Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Nursing Times: Obesity in children is a ticking time bomb

From the Nursing Times:

Nurse lecturer Florence Mitchell on why we urgently need evidence-based interventions to tackle obesity in children

If we already think we have problems meeting care expectations, we must tackle obesity in children before it becomes too serious for us to manage. To put this problem into context, recent research published in The Lancet reports that by the year 2030, 26 million people living in the UK could be suffering from obesity.

Fat children have been depicted in literature throughout the ages, from the fat boy in The Pickwick Papers and Billy Bunter to characters in the Nancy Drew and Sweet Valley High books. They used to stand out because they were different, but this is no longer the case.

Research evidence estimates there are 22 million overweight children worldwide; 33% of these are aged 2-10. This poses serious consequences for these children and society, with major risks for long-term conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, stroke and certain cancers.

The epidemic has reached a level where people find it difficult to identify when a child is overweight, even incorrectly believing their children have a healthy weight. Parents often rationalise excess weight as “puppy fat” rather than facing facts and are appalled when the body mass index of their child is recorded. Full story HERE

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