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Deprived children are more likely to be obese

24th January 2013

Health minister Anna Soubry has said "bad food" lies behind children from poor backgrounds being more likely to suffer weight problems.


She also suggested it was now almost possible to tell a child’s background by their weight.

Ms Soubry said half a century ago, children from deprived households were taunted because they were skinny but today the state of affairs has been reversed.

The Conservative MP, who is in charge of public health, said a third of children leaving primary school were overweight or obese and the poorest were among those most at risk, pointing to a link between childhood poverty and obesity.

“Obviously, not everybody who is overweight comes from deprived backgrounds,” she said.

“It is a heart-breaking fact that people who are some of the most deprived in our society are living on an inadequate diet. But this time it’s an abundance of bad food.”

Figures from the Department of Health figures suggest the poorest children are almost twice as likely to be obese than the richest, a position echoed by the Child Poverty Action Group which said there was a clear connection between deprivation and obesity.

However, the organisation’s head of policy Imran Hussain said government policy was more to blame for the situation.

He said: “Poor children are much more likely to miss out on healthy food on cost grounds than children living in households with average incomes. And research shows that when the incomes of poor families rise, parents spend the gains on improving the diets of their children through buying fresh fruit.”


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Eddie Crowley

Friday 25th January 2013 @ 8:11

60 years ago all the poor kids were skinny through lack of food, so is this an improvement?

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