12 Sep, 2016

EYFS Best Practice – All about… child obesity

Nursery World | 05 September 2016 by Dr Lala Manners

Abstract from original article by Dr Lala Manners | A Weighty Problem

The age at which obesity affects overall health and wellbeing – and compromises life chances and opportunities – has now reached the youngest members of societies worldwide. Obesity has no respect for age, gender or geography and has a significant impact on the fiscal, environmental, educational, transport and health policies of all countries.

Globally, in 1990, 32 million children between 0–5 years were obese; by 2014 this figure had risen to 41 million. The predicted figure for 2025 is 75 million. In developing countries there has been a 30% increase in childhood obesity in the last 10 years.

In the UK, 12% of children are obese by aged 3 – 15% are considered to be overweight. In the USA, 7.1% of children under 2 years are obese. By aged 5 (UK 2014/5) 9% children were obese – 22% were overweight. By Year 6 these figures had risen to 19% and 33% respectively. In the USA the prevalence of obesity in the 2.5– 5 year age group has risen from 5% in the 1970s to 8.4% in 2014. One third of all children 6–9 years in European countries are now either overweight or obese.

The toll of obesity on healthcare systems is immense. Between 2–7% of healthcare spending in developed countries is devoted to this issue. In the UK, 5% of the entire NHS budget is spent on obesity-related conditions – around £44.7 billion per year.

Nursery World article | Original article