be done to combat childhood obesity when they met with the Health and Social Care Committee in London earlier this month. "This shortsighted approach risks causing NHS costs to snowball due to the ill-health consequences of obesity in our younger generation".

"However, we have always been very clear that this is the not the final word on obesity, and we have not ruled out further action if the right results are not seen".


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