Posted on 06/07/2015

National Childhood Obesity Week

National Childhood Obesity Week

Childhood obesity has been labelled by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as one of the most serious global public health challenges for the 21st century.

Over the last decade, we’ve been warned continually of how childhood obesity in the UK has reached epidemic levels, causing a spike in healthy eating schemes from charities and Government alike.

Introduction of National Childhood Obesity Week

In 2011, the National Obesity Forum (NOF) and MEND – which stands for Mind, Exercise, Nutrition…Do it! – collaborated to launch the inaugural National Childhood Obesity Week.

At the time, Tam Fry, Board member of NOF, was quoted as saying: "The inaugural National Childhood Obesity Week must act as a prompt for the new coalition government to take urgent action to tackle the child obesity crisis and reverse existing trends that are severely damaging the health of our nation's children".

Harry MacMillan, Chief Executive of MEND, added: "We're hoping a combined voice on the issue of obesity will highlight to the government our commitment to support them to reduce childhood obesity."

What are the risks of childhood obesity?

Emotional and psychological effects:

  • Low self esteem (often through teasing and discrimination)
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Anorexia
  • Bulimia

Physical and health effects:

  • Disturbed sleep and fatigue
  • Raised blood pressure
  • Fatty changes to the arterial linings
  • Raised cholesterol
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Skin infections
  • Asthma or other respiratory problems
  • Early puberty

Additionally, the development of Type 2 diabetes has risen dramatically and some musculoskeletal disorders are also common, including slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE) and tibia vara (Blount disease).

How does obesity affect our children?

One study recently made the chilling revelation that severely obese children rate their quality of life as low as children with cancer on chemotherapy. It’s therefore imperative for us to keep raising awareness of the dangers of being above a healthy weight during childhood.

This is the essential aim of National Childhood Obesity Week. Taking place between now and Sunday 12th July 2015, be sure to check out what’s going on in and around your area. For more information on National Childhood Obesity Week, just visit the MEND website.

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