Why Are Our Kids Overweight?

WOMAN'S OWN|January 20, 2020

Why Are Our Kids Overweight?
Childhood-obesity levels are hitting record highs, putting us on the brink of a public-health crisis

An unprecedented number of our children are now considered severely obese – a category that deems them in need of immediate medical intervention for their weight problems. The latest figures from NHS Digital showed 121,000 Year 6 pupils, who are aged 10 and 11, are obese – that’s over 20%, and 26,000 of these are classed as severely so.

This is the fourth consecutive year where severe obesity in children has broken records, and it has serious mental and physical long-term health implications. Children who are obese are more likely to suffer bullying and low self-esteem, and are at risk of type 2 diabetes, heart conditions and cancer.

The problem has prompted food charities to question why nutrition education is still not on the primary school national curriculum, particularly when studies have shown that kids who are taught to help with food preparation are more likely to make healthier choices later in life. In response to this crisis, Cook School– a nationwide, not-for-profit organisation – is partnering with Zanussi to tackle the issue at a grassroots level by providing children with the skills needed to make well-balanced meals, and educating families about the importance of nutrition.

Woman’s Own investigates what more can be done to help our kids lead healthier lives..


Caroline Geraerts, 61, is a retail manager from south London. I know first hand the problems being an overweight child can cause throughout life, because I’ve struggled with my weight since the age of seven.


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January 20, 2020