Doctors warn of child obesity problem

Published Wednesday, 16 July 2014
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Obesity and mental health issues are the two biggest problems facing children in Northern Ireland, a survey of doctors has warned.

Doctors warn of child obesity problem
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
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5 Comments
Larry in Belfast wrote (132 days ago):
I have been commenting on the nonsense of 'living longer' for a long time, obesity, drugs, booze, cigarettes etc. These are all reasons why this modern generation will not live too far past their three score years and ten as the Bible says. The generation that are living longer 'now' have been here since pre war times when they were healthier, more active, ate less and more healthy food. The government is conning the public about living longer and putting the pension age up to 70 so that they will not claim the money they have saved up in pensions. The Bible is never wrong.
Colin in bangor wrote (135 days ago):
Carl fat is excess energy being stored, it gets stored as fat in the when in the majority of cases if you eat too much and move too little, fat people love to blame it on genetics but it's all about energy going in and energy going out. doesn't matter what you eat when we are talking simply about weight don't eat excessively and exercise more walk more. healthy diets and nutritional information is for maintaining a healthy body but when you are dealing with people who overfeed children rubbish which is a form of child abuse in my opinion you need to start basic with.....eat less move more.
Carl in Belfast wrote (135 days ago):
The comment above is not acurrate! Eating less does not nessesarily mean you wont put on weight, your genitic makeup is what makes you thin or big also, as a nutrtionalist i believe everbody needs to eat more protein foods and less carbohydrate foods, excluding sugars, sauces, salts, fizzy drinks, chocolate etc in our diets
nors in Belfast wrote (135 days ago):
blame the families they just buy junk food for kids
easy rules in belfast wrote (136 days ago):
if you don't over eat you don't get fat.
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