Childhood Obesity Becoming A Crisis, Hospital Has Long List Of Preschool Kids Needing Intervention

By Amanda Moore, Parent Herald March 20, 04:00 am
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Childhood obesity in preschool kids is rising in Australia and medical health experts want a heftier tax on sugar-rich foods and snacks.
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The John Hunter Children's Hospital in Australia has growing list of patients with childhood obesity. Kids as young as 18 months are being diagnosed as obese or overweight at this facility and there is a six-month waitlist for those wanting to get treatment or intervention.

Some 60 children in the preschool age are currently waiting to get accepted at the hospital's dietetics weight management service and it's a big reflection on what's really going on in the Hunter state, as well as the rest of the New South Wales region, health-wise. Experts are growing seriously alarmed.

"With a preschool child, the child is not in control of what they buy, what they eat, what they prepare, or what they do," Dr. Julie Adamson said, as per The Herald. "It is family-driven, which is why preventative strategies that help families to understand, and make it easier for them to make good, healthy choices are really important," she added, saying that obesity in young children can bear great risks which can be carried over adulthood.

Nicholas Talley, a professor at the University of Newcastle, said the government must do something about this, such as adopting a higher sugar tax policy on sweetened beverages. There should be a "national obesity strategy."

Other experts suggested measures like restricting food advertisements on television and restricting sponsorship of food companies in games and other events, as per ABC Australia. It was reported that the problem involves food companies might be opposed to such restrictions and they have the capacity to lobby for their interest with politicians.

A December 2016 report on the obesity crisis in Australia indicated 71 percent of those living in NSW are obese. South Australia, however, has the highest number of obese and overweight Australians at 73 percent, as per News Corp Australia.

Health experts were disappointed about the report considering the serious effects of being overweight or obese. This health problem could lead to diabetes, heart attack and other life-threatening conditions.

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