Obesity epidemic: Child aged six suffers stroke
15th June 2011
A six year old and an eight old suffered strokes that are thought to have resulted from their weight are two extreme examples highlighting the obesity crisis in under-16 year old's. Recent figures released by 66 of Britain's 168 acute hospital trusts under the Freedom of Information Act, show show that more than 5,500 children under the age of 16 were diagnosed or treated for obesity in hospitals in the past five years. These figures can be further broken down by age with 500 children under five being diagnosed with clinical obesity, including 40 children under one, 49 one year old's and 85 two year old's. These depressing facts show the continuing struggle Britain faces against obesity. The rising number of clinically obese babies and toddlers often leads to them suffering from weight related diseases such as diabetes and breathing difficulties, which would normally not appear until later in life. It is reported that a chief cause of the problem are the parents who have no idea what to feed their babies. Sometimes they attempt to wean their babies while they are too young but inappropriate foods are also major issue. Doctors have seen babies fed crisps, chocolate and fizzy drinks. In some cases parents have been found to be giving their infants puréed chips with milk, or mashing up takeaway food. Dr Ken Ong, clinical lead for childhood obesity at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, said: "The one and two year-old's we see are massively obese but it is only the very extreme who are coming to hospital clinics. There will be many more who are in the community or are not being recognized at all. The popular hope is that it is just baby fat and they will grow out of it, but our studies show that it is more likely to continue being obese and even become more obese."