Everyone finds it hard to resist the daily deals McDonald’s promotes or their newest flavour of Mc Flurry ice-cream but the recent calculated outcome of the government’s National Child Measurement Programme is enough to horrify anyone, let alone these children’s parents.
This programme the government created records the height and weight of pupils in Reception and Year Six. A Body Mass Index Score is then calculated and information is then posted to their parents informing them of their child’s health.
When I was at school, roughly 14 years ago, obesity affected one in a hundred children at most. It seems that with time the issue is becoming more common, therefore being overlooked by others, if being overweight is becoming a normality eventually people will stop to notice their child is heavier than a few of the correct weight children.
The heaviest child recorded by the programme was a girl, 10, who weighed 155kg (24st 5lb) but only stood at 1.47m (4ft 10in) tall. She was calculated as having a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 71 – completely over the average of 18.5 to 24.9.
Studies showed that in 2009 (in the UK) nearly 4,000 young people needed hospital treatment for problems complicated by being overweight. This was compared to the figures from 2000 which showed only 287 young people needed treatment. The rise in 9 years being over 3000 children.
the latest figures from 2013 are showing that one in every ten children are obese when they start primary school.
It’s not improved since then either, the latest figures from 2013 are showing that one in every ten children are obese when they start primary school. Studies are also showing a third of children who leave primary school at age 11 are overweight.
There is a major difference in being overweight and actually being labeled obese. The problem however is not being solved, merely measured by the government. Extra curricular activities or sports clubs need to be compulsory for the children who are clearly struggling to maintain a healthy weight or P.E. needs to a subject that increased during the week, possibly one session a week is not enough.
Prof Mitch Blair of London’s Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health had it right when he said:
‘Teenage years are tough enough without the extra burden of obesity.’