Childhood Obesity Continues to Rise



Childhood obesity is continuing to grow as a problem, research at Imperial College London shows the rapid rise in cases of childhood obesity and the complications that are rising as a result. Obese children are much more likely to be obese adults and the cost this is placing on the health system is immense. In a time of spending cuts it is essential we get to the root of the problem and ensure that children are eating healthily, exercising and maintaining a healthy weight. 


The UK has seen a fourfold increase in the number of obese children, approx 872 5-19 year olds were treated by the NHS in 2000, this figure had risen to 3,800 by 2009 with no sign of this dramatic increase stopping. 

Obesity has been labelled a “ticking time bomb” in the past, but problems associated with it are being seen in ever younger children. Serious surgeries needed to reduce the weight of those at serious health risk dramatically increased, and pregnant teenagers also experience more complication as a result of their heavier weights. 

Research has been carried out at Imperial College London has analysed the NHS statistics and found that in total there were 20,885 admissions by 5-19 year olds for obesity as a primary problem or as a secondary factor in another health issue. With admissions being higher for girls than for boys. 

The UK has the highest childhood obesity levels in Western Europe and the cost of this to the NHS is ever rising, currently at approx £4.2 billion per year. 

Inaction in the past on the issue of childhood obesity is being blamed for the growing problem we see today, but although it is call for the drastic action that needs to be taken now The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has warned that there is no “silver bullet” for the problem. 

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