Latest Millennium Cohort Study finds one in five young people obese at age 14

Professor Mary Fewtrell, Nutrition Lead at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, responds to these latest findings which were published by the UCL Institute of Education.

“Data from the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) provides further evidence of the scale of the childhood obesity crisis in the UK. One in five children born in the year 2000 were obese by age 14, with a further 15% overweight, leaving them at risk of health issues such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. 

"What’s striking is the clear link between poor education amongst parents and children’s high obesity levels. To prevent this, children need to be encouraged and enabled to make healthy choices from a young age, preventing obesity in the first instance and changing the mind-set of future generations of parents.

"A range of measures must be considered including restrictions on junk food marketing before the 9pm watershed, statutory school-based health education in all schools, and, in order to determine what effect taxation is having on consumption of sugary drinks, robust evaluation of the soft drinks and sugar reduction programme is needed.”