Childhood Obesity

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  • Childhood Obesity
    • Socio-economic background
      • obesity rates are falling hardest on those from a low-income background. this results in the most deprvied areas having the highest rates.
      • Children aged 5 and are within the poorest income group are 2x more likely to be obese compared to well-off counterparts. Whilst age 11 are 3x more likely.
      • These families are less likely to be able to afford healthier doods or outings involving exercise.
      • Millennium Cohort Study: tracked 20,000 families across the UK for 6 years (aged 5-11). Results; age 5: 2x more likely to be obese compared to better peers.Age 11: 3x more likely.
      • Maternal behaviour; unhealthy lifestyle could add 20% risk of obesity for the child.
      • Parents who want to change their diets worry that they cannot afford to waste food, thus do not attempt to try new hand healthier alternatives.
      • It is difficult for children to exercise if they do not have a garden or access to a safe outdoor space.
      • On average, there are more fast food outlets in deprived areas than in more affluent areas.
    • Government Initiatives
      • Food brands Levy in the UK
        • This is a levy on the producers not consumers. it has been designed to encourage healthier alternatives.
        • The aim is to reduce sugar content by 20%, within a time frame of 2 years (by 2020).
        • Focussing on 9 main cats first; cereal, yoghurts, biscuits, cakes, confectionery, morning goods, puddings, ice creams and sweet spreads.
        • The revenue from levy will be invested in programmes to reduce obesity and encourage physical activity and balanced diets for school age children.
          • Doubling Primary PE and Sports Premium and putting a further £10mil a year into school healthy breakfast club.
      • Healthy Start scheme - £60 million of vouchers provided to pregnant women and mothers with children under 4 years old who are living off low income.
        • These vouchers can be exchanged for fresh/frozen fruit and vegetables and milk.
        • In 2016, 1.7 million vouchers were issues every 4 weeks on average, with 480,000 children benefiting from it.
        • The aim is to "improve the health of low-income pregnant women and families wth younger children on benefits and tax credits."
        • It offers encouragement, information and advice on issues on healthy eating, breastfeeding and minerals.
        • Pregnant or have a child under 4 - £3.10 voucher per week. if a child is under 1 - £6.20 per week.
    • Physical Activity
      • The Sport England Strategy: 'Towards an Active Nation (2016) invested £40million into projects offering families and children to get active and play together.
      • County Sports Partnership: Provided that all primary schools have access to a co-ordinated offer of high quality sport and physical activity programmes, both local and national.
      • UK chief medical officers reccomend all childrena nd young people should engagee in moderate to vigirous intensity physical activity for at least 60 minutes each day.
      • Institutions; Secondary Schools- 2 hours PE per week. Primary schools- everyday, active break times, PE, extra curricular clubs, active lessons and sporting events.
      • 1 in 10 aged 2-4 meet the UK chief medical officers physical activity guidelines.
    • Food Labelling
      • Change4Life -produced a 'Sugar Smart App' due to the consumer power and technological advances.
        • This allows for the consumer to scan the barcode of food and it states the amount of sugar within a product.
      • Traffic Light Scheme - covers 2/3 of products sold in the UK.
        • However it only states the sugars as a combined total, thus not explaining which ones to cut down on.
    • Impact on Health Professionals
      • Midwives and health visitors provide advice on nutrition, exercise, healthy weight and weaning materials for new families.
      • Higher demand on money and services, eg Dentist and teeth removal. Leeds Children's Hospital have 2000 removals a year.
      • 1 in 5 scheduled appointments won't turn up, wasting proffessionals time and appointments for others.
      • Severely obese individuals are 3x more likely to require social care and therefore increased hospitalization and associated HSC costs.
    • Consumption
      • Teens in England are the biggest consumers of sugar-sweetened drinks in Europe.
      • SACN concluded that fizzy drinks resulted in too many calories, tooth decay and risk of type 2 diabetes and also links to higher weight in children.
      • Increased health issues; heart disease, diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders, cancers, depression and anxiety (low self-esteem).
    • General info:
      • 1/3 of children ages 2-15 are overweight or obese. younger generatons are becomig obese at an earlier age, thus staying obese for longer.
      • Reducing obesity levels will save lives as obesity doubles the risk of drying prematurely.
      • The Government has spent more on treatment for diabetes and obesity than the Police, Fire and Judicial system combined. In 2014/15 it was estimated to have spent £5.1 billion.
    • Issues of Obesity
      • Obese children are more likely to become overweight adults and suffer premature ill-health or mortality.
      • In 2034 it is expected that 70% of adults will be overweight or obese.


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