Another set of childhood obesity statistics and another bleak picture. Year upon year, we are faced with sobering figures that reveal an increasingly worrying trend — the number of obese and overweight children in the UK is not falling and is in fact rising.
“Not only is the overall picture a concern, but the fact that those children from the most deprived backgrounds are significantly more likely to be overweight highlights the growing impact of health inequalities. Our recent figures show that 60% of the most deprived boys aged five to eleven are predicted to be overweight or obese by 2020, compared to about 16% of boys in the most affluent group.
“These poor health outcomes mean we are failing our children, and future generations, if this trend continues.
“The OHA is calling for immediate action on three fronts. Firstly, the Government’s planned soft drinks levy must be passed without dilution next year. Secondly, Government must act without delay to introduce restrictions on junk food marketing at children – both online and on TV before the 9pm watershed. And thirdly, there should be ambitious targets for sugar reduction through Public Health England’s voluntary sugar reduction programme – with widespread engagement and take-up by industry.
“Today’s figures provide yet another wake up call for all those intent on stemming the obesity epidemic —the alarm bells are ringing and there’s simply no time to hit the snooze button.