UK & World News
Obesity Warning For British Children
Children face serious health problems in later life because they are not eating enough fruit and vegetables and are not doing enough exercise, the British Heart Foundation has warned.
Teenagers seem to be worse than younger age groups, with many watching too much TV and missing out on vital nutrients, according to the report by BHF and Oxford University.
Around 30% of children and young people are overweight or obese, which can cause problems including diabetes and heart disease.
The new study, which brings together a range of health statistics, found around two in five 13-year-olds (39% of girls and 43% of boys) drink a soft drink every day.
The figure is 32% among 11-year-old girls and 38% among 11-year-old boys, along with 39% for 15-year-old girls and 43% for 15-year-old boys.
Almost half (47%) of boys and over a third (36%) of girls aged 13 go without breakfast, as do 29% of 11-year-old girls and 26% of 11-year-old boys.
The figure is even higher among 15-year-olds, with 57% of girls and 38% of boys skipping breakfast.
Some 80% of children aged five to 15 are not eating the recommended five portions of fruit and veg a day, with the figure being 83% among 15-year-olds.
Around 85% of girls and 73% of boys aged 13 do not do the recommended one hour of physical activity per day compared with 20% of 11-year-old girls and 33% of 11-year-old boys.
Almost three-quarters of 13-year-olds (68% of girls and 74% of boys) watch at least two hours of TV on a weekday, as do 60% of 11-year-old girls and 64% of 11-year-old boys.
Overall, around a quarter of children aged two to 15 spend at least six hours every weekend day being inactive.
Simon Gillespie, chief executive of the BHF, said: "These figures are a warning that many of our children are in grave danger of developing coronary heart disease in the future if they continue to live the same lifestyle. This is simply unacceptable."