Obesity reaching ‘plague’ levels according to experts

To call it the ‘spectre of obesity’ sounds like a contradiction in terms, but in the context of a fearful plague or other disaster, obesity certainly looms as a serious threat to the health and welfare of Britain’s children and adults. Unfortunately, overweight or obese children have a much greater chance of growing into obese adults, with all the problems related to that condition.

This may be the first time in history that children have been removed from a home environment and into care facilities because they’re over-eating. That’s how serious the situation has become; according to a Sunday Express survey of councils across the country, social workers have taken five children away from their families over the last year, and reports indicate that’s only a nibble at a gargantuan problem.

Kids at the ages of eight or nine and even younger have weighed in at ten stone (140 pounds) or more, and at least one eight-year-old boy (who was not taken into council care) weighed a frightening 14 stone. The short and long-term effects of extreme overweight have been documented repeatedly, but just recently the NHS came out with more staggering figures.

Obesity creates the need for more medical treatments than breast cancer, epilepsy and glaucoma combined. Over the past ten years, serious health problems related to obesity have increased tenfold, and well over 300,000 patients were admitted to hospital for obesity-related health issues just in the last year.

Back in 2011 there was a editorial in JAMA suggesting that the government should intervene in cases where children were at risk from over-feeding, the same as if they were being starved or abused.

As well as the predictable outrage at the very idea, there were some very well-considered responses, the gist being that the law can intervene when parents mistreat their kids or endanger their health by encouraging the use of drugs, alcohol or tobacco, so why not if the endangerment comes from food.

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