obesity amongst Children - the epidemic
According to data from the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP), 23% of reception age children (age 4-5) are obese or overweight. These proportions are higher among year 6 children (age 10-11), with 35.0% being obese or overweight. In both age groups, boys are slightly more likely than girls to be obese.
Disparities exist among racial, ethnic, socio-economic and geographical areas
In some parts of the UK, nearly half of children are obese or overweight. The best and worst areas in the country are just five miles apart. There is a strong link between deprivation and obesity. In the poorest areas of the UK, children are almost four times as likely to be classed as severely obese.
The causes of child obesity are complex and inter-connected. Culture, societal norms, community facilities and practices at home influence a child's ability to make healthy choices and influence weight status.
- Larger portion sizes
- Increased availability of high-calorie foods
- Reduction in overall physical activity
- Increased screen time
- Poor sleep quality
- Increase in mental health issues (bullying, low self-esteem, anxiety)
- Eating away from home
Childhood obesity causes serious, immediate and long-term consequences for both individuals and our society.
Four in five obese children will remain obese as adults, cutting life expectancy by up to ten years and increasing the likelihood of heart problems and diabetes. Psychological problems such as social isolation, bullying and low self-esteem are also prevalent.
High rates of obesity affect NHS expenditure and economic productivity. Disparities in obesity are exacerbated among racial, ethnic, socio-economic and geographic groups, passing these societal costs on to some communities more than others.
Reverse The Trend Foundation recognise the importance of a systematic and multi-sector approach to tackling childhood obesity. We combine the best business practices with the science of behaviour change and apply this focus into all of our initiatives.