Overweight children spark Doncaster health warning

The British Heart Foundation is concerned over the number of overweight or obese children in Doncaster
The British Heart Foundation is concerned over the number of overweight or obese children in Doncaster

Doncaster has the third highest number of overweight children in Yorkshire, sparking concerns from a charity.

Statistics show 34.1 per cent of children leaving school at the end of year six were overweight or obese, compared to 33.2 nationally.

Only Bradford, Hull and Rotherham had worse figures than Doncaster in the latest figures.

It compares with 22.1 per cent of children in the borough’s reeption classes being classed as overweight ot obese.

The British Heart Foundation has now warned carrying excess weight into adulthood increases the risk of developing heart disease in later life and called for a ban on junk food television advertising..

A spokseman said: “Today’s worrying figures mean there are around 1,130 children in Doncaster leaving primary school obese or overweight.

“The British Heart Foundation (is today calling for a ban on all junk food TV advertising before 9pm, as part of the Government’s Childhood Obesity Strategy, to help improve children’s health.”

“Millions of children across the UK are being exposed to junk food adverts during popular shows such as the X Factor and Hollyoaks.

Advertising Association Communications Director Ian Barber: “Getting to grips with obesity requires everyone to play their part and UK food advertising has long been among the most strictly regulated in the world – one reason why Ofcom’s data shows that kids see far fewer HFSS ads on TV today than ever they did before. New rules are now being considered which would mean no such advertising targeted at children in any media – including online – and have widespread support from food companies.

“A 9pm watershed, however, is an analogue measure in a digital age that would do little or nothing to help fix the obesity problem and would hit programme budgets hard. That we have long had such tight restrictions, yet still face an obesity problem reflects what the evidence tells us – that advertising effects children’s food choices only at the very margins.”

Jacqui Wiltschinsky, Doncaster Council’s assistant director of public health, has previously said improving the health of Doncaster’s children is a significant challenge, as it is across the UK and that the authority works with other partners to encourage healthy food choices and exercise for young people and families,