Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Ten per Cent of Children in Region Obese

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Ten per Cent of Children in Region Obese

Article excerpt

Byline: Craig Thompson Health Reporter

CHILDREN living in the North East are more likely to suffer from obesity, accidental injuries and poor educational development compared to those in other regions.

That was the conclusion of a report published on Monday by the National Children's Bureau, which examined important health developments in youngsters across the country.

The report claimed that if under-fives in the North East enjoyed the same health and development as those in the South East, almost 2,500 more reception class children would be reaching a good level of development.

It also revealed that, while the region has average levels of tooth decay among five-year-olds, standing at 25%, other measures of children's health and development had the worst outcomes of any region for admissions to hospital due to injury - 199 per 10,000 under-fives - and fewer young children reaching a good level of development, standing at 55%.

The North East also has high levels of obesity in youngsters, with one in every 10 children starting school classed as obese - amounting to more than 3,000 children.

The report confirms that the health and development of children under five is closely linked to the affluence of the area they grow up in, with those living in deprived areas far more likely to suffer poor health.

Comparing the 30 most deprived local authorities in England with the 30 best-off, the report finds that children under five in poor areas are significantly more prone to obesity, tooth decay, accidental injuries and lower educational development. While only 18.4% of children living in the 30 richest areas suffer from tooth decay, this rises substantially to 31.6% of four to five-year-olds in the 30 most deprived areas.

However, the data shows that poor early health is not inevitable for children growing up in deprived areas. …

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