U.K. Obesity Crisis Ongoing


Here we are, still trying to catch up with obesity-related events in the United Kingdom, and it doesn’t get any easier. In April, statisticians who looked over the previous year’s hospital admissions found that obesity had been either the primary or secondary diagnosis in more than half a million cases.

Journalist Ryan Sabey wrote:

The damning figures also show that doctors sent thousands of under-16s for treatment last year with an obesity diagnosis. NHS figures show 3,415 times, youths were treated in hospital in 2015/16 compared to just 2,762 in 2010/11, up nearly a quarter.

Any number that grows by 25% in a year is a number that needs a close eye kept on it. To make matters worse, a study performed by the Endocrine Society confirmed that obese children “face four times the risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to children with a body mass index (BMI) in the normal range.”

And that is not all. The U.K is experiencing a “surge” in the numbers of children and teens with mental health problems. Clinicians are reporting anxiety, depression, panic, and eating disorders in kids as young as four. Think of it! Children not even old enough to be enrolled in school, with eating disorders!

When teachers and school administrators were polled, 98% said they had come into contact with students afflicted by mental health issues. Sadly, less than half of those teachers had received the appropriate training to deal with disturbed children. A separate study among head teachers (principals) revealed that more than half of the people who run the schools had faced difficulty in finding help for youngsters struggling with these problems.

Scarce human resources

Another thing they can’t find, is enough grownups to lead Scout troops. Apparently, the number of kids eager to tramp around in the wilderness far exceeds the number of adults needed to lead such expeditions.

A reporter put forward the theory that men are reluctant to volunteer as Scout leaders because the public will question their motives and assume that they are pedophiles. But officials say no, it’s just that so many more kids are applying these days even the increasing number of adult volunteers can’t keep up with the demand.

There is trouble also at the other end of the age spectrum. Caroline Wheeler of The Express reported that in the past five years, the number of pensioners (retired people) looking for gastric banding, stapling, and similar interventions to cure their obesity, has increased by two-thirds. Between the ages of 65 and 74, a whole lot of people want bariatric surgery. Furthermore, the applicants are fatter than ever before, and the National Health Service is facing a crisis.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “‘Shameful’ figures show GPs sent obese patients to hospital more than half a million times last year,” TheSun.co.uk, 04/02/17
Source: “Childhood obesity quadruples risk of developing type 2 diabetes,” ScienceDaily.com, 04/25/17
Source: “Four-year-olds suffering panic attacks, eating disorders, anxiety and depression, report says,” Independent.co.uk, 04/14/17
Source: “How do the Scouts get past their paedophile problem?,” FreeThoughtBlogs.com, 04/12/17
Source: “Obesity Surge: Number of pensioners in weight loss surgery shoots up by two-thirds,” Express.co.uk, 04/09/17
Image by trustieee/123RF Stock Photo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

FAQs and Media Requests: Click here…

Profiles: Kids Struggling with Weight

Profiles: Kids Struggling with Obesity top bottom

The Book

OVERWEIGHT: What Kids Say explores the obesity problem from the often-overlooked perspective of children struggling with being overweight.

About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
You can contact Dr. Pretlow at:


Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

Food & Health Resources