Beacon health experts support national initiative to raise awareness of the impact of childhood obesity

Beacon health experts support national initiative to raise awareness of the impact of childhood obesity

Latest figures from Public Health England show Plymouth has the highest rate of obese 4-5 year-olds in the South West.

As part of National Childhood Obesity Week, which runs until July 9th, we want to raise awareness of the dangers of being above a healthy weight during childhood and will be sharing advice and information to help you and your family make healthy choices.

According to the latest data our children are consuming too many calories – and, in particular, too much sugar.

Teenagers in England are the biggest consumers of sugar-sweetened drinks in Europe. The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) recently concluded that sugar consumption increases the risk of consuming too many calories, the risk of tooth decay, and that consumption of sugar sweetened beverages is associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes and linked to higher weight in children. A single 330ml can of a soft drink with added sugar (which can contain as much as 35g of sugar), may instantly take a child over their maximum recommended daily intake of sugar.

Dr Jonathan Cope, managing GP at Beacon Medical Group, said: “If your child is very overweight, there are lots of things you can do to help them become a healthy weight as they grow. Research shows that children who achieve a healthy weight tend to be fitter, better able to learn and are more self-confident.

“There are lots of really great resources online including fun ways of increasing your family’s exercise uptake and great kid-friendly healthy recipes.

“Some of the simple things you could try include encouraging healthy eating in your household by placing bowls of fruit on the dining table and limiting the volume of unhealthy and tempting snacks in the snack drawer; download one of the many food label scanning apps and get your children involved in seeing who can find the food with the lowest value when at the supermarket; reduce your children’s screen time and opt for a walk or bike ride with them instead if possible. These are also great activities for helping to clear the mind and relieve stress.”

For more information and advice please visit:

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