Tuesday 6 December 2016

More than 1.6 million children start secondary school overweight

Published 11/10/2016 | 09:31

More than 1.6million youths start secondary school overweight
More than 1.6million youths start secondary school overweight

More than 1.6 million children were overweight when they began secondary school, new research shows.

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New evidence from Cancer Research UK shows that from the 2006/2007 to the 2014/2015 term, 1,654,894 started their secondary school studies with an unhealthy weight.

The group also noted a difference in socio-economic status in affecting weight with boys with 60% of poorer boys would become obese by 2020, while just 16% of more privileged boys would by the same time.

One on five girls will become overweight by 2020, but there was no difference between richer and poore girls.

Obese children are five times more likely to become obese adults.

It comes in the wake of a proposed sugar tax both in the UK and Ireland.

Professor Russell Viner of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health said: “Obesity blights a childhood and damages adult life, raising the risk of serious complications such as type 2 diabetes and breathing problems – conditions we are seeing much earlier in childhood.”

“We need to make healthier food the easier, cheaper choice by introducing advertising restrictions before the 9pm watershed, and testing the impact taxation has on foods high in salt, sugar and fat.”

In Ireland, it has been revealed that a child can exceed their recommended daily sugar intake with just one fizzy drink and the Government has signalled its intention to announce a sugar tax on fizzy drinks - but not to introduce it until 2018.

Today, the World Obesity Day conference takes place in Belfast.

It comes as the Government signals its intention to announce a sugar tax on fizzy drinks - but not to introduce it until 2018.

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