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Report Shows Obesity Rising in Children

11/01/2013 | By Sharmila Chauhan
With the New Year just beginning and the kids are back to school, and the school run, lunchbox, hot dinner dilemma becomes a reality -  it’s time for parents to find easy ways of creating healthy lifestyle habits.

According to recent research, obesity and overweight children are still at high levels in the UK. Almost a third of children aged 2-15  are obese or overweight; although the numbers are similar among girls (31%) and boys (28%)– older children were more likely than younger children to be obese.

Worryingly, according to research by the NHS, half of parents can't tell when their children are overweight – around 50% of parents with overweight or obese children thought they were the right weight. Parents also underestimate how much unhealthy food they buy and overestimate the amount of activity their children do and snacks are often used as rewards, to relieve boredom and to settle disagreements creating bad eating habits.

It may be no surprise then that 25 percent (a quarter) of children who will be classed as obese (not just overweight) in 2050 (British Heart Foundation (BHF). Obesity in children is a real health issue, leading to a number of complications including heart disease and diabetes and 50 percent of overweight children who are likely to become overweight adults.

There are many reasons for this situation including excess consumption of fatty and sugary food, hidden ‘nasties’ in ‘healthy’ foods, excessive advertising directed at children. Working parents often have to resort to package meals or takeaways – many of which have unhealthy levels of not only fat and sugar but also salt and additives.

There are a number of simple, easy and cost-effective ways to improve your child’s health. Freedom Health has put together a series of top tips for keeping kids healthy for 2013. Click here to have a read.