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Obese parents increase chance of overweight children

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28% of children of an obese mother were also obese 28% of children of an obese mother were also obese

Children of obese parents are more likely to be obese themselves than children whose parents are not overweight or obese, according to figures from NHS Digital.

The Health Survey for England 2017 surveyed 8000 adults and 2000 children about a variety of issues such as obesity, smoking, and drinking.

The survey also analysed the association between parent and child weight, looking at those who are overweight and obese. It found that 28% of children of an obese mother were also obese, compared with 8% of children whose mother was not overweight or obese. Additionally, 24% of children of an obese father were also obese, compared with 9% of children where the father was not overweight or obese.

‘It is unacceptable that nearly a third of children are overweight, putting them at risk of serious health problems in later life,’ said Alison Tedstone, Chief Nutritionist at Public Health England. ‘We’re working with industry to make food healthier, we’ve produced guidance for councils on planning healthier towns and we’re delivering campaigns encouraging people to choose healthier food and lead healthier lives.’

The survey shows that adults just under two thirds of adults surveyed were overweight or obese. Additionally, more men (67%) than women (62%) were overweight or obese. Approximately a third of children aged 2 to 15 in England were overweight or obese, while around half of parents (47% of mothers and 52% of fathers) think that their obese child is about the right weight.

‘Obesity is fuelling the rise in Type 2 diabetes, with both conditions placing a huge strain on the economy and the NHS. Addressing our current obesity crisis remains a major challenge,’ said Professor John Newton, Director of Health Improvement at PHE. The expansion of the Diabetes Prevention Programme will help many more people take control of their health and reduce their risk of diabetes.’

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