RCPCH responds to latest Health Survey for England

For the first time, The Health Survey looks at links between parent and child obesity. RCPCH responds saying it is a "cycle of life that can have terrible consequences to the health of entire families for generations".

The latest NHS Digital figures released today reveal that children of obese parents are more likely to be obese themselves.

The Health Survey for England 2017 monitors trends in the nation’s health and surveyed 8,000 adults and 2,000 children about a variety of topics including obesity, smoking, and drinking.

For the first time, the annual survey has analysed the association between parent and child weight, looking at those who are overweight and obese. It found that 28% of children of an obese mother were also obese, compared with 8% of children whose mother was not overweight or obese. 24% of children of an obese father were also obese, compared with 9% of children where the father was not overweight or obese.

Responding to the publication of the Health Survey for England 2017, Dr Max Davie, Officer for Health Promotion for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), said:

We have known for quite some time that children who are born to overweight parents are more likely to be overweight or obese themselves. It’s a cycle of life that can have terrible consequences to the health of entire families for generations.

With the publication of the Government’s NHS Long Term Plan imminent, we hope it provides the support these latest statistics call loudly for. We need specialist weight management services for overweight and obese families, supporting parents to lose weight before conception and we need services in place to continue this support throughout pregnancy and childhood.