Published Wednesday, 16 July 2014
Doctors warned that obesity is a growing problem among children. (© UTV)
Six in every 10 paediatricians are treating growing numbers of patients with anxiety, depression and obesity, according to a study by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.
Dr Hilary Cass, president of the RCPCH, said it shows the need to urgently tackle these issues.
She explained: "Overall, 27% of children are now classed as overweight or obese in Ireland - a figure which has doubled in the last 15 years."
The poll, which involved 529 members of the medical organisation from both sides of the border, found that nine in every 10 doctors had concerns about weight problems among youngsters.
Almost two thirds have seen an increase in obesity related illnesses in the past two years, while over nine in 10 worry that mental health problems aren't being treated quickly enough.
Dr Cass said the findings of the survey show that more needs to be done to raise awareness.
She explained: "Getting key public health messages out to families early is essential if we are to reduce the numbers of children suffering obesity and mental health related illness.
"Nearly 20% of children in NI are now overweight or obese before they start primary school, and judging from the findings from this public poll, more must be done to raise public health awareness."
The RCPCH is opening its Irish office in Belfast on Wednesday.
© UTV News