Scary stuff! By the time children reach secondary school a third of all children (32.6%) are obese or overweight. While some have suggested the rates are slowing, these figures show an increase from 2007 to 2008.
I’ve just been researching the childhood obesity story and came across this very solid data from the UK. It is government data from a large national measurement programme which weighs children when they start primary and secondary school. Apparently, officials have previously admitted that its figures are likely to be an underestimate, as the scheme is voluntary, and overweight children are the most likely to refuse to be weighed.
Boys were more likely to be overweight than girls. Poorer, less educated areas had higher rates again, which were balanced down by better-off, more educated parts of Britain. Mothers buying convenience food rather than preparing healthy meals (often because they don’t know how to) was thought to be a major factor.
The problem is expected to cripple their healthcare system (the NHS) in years to come if something is not done rather differently.
Unfortunately, it is likely that story is no better here in Australia as our overall rates of adult obesity are essentially the same as the UK.