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Toolkit will help tackle obesity among children

7 October 2008

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More than one in 10 parents of obese children recognise that their offspring are overweight, a study has found.

And parents often underestimate how much unhealthy and convenience food they buy as well as overestimating the amount of activity their children do.

The findings are part of a report available to all primary care trusts (PCTs) and local authorities to help them tackle obesity in their areas

Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives toolkit: A Toolkit for Developing Local Strategies also shows, for the first time, the cost of obesity to every PCT in England.

The figures detail the cost of diseases related to being overweight or obese in 2007 and how much it will cost at a local level in 2015 if no action is taken.

As last year’s Foresight report highlighted, nationally the cost of being overweight or obese cost the NHS £4.2bn in 2007. This could rise to £6.3bn in 2015.

The toolkit found that just 11.5% of parents with overweight or obese children recognise the condition. It also shows only 38% of adults know that obesity can lead to heart disease and only 6% know about the link of being overweight to cancer.

Public health minister Dawn Primarolo said: “Obesity is the biggest health challenge we face – every year 9,000 people die prematurely.”

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