Poverty, Ethnicity Affect Obesity among UK Children

A recent scientific analysis of primary care provider data shows that black children and kids from London’s poor families are more at risk of obesity than kids from other ethnicities and economic classes.

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According to the London Health Observatory, 11% of London’s four to five year olds, and 22% of ten to eleven year olds, are at risk of becoming obese.

The problem may be related to ethnic and cultural factors. The data shows that children from black ethnic groups in all age categories were at greater risk of obesity than kids belonging to other ethnic groups. Boys were at greater risk than girls in all categories as well.

Obesity is widely regarded as Britain’s most serious public health problem. A well-known 2007 report by the UK Government’s Foresight Programme predicted that without a successful public health effort to combat obesity some 60% of men, 50% of women, and 25% of children in the UK will be classed as obese by 2050, with corresponding increases in the incidence of heart attacks, stroke, diabetes and other obesity-related diseases.

Foresight also estimated that obesity-related costs to the British National Health Service, currently £4.2bn a year, will more than double by 2050 if nothing is done to stop the obesity plague.

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