Over 57,000 children become overweight whilst at primary school
New figures from cancer research UK have shown that yearly, 57,100 children who started primary school at a healthy weight were overweight or obese by the time they left. Whilst 1 in 5 children are already overweight when they start primary school, 1 in 3 are overweight by the time they leave. The authors at Cancer Research UK claim that although exercise is encouraged in schools and a sugar tax is being introduced, this won’t be enough to curb the worryingly high levels of overweight in England’s schools. In order to raise awareness of the problem the charity erected an XL sized school uniforms shop, to highlight the differences between healthy weight and overweight children.
According to Cancer Research UK, being overweight or obese is the single biggest cause of preventable cancer in the UK after smoking, and it is accountable for 18,100 cases every year. Alison Cox, the director of prevention at the charity was concerned with the governments long-awaited childhood obesity strategy, explaining that she felt it had failed children and that the plan to tackle childhood obesity was not working. She went on to explain that whilst the government had gone a certain way to curb childhood obesity, with measures such as the banning of junk food advertising during shows aimed at children, they must do more to police this and ban them during adult TV shows. Overall, these worrying figures show how prevalent obesity is becoming in schools and that more must be done to prevent young children from gaining too much weight.