Excessive calories compounding inequality and disadvantage for kids

A comprehensive UK government report on Childhood obesity was released yesterday. The issues and findings are virtually the same in the UK as in North America.

The bottom line is that kids are being set up for potentially lasting disadvantage and inequality by being fed excessive caloric intake by the adults in their lives.  Too many calories, is the primary contributor to obesity today and this is virtually impossible to counter through treatments and physical activity alone.  The costs of not ensuring a healthy level of daily intake are exponential.  Read Childhood obesity–brave and bold action:

“One fifth of children are overweight or obese when they begin school, and this figure increases to one third by the time they leave primary school. Furthermore, the most deprived children are twice as likely to be obese both at Reception and at Year 6 than the least deprived children. Obesity is not only a serious and growing problem for individual children and the wider population, it is also a significant contributor to health inequality.

…Few effective interventions are in place to help those children identified as overweight or obese, making it all the more important to focus on prevention. The recommendations we make in this report have a strong focus on changing the food environment, reflecting the evidence we have heard. The evidence shows that information campaigns aimed at promoting healthier choices generally tend to help those who are already engaged with health, and may therefore only serve to widen health inequalities. Similarly, although physical activity has enormous benefits, regardless of weight, encouraging people to increase their physical activity levels alone is unlikely to have an impact on the obesity crisis. The Government should not lose sight of the clear evidence that measures to improve the food environment to reduce calorie intake must lie at the heart of a successful strategy.”

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