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Record numbers of obese children in Greater Manchester

Over 170 children in the Greater Manchester area have been so overweight that they have needed to be admitted to hospital with complications during the last three years.

The figure comes from recent National Health Service (NHS) data obtained by the Manchester Evening News, which showed that hospital care was required by 173 children, who were all under the age of 15. In fact, even one child aged under five was diagnosed as obese this year.

During the last three years, four children below the age of five have been primarily diagnosed with obesity. Over a quarter of Manchester primary school children are classed as overweight or obese.

The chairman of the National Obesity Forum and the Child Growth Foundation, Tam Fry, said:

“The activity levels of our children are rapidly decreasing and some parents don’t care about what their children eat.”

Fry goes on to comment that many parents were not taught how to cook during their school days, while fast food is becoming the staple diet of the nation.

While advice is being provided by school nurses, Manchester public health managers have launched a weight management service to help local families. According to a lecturer at the University of Salford in the School of Health Sciences, Ailsa Parsons, there are many reasons for the increased levels of child obesity and a multifaceted strategy is required to fight it.

One way that schools can tackle the problem is to encourage students to choose healthier options, perhaps with the introduction of healthy tuckshop food. Merseyside institutions are among those that are making changes.

Posted by Mark
November 26, 2014
Health

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