Many obese kids in Britain facing strokesJune 12th, 2011 - 7:25 pm ICT by IANS
London, June 12 (IANS) Obese children as young as six in Britain are suffering strokes or being treated at hospitals for weight problems, a media report said Sunday.
Specialists say they are seeing one-year-olds who weigh as much as 19 kg, which is twice the normal weight at that age.
As these children leave primary school, one in three is classified as clinically obese. Health experts put the blame on parents. Entire families have been sent on courses to learn about healthy eating and receive advice on how to feed children, the Daily Mail reported Sunday.
Doctors say much of the problem is caused by parents who wean their babies off milk and feed them inappropriate foods, even mashing up high-salt, high-fat takeaways such as burgers and chips as baby food.
A survey covering less than half of Britain’s acute hospitals revealed more than 5,500 children under 16 having seen doctors for clinical obesity in five years. Four hundred of those were under five, and at least 40 of them were below one years of age.
Paul Sacher of the British Dietetic Association and chief research officer for MEND, a charity that runs obesity treatment and prevention programmes, said many parents simply did not know what they should be feeding their children.
He said: “I see children all the time who are being given a lolly, a chocolate bar or a packet of crisps.”
Many children are suffering weight-related diseases that normally appear in later life such as breathing difficulties and diabetes.
Public health experts warn that because hospitals only see the most extreme cases, the true levels of obesity among babies and young children will be far higher.
The figures were released by 66 of Britain’s 168 acute hospital trusts under the Freedom of Information Act.
Forty-four of the hospital trusts contacted provided figures for diagnosis and treatment broken down by age. Four hundred children under five were treated in hospital after being diagnosed with clinical obesity. These included 40 children under one, 49 one-year-olds and 85 two-year-olds.
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