Obesity & the facts

Obesity and the facts To download a copy of the report click on the accompanying image

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Obesity and the facts

New Study Questions True Prevalence of Childhood Obesity

Claims of obesity 'epidemic' are not supported by evidence … 'Hype and exaggeration' of data may result in inappropriate health interventions

Beliefs that childhood obesity is at epidemic levels and is rising exponentially are no more than unsupported speculation, according to recent data from the annual Health Survey for England 2003, published by the Department of Health on December 14th 2004, and analysed by the Oxford-based Social Issues Research Centre.

The new analysis shows that

SIRC's report concludes: "We do no service to the people at risk of obesity-related morbidities in our society by 'hyping' their plight, exaggerating their numbers or diverting limited educational, medical and financial resources away from where the problems really lie. Banning advertising of 'junk food' to children and similar measures may be popular in some quarters, but they are unlikely to impact much on the generation of people in their 50s and 60s – those with vastly higher rates of overweight and obesity than children and young people."

"The Health Survey for England provides grounds for a serious re-think."