According to figures in a report published by Public Health Wales, Wales has the highest rate of childhood obesity in Britain. There are now also more obese children in Wales than ever before.
More than 26% of children starting primary school aged four and five were overweight or obese in 2017-2018.
The report found the most deprived areas of Wales to have a higher chance of children being obese than the more affluent ones. Merthyr Tydfil has the highest number of obese four and five year olds in the country while, Cardiff has the lowest in the country.
Labour Councillor Ramesh Patel lost 6 stone in the last 10 years after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. He told CJS News ” Certainly one of the reasons is not a great deal of activities. When I was growing up we used to be running around the streets while these days there a lot of electronic goods in the house like computers and play-stations and as a consequence kids are not as active as they used to be and that is definitely a contributor to obesity. It is a matter of dieting as well, fast foods have become a norm and that is not always good food”.
The Welsh Government Health, Social and sport committee say it is a national crisis and are considering increasing the number of PE hours in school to 2 a week. In a statement Committee member Dawn Bowden said: “The latest figures are the continuation of a very worrying long term trend. I am struck how, on a number of key health indicators like smoking, cancer screening, blood pressure and obesity, the health picture of our population is always worst for many of the communities in Wales”.
Deprivation, low exercise and availability to cheap convenience food are all to be blamed for the high rates of childhood obesity in Wales.