UK children are becoming obese at a younger age

Obesity is becoming more common in the UK and starting earlier in life, researchers who looked at data on five generations of Britons have warned. 

A UK survey looking at data from 1946 to 2001 found a clear trend of being overweight or obese becoming more widespread in younger generations. The study examined 273,843 records of weight and height for 56,632 people in the UK from five studies undertaken at different points since 1946. The results found children born in 1991 or 2001 were much more likely to be overweight or obese by the age of 10 than those born before the 1980’s, although the average child was still of normal weight.

The study also found successive generations were more likely to be overweight at increasingly younger ages, and the heaviest people in each group got increasingly more obese over time.

If is fair to say that these results won’t come as much of a surprise given the current obesity epidemic.  But, the onset of obesity has been getting earlier and earlier and this does have implications if people are not losing that weight.   Almost 1 in 10 children in at Primary School in the Reception year are obese.  What is even more shocking is that by the time they leave primary school, this doubles to nearly 1 in 5.  Obese children often go on to be obese adults, carrying with them an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes.

At Healthy Performance, we rarely educate employees that being overweight and obese is bad for their health; this message is ubiquitous. However, we do point out that being overweight will increase the chances of a range of illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.

Educating staff on the basics of good nutrition is vital to fight the obesity epedemic. Our Health Promotion Events & Educational Workshops are a great way to promote health and prevent stress. Carried out on-site, our services are designed to take a proactive approach to corporate health and wellbeing and are delivered by professional and knowledgeable staff.  Please contact the HP team on 0844 432 5849 for further details.