Diet & Nutrition
Proportion of overweight children up
Proportion of overweight children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 years by sex, 1995-2000
Proportion of obesity in children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 years by sex, 1995-2000
Between 1995 and 2000 the proportion of overweight boys in England aged 2 to 19 years increased by two per cent and the proportion of overweight girls in the same age range increased by three per cent. In the same time period, the proportion of obese boys and girls increased by one per cent.
In 2000, 27 per cent of girls aged 2 to 19 years were overweight compared with 20 per cent of boys. In the same year, seven per cent of girls were obese compared with five per cent of boys.
The incidence of the eating disorders anorexia nervosa and bulimia is negligible among males. In 1993, the incidence rate among girls aged 10 to 19 years was 34 per 100,000 for anorexia nervosa and 41 per 100,000 for bulimia.
The proportion of school children spending less than one hour per week on physical education (PE) rose from five per cent in 1994 to 18 per cent in 1999. However, in 1999, 66 per cent of school children spent five hours or more on physical activity during the previous summer holiday compared with 61 per cent in 1994. In 1999, children spent on average 11.4 hours a week watching television and videos compared with 7.5 hours spent on physical activity out of school.
In a typical week in 1997:
Four in five young persons aged four to 18 years consumed white bread, chips, savoury snacks, biscuits, chocolate confectionery and boiled, mashed and jacket potatoes.
The most commonly consumed fruits among 4- to 18-year-olds were apples and pears (53 per cent of boys ; 57 per cent of girls) followed by bananas (38 per cent of boys and girls, respectively). Children and adolescents from higher socio-economic households were more likely to have eaten raw and salad vegetables, apples, pears and bananas than those from lower socio-economic households.
The prevalence of both dental caries and tooth wear increased with age. In 1997 more than one third (35 per cent) of children aged 4 to 18 years had unhealthy gums.
Sources: Health Survey for England 1995, 1996,…, 2000, Department of Health Turnbull S, Ward A, Treasure J et al (1996) The demand for eating disorder care: An epidemiological study using the General Practice Research database, British Journal of Psychiatry 169, 705-712 Gregory J, Lowe S et al (2000) National Diet and Nutrition Survey: young people aged 4 to 18 years, HMSO: London Walker A, Gregory J et al (2000) National Diet and Nutrition Survey: young people aged 4 to 18 years. Volume 2: Report of the oral health survey, TSO: London
Overweight is defined using international cut off points for body mass index of 25kg/m2 at age 18 as the gold standard.
Obesity is defined using international cut off points for body mass index of 30kg/m2 at age 18 as the gold standard.
Raw and salad vegetables includes coleslaw and fresh herbs, but does not include salads made with cooked vegetables or potato salad.