Should you need urgent health advice please contact your GP or call NHS 111. In an emergency please visit A&E or call 999

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Obesity in Children

Childhood obesity is one of the biggest health problems that the United Kingdom faces with rates increasing in number.

Being overweight and obesity in children is known to have a significant impact on a child’s physical and psychological health which persists throughout childhood and adulthood.

Every child should have access to a healthy and happy childhood which should carry on throughout adulthood. Sadly, children living with obesity are more likely to become adults living with obesity, and are at higher risk of complex health issues. Healthy eating, portion control and regular exercise are factors that can help to reduce the risk or prevalence of childhood obesity. It is important to establish healthy norms for children at an early age, and health eating could be one of these. Healthy eating does not have to be boring, children love colours and textures and these can be explored throughout different ranges of food.

Parents are the most influential people in a child’s life, particularly in the early years. Having said this, parents play a fundamental role in preventing and or resolving child obesity.

It is important that children are getting the right amount of food to keep them healthy. Portion sizes should be followed dependent on the age of the child, for each food group type in order to develop those good habits for food and drink from an early age.

Children are naturally active and need plenty of opportunities to develop physically. Children enjoy play, especially when it is in the context of their family. Parents are role models to their children, therefore parents who enjoy being active also pass this onto their children. Children benefit from being active as it is known to improve their sleep, energy levels and much more.

For more tips on promoting healthy lifestyles of children, please visit:


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Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust runs a confidential secure text messaging service for parents of children aged 0-19 years called ChatHealth. The service operates Monday to Friday from 9am to 12pm, excluding bank holidays. All texts will be responded to by a public health nurse (health visitor/school nurse) within 24 hours. Outside of the service working hours, you’ll receive a message back to inform you that your text will be responded to once the line reopens.

Should you require urgent health advice in the meantime, please contact your GP, visit an NHS walk-in centre or call NHS 111. For emergencies, dial 999 or visit A&E.

This page was last reviewed on 20-10-2020

This page will be next reviewed on 20-10-2023