One in 25 children aged 10 or 11 'severely obese'

01 June, 2018, 16:27 | Author: Kara Nash
  • More than 22,000 children will leave primary school dangerously obese this year

In reception classes 14,787 children were classed as severely obese, 2.35 per cent of the total.

The Local Government Association (LGA), which obtained the figures, said this shows children are gaining weight at a drastic rate as they go through schools.

The letter notes that nearly 43,000 under-18s were admitted to hospital for multiple teeth extractions in England in 2016/17, mostly due to rotten teeth associated with sugar consumption, and nearly one in four children are above a healthy weight when they start primary school, rising to more than 1 in 3 by the time they leave primary school.

For adults, a person who has a BMI of 40 is considered to be obese.

The Health and Social Care Committee has published its latest report on childhood obesity, entitled Childhood obesity: Time for action. When deducing a child's BMI, their weight status is determined by using age and gender percentile rather than the regular BMI categories that are used for adults.

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 LGA also emphasised the need for "targeted intervention" to tackle disproportionately high rates of obesity among children in the most deprived areas, and those from minority ethnic groups.

The committee have recommended the banning of junk food adverts before the 9pm television watershed as well as a rash of other measures including banning the use of cartoon characters and celebrities to promote unhealthy treats, restricting discount promotions and stopping retailers from lining checkouts with chocolate and candies.

Despite budget reductions, it said councils are spending more on running effective prevention schemes to help children stay healthy.

The body "claims that £600m cuts to council public health grants is preventing work to combat childhood obesity" and urged the Government to reverse the cuts, the Times Educational Supplement reports.

"We have warned that cuts to public health services meant to tackle obesity are hitting the most deprived areas hardest; it's unfair that children are more at risk of obesity as a effect of where they were born".

Cllr Izzie Seccombe, chairman of the Local Government Association's community wellbeing board, said there is a clear need for everyone to take action.

This includes councils having a say in how and where the soft drinks levy is spent, better labelling on food and drink products, and for councils to be given powers to ban junk food advertising near schools.

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.

'This short-sighted approach risks causing NHS costs to snowball due to the ill health consequences of obesity in our younger generation'.

"That's why we have the most ambitious plan in the world to tackle it, our sugar tax is funding school sports programmes and nutritious breakfasts for the poorest children, and we're investing in further research into the links between obesity and inequality".



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