London: One in 10 children in Britain
will be obese by 2015, a new study has predicted.
In fact, according to the study, if current trends
continue, 10.1 per cent of boys and 8.9 per cent of girls aged
between two and 10 will be obese within six years.
The childhood obesity epidemic is being blamed
on "supersize" portions, lack of physical activity and the
increased consumption of sugary drinks, fast food and sweets.
But another cause, less often discussed, is poverty.
"If trends continue as they have been between 1995 and
2007, in 2015 the number and prevalence of obese young people
is projected to increase dramatically -- and these increases
will affect lower social classes to a larger extent," the
`Daily Express` quoted epidemiologist Dr Emmanuel Stamatakis,
of University College London as saying.
The prevalence of obesity among children from manual
worker class households will be 10.7 per cent for boys and
11.2 per cent for girls, compared with 7.9 per cent for boys
and 5.4 per cent for girls from non-manual households, the
study has predicted.
The "fat gap" between rich and poor is the
result of food poverty -- a term used to explain why those on
low incomes often can`t provide a healthy diet for their
Poorer families are also sometimes resistant to health
messages aimed at changing their lifestyle. In 1995, child
obesity levels stood at just 3.1 per cent for boys and 5.2 per
cent for girls. By 2007, they had risen to 6.9 and 7.4 per