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State of economy can affect child obesity

According to a study conducted in Attica, Greece, the number of children who are either overweight or obese is more likely to increase during an economic crisis.

Although child obesity rates had stabilised in Greece, this trend reversed during the country’s economic crisis, with more children piling on the pounds.

The study was carried out by taking data from 28,860 children during 2009-10, and 30,425 children in the 2013-14 school year. The number of pupils who were classed as obese rose during the years between 2009 and 2014, from 8.2% to 9.4%.

According to the researchers, although rates of child obesity had stabilised and appeared to be falling before 2009, levels started to increase again during the economic troubles.

The outcome of the study suggested that children who come from families with lower incomes are more likely to become overweight or obese. The study also noted an increase in the number of children who missed breakfast, with levels rising from 14.8% in 2009 to 24.9% in 2014.

The number of children who ate healthier options of pulses or fish once a week also dropped. The biggest change was in the number of children who dined out once a week, with 65.1% eating out in 2009 compared to just 18.5% in 2014.

Although the economy does play a large part in the affordability of nutritious foods, eating healthy options can take place in the home and at school. Many schools in the UK have made significant changes, including the addition of healthy tuckshop foods. Merseyside children are among those being encouraged to make nutritious choices.

Posted by Susan
November 23, 2014

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