Deprivation and Childhood Obesity

Deprivation and Childhood Obesity

Today, on World Obesity Day, the Obesity Health Alliance (OHA) has released concerning figures predicting that by 2020, 3/5 (60%) of primary-school aged boys living in the most deprived areas of England will be classified as overweight or obese, compared to only 1/7 (17%) of their counterparts living in the most affluent areas.

The data highlights the problematic and self-perpetuating relationship between obesity and deprivation, whereby adults and children living in deprived areas are exposed to greater concentrations of energy-dense, nutrient poor food choices whilst access to healthier food choices is limited, in addition to poor housing, transport and environmental conditions. Furthermore, the data indicates a significant obesity gender-gap, as boys are more susceptible to bright and colourful marketing techniques whilst being less concerned with their physical appearance compared to girls.

Robin Ireland, Director of Food Active and CEO of Health Equalities Group has been quoted in The Telegraph, The Guardian and the Daily Mail this morning talking about the possible reasons behind the gender gap. It is clear that more work needs to be done, and quickly!



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