Childhood obesity is becoming more of a problem: more and more children in the UK are becoming obese.

Shockingly, recent figures have revealed that roughly one third of all British children are either overweight or obese, and this is just going to continue getting worse.

The United Kingdom sits at fifth place in the global rankings, meaning only four countries in the world are more obese than we are. This is clearly not good, but the problem will just keep worsening if we don’t identify the root causes and do something about them.

So, the question is: what is causing childhood obesity? Fundamentally, there are only two principal causes, and these are as follows.


To put it simply, one of the biggest offenders is a poor diet. Typically, this diet will consist of too many sugars and fats, whilst not giving enough fibre. A lack of fresh fruit and vegetables is a pretty common indicator, as is a reliance of unhealthy snacks and drinks, like crisps and full-sugar cola. Believe it or not, diet drinks can also be problematic, so try and stick to water and sugar-free squash.

This is a problem across the globe – the most recent statistics suggested that every first world country was experiencing increasing levels of obesity.

There is a large amount of junk food readily available, from frozen ready meals to fast food restaurants, so the temptation can be great, and it’s often easier to buy a ready meal or order a takeaway than to cook a healthy meal. Although these foods are okay in moderation, they are not suitable for everyday consumption. They are simply bad for your (and your children’s) health.

A poor diet can lead to any number of other illnesses, including (but not limited to) diabetes, depression and heart disease, so it’s important you make sure your children are on the right track.

Look into what they’re eating at school too – a number of schools (including those designed by have begun serving a more healthy range of meals, but some still offer the bog-standard fish fingers and chips.

Don’t put them on a crash diet; just give healthy portions, reduce snacks and try and abide by the mantra of five a day.


Perhaps even more important is the amount of exercise the children of this country are getting. More and more frequently, kids are getting in from school, plonking themselves down on the sofa and flicking on the TV or the Xbox, or even the laptop.

Put simply, children are not getting enough exercise. The 2 hours of PE or whatever they get at school is not enough – they need to get out of the house frequently. Encourage riding a bike around the streets or going to the park to play football; maybe let them join a sports club.

A lack of exercise is the single leading cause of cardiovascular disease, so make sure you start early.

By just increasing the amount of exercise and decreasing the amount of unhealthy food your child receives, you massively cut the chances of him or her becoming obese in the future, thus allowing them to lead an overall healthier life.