16/07/2014

20% Of NI's Children Are Overweight

One in five children in Northern Ireland are overweight or obese before they start primary school, according to new figures released by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH).

The poll also showed 90% of paediatricians surveyed are worried about weight problems among young people.

The survey involved 529 members of the medical organisation from across Ireland. Almost two thirds have witnessed a rise in obesity-related illnesses in the past two years, the report said.

RCPCH president Dr Hilary Cass said the results showed obesity and mental health are two major priorities that must be tackled in Ireland.

"Nearly 20% of children in Northern Ireland are now overweight or obese before they start primary school, and judging from the findings from this public poll, more must be done to raise public health awareness," she said.

"Getting key public health messages out to families early is essential if we are to reduce the numbers of children suffering obesity and mental health related illness."

(IT/JP)

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