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Obesity rates stabilise for under-10s

Recent studies indicate that the rates of obesity for children below ten years of age may be starting to level off.

Although the number of children who are obese or overweight grew from 1994 to 2003, the increase has slowed down during the last decade, with rates now beginning to stabilise.

Although some experts believe that this could be due to various initiatives starting to work, Public Health England has stated that it is important not to become complacent.

The levels of obesity in children aged 6-10 years old have levelled at around 30%. However, the number of children aged between 11 and 15 who are either obese or overweight is still increasing, with the percentages rising from 26% in 1996 to 37% during the last decade.

Over the last 25 years, the number of overweight and obese people in the UK has trebled, with childhood obesity also rising. Clinical obesity affects 20% of children, while a third are considered by experts to be overweight.

According to Dr Cornelia van Jaarsveld from King’s College London, the various health initiatives could be starting to work, or obesity rates could have reached saturation point.

However, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health’s Colin Michie, who is also the chair of the organisation’s nutrition committee, said that the rising levels of obesity among teenagers would be difficult to tackle, as they were already at a sensitive time in their lives.

As more institutions continue to provide advice on how to set up a school tuck shop that sells healthy alternatives to sugary snacks, the number of obese children may start to fall.

Posted by Susan
February 8, 2015

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