Obesity: Fact File

Childhood Obesity

Described as an epidemic, it is the issue of childhood obesity that inspired the establishment of MoreLife.

Today, more than 1 in 3 children suffer with overweight or obesity. Research suggests that, if untreated, 85% of these children will continue to suffer with obesity into adulthood.

This statistic alone is reason enough to address weight issues in the early years.

Children with Obesity in the UK

Overweight and obese
4.3 million children

1.76 million children

2.5 million children

Severely Obese
140,000 children

What causes childhood obesity?

Like adult obesity, childhood obesity has many influencing factors, but essentially is caused by taking in more energy than we are using up over a period of time.

The biggest difference between childhood obesity and adult obesity is that, depending on their age and circumstances, young people have generally less control over their food intake.

Older children have more responsibility over their lifestyle choices than their younger peers, whose diet and exercise patterns are largely controlled by their parents/caregivers.

It is a fact that children with parents who suffer from obesity are 12 times more likely to be overweight than if their parents were a healthy weight.

It’s not just about food, it’s about how active we are too.

In reality children should be very active. It is recommended that young people should spend at least 60 minutes per day, or 7 hours per week, where they are being active to a level where they are out of breath.

Research has shown that kids spend, on average, 52 hours in front of a TV screen each week. TV, internet, computer games etc., are all taking time away from them being active.