The Health Survey for England (HSE) monitors trends in the nation’s health and care. It provides information about adults aged 16 and over, and children aged 0 to 15, living in private households in England. The data reveals that 9% of 11- to 15-year-olds were recorded as overweight or obese, the highest levels since 2004.
The figures also show that obesity and overweight increases in prevalence over time. Looking at how obesity changes through young people’s lives, 37% of 16-24s are overweight or obese, rising to 54% among 25-34s and 61% among 35-44s.
Responding to the NHS’ Health Survey for England 2019, Denise Hatton, Chief Executive of YMCA England & Wales said:
“With obesity among young people at its highest levels for fifteen years, what is urgently needed is positive activities for young people to engage with. Worryingly, today’s figures do not take into account the ten months of lockdown which will have seen young people engage in even fewer physical activities than any other year.
“As the Government responds to the myriad of COVID-related challenges, they must not forget the long-term effects of poor physical health. Action needs to be taken now, in order to ensure that those children and young people who are obese do not take this into adulthood. YMCA is calling on the Government to invest in youth services that provide team sports, physical activities, and an opportunity for young people to step away from their games consoles and get out of the house.”
YMCA is the world’s oldest and largest youth charity, supporting more than 33,500 young people each year through our youth work.
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