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3 in 5 of England’s most deprived boys will be overweight or obese by 2020

11th October 2016

Stark new figures from the Obesity Health Alliance, released on World Obesity Day, show a looming significant weight gap between the poorest and wealthiest primary-school aged boys living in England. Three in five (60%) of the most deprived boys aged 5-11 are predicted to be overweight or obese by 2020, compared to about one in six (16%) of boys in the most affluent group [1].

The most deprived girls didn’t however show the same trend, and are projected to have similar obese and overweight prevalence rates to their more affluent counterparts with an average of 1 in 5 girls predicted to be obese or overweight by 2020.

Dr Cheryll Adams CBE, Executive Director iHV, said:

“The Institute of Health Visiting, a member of the Obesity Health Alliance, is concerned about the health outcomes and inequalities for young children.  World Obesity Day is an opportunity is an opportunity to shine a light on a hugely important public health issue. Health visitors with enough time resource can have a significant impact on the development of positive family eating habits.”

Eating or drinking too much sugar is a key reason for consuming extra calories and therefore a cause of obesity. Sugar currently makes up 13% of children’s daily calorie intake, while the official recommendation is no more than 5% [2]. This is why the Obesity Health Alliance fully supports the Government’s Soft Drinks Industry Levy, which is an important step to help make our children healthier. The alliance is also calling on food manufacturers to comply with the Government’s programme to reduce the sugar in food eaten often by children and wants to see loopholes closed to protect children from exposure to junk food marketing online and on TV.