The number of overweight children in has doubled in recent years, with a quarter of children considered overweight or obese. Causes of obesity in children include unhealthy food choices, lack of physical activity and family eating habits.
This rise in the number of overweight children is disturbing because it causes health problems and can lead to social problems. Overweight children are more likely to be teased by their peers or to develop low self-esteem or body image problems. Once children are overweight, it requires a lot of effort and commitment for them to return to a healthy weight.
Overweight and obesity in children are among the most important risks to children’s long and short-term health. Overweight children are very likely to become overweight adults.
levels of childhood obesity are increasing at alarming rates in many countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. In Australia, one in five children and adolescents are either overweight or obese.
From 1985 to 1995 the number of overweight 7–15 year old almost doubled. The numbers of obese children has more than tripled. At the current rate, it is predicted that 65 per cent of young Australians will be overweight or obese by 2020.