Severely obese children and youngsters all over the UK are ready to receive intensive support from the NHS through the introduction of specialist clinics offering expert help. Rolling out of thirty targeted clinics across the UK to tackle the obesity crisis in the nation is set to be announced at the annual NHS Confed Expo conference in Manchester, and it demonstrates an intervention by the NHS to prevent long-term health conditions like heart attacks and type 2 diabetes in young people. The rollout of the clinics emerges as the latest data has revealed that one-fifth of children aged 10-11 years are obese in England.
The clinics are to act as a commitment to help as many youngsters and children as possible, and are backed behind £18 million across the next two years as it has been revealed that hospital admissions of obese young individuals under the age of 17 have nearly tripled in a decade, going from 3,370 in 2011 to 9,431 in 2021/22. The clinics will not only provide treatments for obesity, but they will also identify the factors which cause obesity in children and young people by looking at mental well-being as well. The clinic will use a ‘holistic approach’ to tackle a crisis that has gained rapid momentum in the past few years as it is revealed that the number of children living with severe obesity doubles from the start to the end of primary school.
NHS’s England’s National Clinical Director for Children and Young People has described the clinics as an ‘important step in helping vulnerable children and young people live healthier and happier lives’, whilst Dr Duane Mellor, Senior Teaching Fellow at the Centre for Health and Society Aston Medical School commented that ‘ the growing number of children and young people living with type 2 diabetes and obesity is concerning, and the reasons for such are complicated’.
However, the clinics are not the sole focus in tackling obesity within the young population, as hundreds of food specialists and dieticians have called for a heavy focus on food choice availability and the role supermarkets play in contributing towards obesity in children and young people.
Edited By Nandini Roy
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