Obesity in the UK is getting out of control; this is not fiction that is a fact. Obesity in the UK has become such a huge problem, the government are now starting to take action and looking at different measures they can put in place to combat the growing obesity problem which includes putting a tax on fizzy drinks.
We have known for a long time now that men and women are becoming overweight, we have seen it for ourselves in the street. Once upon a time it was out of the ordinary to see an overweight man or woman walking down the street but now, if you walk down your local high street you are more likely now than ten years ago to see at least 30 overweight men and women within the first 5 five minutes. This is a serious I hear you say, but think about this, obesity in children is becoming an even bigger problem than obesity in adults.
Claire Hegarty who is a leading Gastric Band Hypnotherapy expert as well as a Health radio presenter who helps men and women to lose weight in the UK and Europe using hypnotherapy has noticed the huge number of children being taken to her to lose weight.
For years now Claire Hegarty has been helping celebrities, business people and your average man and woman to lose weight, but in the past five years the Gastric Band Hypnosis expert has seen the number of children being taken to her to use the virtual gastric band technique increase by over 2000%
Although the increase can be seen as a good thing, parents taking action by using hypnotherapy to help their children to lose weight, it also shows that there is a serious increase in the number of children who are becoming overweight and that is something all parents should be worried about.
The Shocking Facts in Childhood Obesity
In a recent study it was found that 25 per cent of boys and 33 per cent of girls who were aged between two and 19 years old were classed as overweight or obese. Now if you are struggling to understand these figures then think about a school classroom with 100 boys in it and then place 33 of those boys in the corner of the room, now you will see how big the problem is.
The study predicted that by the time 2030 comes around obesity in children will become an even bigger problem unless action is taken. The report has claimed that 40% of our children will be overweight or obese which will then have a knock on affect and increase the number of adults who will be obese.
Some health experts have warned the government that the £2 billion that obesity costs the country each year will rise but it is not only about the money. If you are obese as an adult then it could reduce your life by nine years but if you are a child who is obese then it could cause serious health problems that a child may not be able to handle. Health experts have become so concerned about the rise in child obesity that they have warned some parents could not start to outlive their children.
We all love our children no matter what size they are but does that mean we should be blind to the fact that our child could be obese? According to a study by Peninsula Medical School in Plymouth it seems a lot of parents do not notice that their children are overweight or obese.
The study revealed:
- Three quarters of parents failed to recognise their child was overweight.
- 33 per cent of mums and 57 per cent of dads considered their child’s weight to be ‘about right’ when, in fact, they were obese.
- One in ten parents expressed some concern about their child being underweight when they were actually a normal, healthy weight.
Risks of Obesity in Children
When parents admit that their child is overweight they do not think about the serious obesity health issues that can be involved. Obesity in children is not just about the child being a bit overweight; it is more serious than that. Childhood obesity brings a large number of health issues to that child which can include heart disease, certain cancers, high blood pressure, joint problems, psychological difficulties as well as diabetes.
In the UK we are seeing a worrying rise in the number of children being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, this is a condition that is normally seen in overweight middle-aged adults but now we are seeing it in children which should start ringing alarm bells with parents.
In 2002 In2town Lifestyle Magazine research found that 102 children were diagnosed with having type 2 diabetes but frightening, health experts now believe the figure for 2013 could run into the thousands.
Action Needs To Be Taken To Beat Childhood Obesity
Teachers in schools are reporting the huge rise in the number of students attending their classes who are overweight or obese and now it seems Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt is listening. The Health Secretary has become so concerned about the rise in the number of children who are becoming overweight he has told supermarkets and the manufacturers of food to get their house in order before he comes down on them like a ton of bricks.
The Health Secretary has warned the food industry that he will bring in new laws to limit the amount of sugar, salt and fat in processed foods to curb childhood obesity unless the food industry gets it house in order.
Some teachers as well as health experts would like to see the government pump more money into schools to allow classes on healthy eating as well as being able to offer more physical education on the school timetable, however even though the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt seems to now be taking action, it seems there is not enough money in the budget to help tackle childhood obesity at the grassroots of the education system.
Jamie Oliver brought the obesity problem to the national and world media and although he put his life and soul into making changes to the school dinners for our children, he did not receive the full backing of the governments who have been in power to make it a long lasting success.
The head chief pointed out that our children are eating too much sugar and salt and wanted to make changes to our school dinners to help beat obesity in our children but he was fighting a huge battle with some parents, food manufacturers as well as some quarters of the government.
A shocking report by Mother & Baby magazine back in 2004 found that nine out of 10 toddlers eat junk food, which included chocolate, biscuits, crisps, fish fingers, chips, cake and chicken nuggets appearing in their top 10 favourite foods.
With children eating junk food at such an early age this will then encourage our children to continue to eat junk food as they get older.
Claire Hegarty who launched a weight loss campaign in January 2013, offering men and women as well as parents of children free advice over the phone on how to lose weight, says unless we tackle obesity at the grassroots then we can expect to see more and more children become obese in the years to come.
Forget about the UK being known for the Olympics, it seems the UK is fast becoming the capital for the childhood obesity problem.
A report by the Organisation for the Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found that English children were the third fattest in Europe, after Italy and Greece – but almost twice as obese as the French.
If we are going to tackle the childhood obesity problem then we need to do it now and start at the grassroots with education.
First of all we need to educate parents on the damaging effects obesity is having on their children, we need to warn parents that unless they help their children lose weight and become healthy then they could be causing their loved ones to develop serious obesity health problems which some health experts have predicted could result in some parents outliving their children.
We should not be blind to the fact that obesity is getting out of control and by working together we can help out children to lose weight and become healthy.
Here are 5 tips on how parents can help their children beat obesity
- Try and introduce your children to fruit and vegetables. Try at least one new fruit and vegetable each day. Talk to your child about the vegetables and fruit and educate them about where they come from to get your child more interested in the food.
- Portion size is a huge problem when it comes to overeating. Please pay attention to portion sizes. If you are going to give your child a treat of chips then make sure you keep to a small portion size instead of overloading the plate.
- Encourage your child to eat healthy snacks after school. A lot of children will be hungry after school and the first thing they go for are crisps and sweets and fizzy drinks, but if you can offer them and encourage them to eat healthy snacks then this would be much better them.
- Teach your children how to cook healthy meals. If you child is too young to cook then let them watch and help them become involved in the process. By getting your child interested in what they are eating as well as when they are old enough, getting them interested in cooking healthy foods will allow them to take pride in what they are cooking and continue on a path of healthy eating.
- Encourage your child to exercise, instead of playing on computer games all the time and sitting in the house watching television, encourage them to go outside and play. Make time for your child and join in with their exercise by going to a local park and have a kick about or playing other games that will involve exercise.
It is important that obesity in children is tackled before it is too late, as parents we need to take action and put our children on the right path.
This article was written by Diane Walker, assistant editor of In2town Lifestyle Magazine. Www.in2town.co.uk