January 26, 2014 - In 2006, ex-Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson warned that health chiefs would consider removing children from their families if they became super-sized, risking their health from gross overeating – and that's exactly what happened.
An increasing number of parents are 'giving in' to their children's cravings for processed food - a phenomenon known as 'killing with kindness'. According to a survey completed by the Sunday Express five British children have been taken from their families by social workers because of overfeeding in the past year - two in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, one in Oxfordshire, one in Salford, and one in Hounslow, London. The year before, five other obese youngsters were placed in care in Sheffield, Portsmouth, Lincolnshire, Slough and Harrow, London.
A social worker stated, “Only in extreme cases would we take a child into care just because of their weight as we would seek to work with the family to improve their eating habits.”
The first reported obesity case was an eight-year-old girl in Cumbria, who became so obese she wore size 16 clothes. She was taken into care in 2007 weighing a staggering 10 stone or 140 lbs. One child had a Body Mass Index (BMI) measurement of 35 - the equivalent of a six-foot man weighing 19 stone or 266 lbs.
Children less than one year of age have been admitted to hospital because they are dangerously overweight and 45 youngsters aged 17 and under have had fat-fighting operations in the past five years, according to Conservative MP Priti Patel.
The Royal College of Paediatrics stated that Britain's child obesity epidemic has seen hospitals deal with approximately 1,000 children in the past three years. Taking into consideration that less than 33% of hospital trusts have released information about the number of young children whose weight have spiralled out of control, the true scale of the problem is more than likely much higher.
"Being obese or overweight can increase the risk of developing a range of serious diseases. The risks rise with BMI, and so are greater for obese individuals. The 2004 Wanless report ‘Securing Good Health for the Whole Population’ likened obesity to smoking in terms of associated disease burden as a determinant of future health.
A recent comprehensive review of 57 international prospective studies found that Body Mass Index (BMI) is a strong predictor of mortality among adults. Overall, moderate obesity (BMI 30-35 kg/m2) was found to reduce life expectancy by an average of three years, while morbid obesity (BMI 40-50 kg/ kg/m2) reduces life expectancy by 8-10 years. This 8-10 year loss of life is equivalent to the effects of lifelong smoking.
Obesity reduces life expectancy by an average of three years, or eight to ten years in the case of severe obesity (BMI over 40). Around 8% of annual deaths in Europe (at least one in thirteen) have been attributed to overweight and obesity. The cost to the UK economy of overweight and obesity was estimated at £15.8 billion per year in 2007, including £4.2 billion in costs to the NHS." – excerpt from Public Health England
A Department of Health spokesperson stated that England has one of the highest rates of obesity in the western world, but health professionals and voluntary groups remain optimistic as they work together to help people improve their diet and lifestyles.