Generation of Children May Live Shorter Lives than Their Parents due to Obesity

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A generation of kids will possibly live shorter lives compared to their parents if nothing is done to cope with Wales’ obesity crisis, according to Dr. Frank Atherton, a chief medical officer.

He predicted that obesity will soon takeover smoking as the biggest risk to public health and in 25 years’ time, it can become one of the main causes of cancer in women.

Current Scale of Obesity Problem in Wales

Nearly 60% of population aged 16 and above are either obese or overweight, while 60,000 adults of the same age range are severely obese and are at high risk of health complications.

Over 27% of children aged 4-5 who are starting primary school are obese or overweight and each year, nearly 10,000 more adults are becoming obese.

According to the latest figures, obesity problem in Wales is getting worse than any other regions of the UK which has help responsible for a plethora of various factors such as lower rates of exercise, deprivation, and increasing availability of cheap convenience food.

Some Major Causes of Obesity in Wales

  • Around 70% of adults do not consume five essential portions of fruit and vegetables each day.
  • On average, both children and adults eat the equivalent 10-12 cubes of sugar a day which is double the recommended amount.
  • More than 50% of adults fail to do the essential amount of physical activity each week.
  • 20% of boys aged between 11 and 16 does the least recommended level of exercise for 60 minutes each day. It stands at just 1 in 10 for girls the same age.
  • Around 50% of primary school children go to school by car.

With rising need to reverse the existing trends, the Welsh government will launch ‘Health Weight: Healthy Wales’, the country’s first-ever obesity strategy, later this year.

The consultation document’s proposals detailed out ‘action points’ where changes are required to be made to facilitate and guide behavioral change among the Welsh public.

Some Important Points in the Consultation Document

  1. Creating an improved healthy environment: This aims to allow people to make healthier food choices and be more active each day.
  2. Making more healthy settings: This focuses on ensuring that schools, offices and even leisure facilities are contributing to improvement of people’s health and well-being.
  3. Motivating people to attain a healthy body weight: This includes influencing people to reach and maintain their body weight in a healthy manner.
  4. Enhancing leadership and enabling change: This emphasizes the importance of entire system approach to address obesity.

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