11 October 2016
Nearly 1.7 million children started secondary school overweight or obese in England in the last decade, according to a new report.
Figures published by Cancer Research UK to coincide with World Obesity Day have shown that around 1,655,000 children were above a healthy weight when entering secondary school, putting them at greater risk of ill health in future.
It is known that obese children are five times more likely to remain obese as adults, with the excess weight considerably increasing the risk of cancer, as well as other diseases.
Being overweight or obese is the second biggest preventable cause of cancer in the UK after smoking. It contributes to around 18,100 cases of cancer every year and is linked to 13 types of the disease, including bowel, breast and pancreatic.
Alison Cox, Cancer Research UK’s director of prevention, said: "It's concerning to know that so many children start secondary school - formative years in a child's life - carrying too much weight. We must give children the best chance for a healthy future."
Ms Cox also called for a ban on junk food advertising family viewing time, following up the similar ban on such adverts during children's prorgrammes.
Posted by Jeanette Royston
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