Yesterday we reported on the alarming results of a World Health Organisation study which predicted that being overweight will be almost universal in Ireland in 15 years’ time; now, another study has shed light on the state of our little ones’ health.
According to research published today, Irish children aged five and under are the fattest in Europe.
The study, which was presented to the European Congress on Obesity this week, found that over a quarter (27.5%) of Irish children in the five-and-under age category are classed as either overweight or obese.
The UK showed a similar trend, with their corresponding figure coming in at 23%, while it was Kazakhstan, with 1%, which had the lowest statistic of overweight or obese children.
As for the specific factors behind the surge in obesity in young children, the study authors said that breastfeeding may play a role in lower obesity rates. For overweight and obese children, the authors observed that keeping children active, and educating mothers on nutrition are important parts of the strategy going forward.
Commenting on the role of the parent, the study authors wrote: “It is possible that in countries with high child obesity, there could be a relationship to adult obesity. There is strong evidence that child weight status is associated with a mother’s weight status, particularly at these young age when a child’s health is solely dependent on the caregiver.”