Like children’s waistlines, the problem of childhood obesity is getting BIGGER AND BIGGER!!! Facts from the most recent large scale survey in the U.K. reveal that…
• 25% of boys and 33% of girls aged between 2 and 19 years are overweight or obese.
• Obesity currently costs the country around £2 billion annually.
• Obesity shortens child’s lives by 9 years, due to the associated health problems. Some health experts even believe we’ll soon see parents outliving their children.
Health risks associated with childhood obesity include heart disease, high blood pressure (certain studies show that overweight teenagers were eight and a half times more likely to develop high blood pressure and almost 2 and a half times as likely to have high blood cholesterol levels), certain cancers, joint problems, psychological problems and diabetes.
Diabetes UK believes there are currently around 100 children with the condition, although some experts believe the figure could be as high as 1,400 based on the number of overweight and obese schoolchildren there are in the UK. Experts relate this solely to the increase in childhood obesity.
One of the biggest concerns is that parents are getting so used to seeing overweight children they don’t recognise their own children are obese.
Unfortunately, there’s no mystery as to why children are getting so fat:
- A poor diet containing too much fat, salt, junk food etc. and too little fresh fruit and vegetables.
- Lack of exercise, computer-based activities being the favourite pastime of most children.
Unfortunately for some, problems start early in life. A survey by Mother & Baby magazine revealed that 9 out of 10 toddlers eat junk food, with chocolate, biscuits, crisps, fish fingers, chips, cake and chicken nuggets appearing in their top 10 favourite foods.
In an attempt to stem the problem of childhood obesity the most important thing is to encourage eating habits from an early age.
Article By “The Family Medical Centre”, Albir.
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