Childhood obesity increases during the summer holidays

A new study published in Obesity has found that children are more likely to gain weight during their summer holidays than during the school year. Researchers examined the measurements from 18,000 kindergarteners over a period of two years, finding that rates of obesity increase in the summer and not at all during the school year. The results raise questions as to whether policy makers are doing enough to help children maintain healthy weights when they are not in school. Furthermore, they show that if efforts to curb the obesity epidemic are only made in school, it may not have the desired outcome, as many changes occur during the summer anyway.

The researchers hope that in the future school-based interventions will do more to positively shape out-of-school behaviours of children, as well as maintain improvements such as the changes to school meals and the amount of physical activity that occurs. Overall, the researchers are appealing to parents, teachers and public health advocates to increase the awareness of these significant findings, so that more can be done to limit the increase in childhood obesity.


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  1. Stefan Davis

    The schools should be commended for their efforts in trying to promote a healthy lifestyle. This evidence clearly shows that parents are letting our children down and should try harder to make our children continue with the good habits instilled in them at school.

  2. Beth McGuinness

    I don’t believe that it’s the school’s responsibility to ensure that a child is maintaining a healthy lifestyle whilst not on school grounds. Their responsibility is to educate our children on what a healthy diet is, how our bodies use and store calories, and why it’s important to exercise and stay healthy. During the holidays it’s up to the parents to make sure their children aren’t glued to the Xbox or their phones all day, and that they’re provided with the opportunity to engage in activities beyond their living rooms. Having the local council provide activities like 5-a-side football or dodgeball is also a good idea to consider.

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