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According to the Daily Mail, a new study has found that young boys who are obese, increase their risk of impotency later on in adulthood. With UK figures showing a rise in obesity levels, such claims should not be taken lightly. Worryingly, according to BBC figures, by 2020 at least one fifth of boys and one third of girls will be obese.
With the endless risks that are associated with obesity it is not 'rocket science' that the root cause of obesity levels in the UK needs to be addressed. If not, the consequences of this condition could potentially be devastating.
A recent NHS report on the Statistics on obesity, physical activity and diet in England, showed that that in 2010 around 31% of boys and 29% of girls were classed as either obese or overweight. Comparing these figures to previous reports has shown that in comparison to 15 years ago, there has been an 11% increase in obesity in children. Data measuring the height and weight of more than a million school children in England showed that almost a quarter of children were already overweight before they had started primary school.
The most worrying thing about such figures is the health implications that children who are obese are likely to suffer. Problems can include the development of a child’s joint and bones, leading to conditions such as bow legs, to hypoventilation, which can cause heart failure, snoring and drowsiness during the daytime, which can consequently affect and have detrimental effects on a schoolchild’s ability to pay attention and learn in school. An increase in their chances of having a stroke, heart attack, or blood clot from high blood pressure, as well as the risk of gall bladder disease and polycystic ovary syndrome, present the dangers linked with this condition.
Aside from reduced life expectancy, perhaps the most frightening result of obesity in children is the rise of type 2 diabetes in young people, a condition that arises when the body does not produce enough insulin to work properly, normally affecting people in later life. This condition. According to the BBC however, ‘increasingly children in their teens are presenting with type 2 diabetes as a consequence of being obese’.
Although the physical and health implications linked to childhood obesity are huge, the psychological implications can be just as far-reaching. Low self-esteem, depression, and feelings of anxiousness are all emotions, which will likely be carried over to adulthood. The Daily Mail’s report on obese boys having a higher chance of suffering impotence and fertility problems due to lower levels of testosterone, is evident of the future psychological problems and emotional effects that obesity can cause.
It is a no brainer that fatty foods should be reduced and fruit and vegetables should be increased. But figures have shown that one in five British children eat no fruit at all. Additionally many parents do not realise how much fat and salt certain foods contain when packing their child’s lunch boxes or moreover tend to overcompensate on their child's portion sizes. Likewise, the increase of a child’s activity levels will also go along way to help fight obesity. Although the government cutting back on the daily requirements for school sports this year, has done little to improve the fitness levels of British children. It also does not help that healthy food in the supermarkets are charged at absurd prices, while so-called junk food is significantly cheaper, leaving parents who cant afford the healthy options to potentially put their child’s health at risk. It is no surprise therefore, that the Department of Health found that ‘obesity is more of a problem in the poorest areas’ [The Guardian].
Despite such obstacles, it is imperative that something must be done to save the next generation and prevent what Labour’s shadow public health minister has called "the chips and PlayStation 3 culture."