0414 GMT January 25, 2022
A new report by the college warned that if current trends in England continue around 23 percent of 11-year-old boys will be obese by 2030, an increase of 13 percent since 2016, telegraph.co.uk reported.
And the figure will rise to one third for boys in the poorest areas of Britain, although the college provided no data for girls.
The RCPCH said childhood obesity was now a ‘national public health and clinical priority’ and called for under-18s to be weighed annually at the GP. Currently children are only measured in reception class, age five and six and in year six, aged 10 to 11.
“We’d like to see capacity for measuring children strengthened in primary care, said a spokesman for the RCPCH.
“GPs are particularly important here as all children will see a GP at some point.
“But a consistent approach to measurement should developed across all health professionals to capture data effectively and make sure that information on a child’s weight is accessible to all professionals who need it.”
The report also warned that obese mums who smoke and do not breastfeed are fueling Britain’s rising infant mortality rate.
Figures showed that England and Wales are falling woefully behind economically similar countries with 38 percent more baby deaths than the European average.
And if left unchecked infant mortality will be 140 per cent higher by 2030.
The RCPCH warned that British women were more likely to smoke in pregnancy than most European countries, less likely to breastfeed and at greater risk of obesity, all factors which are known to place babies at risk of early death.
Britain was rated against countries in the EU15+ which includes Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.
While those countries had just 2.75 deaths per 1000, England and Wales had 3.8.
Experts said the figures should ‘set alarm bells ringing’ while report author Professor Russell Viner, president of the royal college, warned of ‘danger on the horizon.’
Prof. Viner said: “This report shows that England currently has poorer health outcomes than the average across the EU15+ in most areas studied, and the rate of improvement for many outcomes is lower than the EU15+.
“This means that unless current trends improve, England is likely to fall further behind countries of similar wealth over the next decade making it harder to give children the best start in life, receive the care they need and remain healthy into productive, happy adult lives.
“This report clearly identifies the danger on the horizon — but trends shown here are not inevitable. Each of them could be turned around if key actions are undertaken.”
The report also warned that mental health problems are likely to increase by 63 percent by 2030, while trips to A&E will rise by 50 percent.
Commenting on the report, Nuffield Trust Chief Executive Nigel Edwards said: “Today's warnings from the RCPCH should set alarm bells ringing for anyone who cares about the future of some of the youngest and most vulnerable members of society.
“While there is work underway to improve child health outcomes in the UK, this report acts as a stark reminder of the road we are heading down if politicians and policymakers do not take child health seriously.
“We lag behind several similar countries on reducing rates of infant mortality and stillbirth, and have considerably more overweight or obese children than most of our international peers.”