Saturday, 16 April 2011

Obesity Levels In Children Forecast To Fall

Levels of obesity have been rising steadily since the mid-1970s. However, according to recent forecast figures, it appears that childhood obesity may have peaked.

Researchers from the University of Oxford, led by Professor Klim Mcpherson, have produced revised forecasts based on the annual health survey (one of the most comprehensive health surveys in the world) for 2007. Although obesity among children had been forecast to keep rising, there now appears to be something of a reverse in this upward trend.

Young and Fat
Photo: Tobyotter
For children aged between 2 and 11, the forecast for overweight girls falls from 34 percent to 17 percent and for boys from 22 percent also to 17 percent. Among those who are obese, girls are down to 10 percent from 14 percent and boys drop to 18 percent from 25 percent.

In the teenage category which includes the age range 12 to 19, obese girls' weights are forecast to fall from 30 percent to just 9 percent, and obese boys from 25 percent to 18 percent with similar results for overweight teenagers.

Although the study did not provide reasons for the fall in predicted obesity rates, suggested possibilities for the fall include traffic light labelling on food packaging, parents becoming more aware of healthy eating and changes in government policy.

Despite these findings, obesity in children is still far too high, but the forecasted trend is definitely a step in the right direction.

More details at The Independent


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