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Adolescent obesity rates are still on the rise - Dr Wendy Robertson and Jo Fleming

Levelling obesity rates in 2-10 year olds is good news, but the bigger concern is the continued rise in obesity in adolescents according to Associate Professor in Public Health Dr Wendy Robertson and fellow researcher Jo Fleming. They are involved in a Warwick Medical School trial for the treatment of childhood obesity in children aged 6-11 years old.

They said: "The levelling off of the prevalence of childhood obesity in 2 to 10 year olds in the research from Kings College London is good news. This is reasonably consistent with what is also being seen in the National Child Measurement Programme, in which children in Reception (age 4-5) and Year 6 (10-11 years) in England are measured each year. The focus on the prevention of overweight and the treatment of children who are already overweight seems to be having an impact, which is excellent, though what we need to see now is a reduction in the prevalence.

"What is of greater importance in the research is the provision of the data on the prevalence of obesity in adolescents, with data from 11 to 15 year olds showing a continued rise in the prevalence of overweight and obesity. Services and new research needs to focus on this increase in adolescent obesity, as this is a neglected area. Research shows that adolescents who are very overweight have a high chance of remaining so into adulthood. We need to find better ways to prevent and treat obesity in the teenage years. Not least a focus on the environment and the food industry."

To interview a member of the Warwick Medical School trial team, please contact Lee Page, Tel: 024 7657 4255, Mob: 07920 531221, l.page@warwick.ac.uk. We have ISDN and a Globelynx fixed camera on campus for broadcast interviews.