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Warnings voiced for five years

By Victoria O'Hara

Published 29/07/2015

Major concerns over a ticking time bomb of childhood obesity have been voiced in the last five years.

Experts have warned in report after report that bad diets put the health service under increasing strain through treating killer diseases linked to obesity - including Type 2 diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Latest figures show that 25% of children aged 2-10 were classed as overweight and obese, a figure that has not changed since 2005-6.

The Health Survey of Northern Ireland published last year showed a greater proportion of girls (21%) were overweight compared with boys (15%), but the same proportion of boys and girls were classed as obese (7%).

Almost one in four Northern Irish children born at the beginning of the new century was obese by the age of 11. And 19% of two-to-10-year-olds were overweight and 6% obese.

Dietary habits are also poor, with 67% not eating their five-a-day and 19% of 11-16-year-olds do not eat breakfast on a school day.

Meanwhile 27% said they don't eat a school dinner or snack because they are too expensive.

In 2013, said experts, 61% of adults were overweight or obese, reducing the life expectancy of those affected by up to nine years.

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