Children still losing obesity battle

A NEW “fat map” published today reveals Suffolk appears to be winning the fight against obesity - but health bosses warned many children are still at risk.

A NEW “fat map” published today reveals Suffolk appears to be winning the fight against obesity - but health bosses warned many children are still at risk.

Compiled from information from GPs, it shows the percentage of patients registered with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more is considered “low”.

But health bosses said while the figures showed progress with regards to adults, there was still a real danger that some children will die before their parents because of their weight.

According to the map, created by Dr Foster Research, the proportion of individuals registered to a GP surgery with a BMI of 30 or more (considered obese) in Suffolk stands at 7.1 per cent - or one in 14.

Sally Hogg, head of health improvement at NHS Suffolk, said: “Yes, we are better than most of the country but we are still concerned that our children are getting larger. We are still in line with the rest of the UK in this respect - last year a third of our youngsters were overweight or obese.

“For the first time ever this means there is a real chance of children dying before their parents. We need to try and encourage everyone to take stock of their own lives - think about the little things you can do to make a difference, such as walking or running up stairs or going for a bike ride.”

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Mrs Hogg said NHS Suffolk was continuing to work in partnership with the county council and other groups to drive home the healthy lifestyle message.

She said they were looking at ways to introduce new cycle paths and to make play areas safer for youngsters to encourage them to get outside.

Mrs Hogg said: “It's really about changing our culture. It could take ten years but we need to reduce the reliance on fast food and ready meals and make sure everyone gets their five fruit and veg a day.

“We really need to keep an eye on our children. They're not necessarily overweight but we want to make sure they are living right - there is proven evidence to show that obesity can cause all kinds of health problems in later years.”

n. What do you think should be done to help the fight against obesity? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk