As children head back to school with lunch boxes and dinner money in hand, NHS Choices, the health information website for the NHS, is calling on parents to take a proactive approach to managing their child’s diet and weight. Parents can start by checking their child’s body mass index (BMI) at www.nhs.uk/bmi
NHS Choices’ call to action comes as worrying new obesity figures are released, revealing that obesity rates would rise from a quarter in the UK to about 40 per cent by 20301. Three in ten children in Britain are overweight or obese.
Dr Knut Schroeder said: “Children who are overweight in childhood are more likely to become overweight adults. They are also at risk of developing serious health conditions that carrying excess weight can bring, such as diabetes.
“Making sure your child understands how to eat healthy from a young age can be life-saving, so start the new school year as you mean to go on, and look after your child’s diet.”
Unlike most BMI checking tools, NHS Choices has an online BMI checker that is suitable for children aged two and above.
Parents or guardians simply need to provide details about the sex, age, height and weight of their child and the tool will provide a percentile result informing the parent or guardian if their child is a healthy weight.
For more information about managing children’s diet, health and fitness, whatever their BMI, then visit NHS Choices.
If parents or guardians are very concerned about their child’s weight, they should visit their GP.