Health: Child/Teen Obesity

Last week it was announced that the child and teen obesity rates had grown by an alarming amount, around the world. No longer just in one place but it is a huge issue that is now well and truly out of control.

In the UK alone one in every 10 young people aged five to 19, is obese – that is not overweight or fat but obese. This is absolutely terrible and something that has been pretty easy to see happening over the past ten years. Jamie Oliver tried his very best to improve the school meals and this is something that has been pretty successful really, but then the whole exercise part should have been address at the same time. The PE and Sport Premium for Primary Schools is something the Government has brought in, but is it too late?

Two main factors to this are a huge lack of exercise and very poor diets. Although the diet part I believe has a massive amount due to portion sizes for children and teens, who are eating just too much when they should have reduced portions to help with them growing. That is just my opinion of course, but obviously fast food is always blamed. But come on everyone has fast food now and again, if you have it all of the time that is when the problem is going to occur. I will actually defend McDonald’s a little bit though, as I have noticed so many young children tucking into a large Big Mac meal, now surely that is the problem coming from the parents. Fast food places have special children’s meals for a reason. The calorie count along with fat content etc, so let’s blame the parents for not sticking to that and ordering them meals for an adult.

Therefore if a child/teen has become obese the biggest issue is that they then won’t want to do exercise because it will be extremely hard and hurt a lot more than if they were healthier. This creates a very vicious circle in my opinion as how do they then combat being so overweight. As I mentioned earlier the PE and Sport Premium for Primary Schools was introduced by the Government in 2014 and has recently been renewed for a couple more years. This is supposed to improve the standard of PE and different sports offered to children between the ages of 6-11 years. Each school must publish on their website what exactly they have spent the funding on, or what they intend to spend it on over the current academic year.

So the Government in the UK at least is trying to do something about the lack of activity and offering children more opportunities into sport and doing exercise. The common issue for everything then seems to be the parents, not buying into it and realising just how important an active and healthy lifestyle is. I am just drawing on my own experiences of the North East, but I am sure it is all behaviour around the country. If the parents of the obese children are in a similar state themselves they probably hated PE and doing exercise as well. Maybe something should be offered to them in an attempt to create a better lifestyle for whole families and force them to understand how bad it is for their children to not be healthy.

If you are interested the BBC Story has plenty of stats for the whole world and the obesity rates highlighted for different countries. It’s actually very interesting in terms of areas which are having issues, although I am sure you can easily guess which are the worst.

Any thoughts on the rise of child/teen obesity?

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