KIDS should be weighed annually from age two to combat the obesity epidemic, experts claim.
One in three children now leaves primary school too fat.
Alamy Kids as young as two should be weighed annually to fight obesity epidemic, experts claim
Being too heavy raises later chances of type 2 diabetes, heart, liver disease and several common cancers.
Experts from Oxford and Manchester universities reviewed data from 54 studies on 750,000 children.
They found doctors were able to identify up to a fifth more cases at high risk of becoming fat by weighing kids annually.
Scientists said the approach was much better at spotting unusual growth rates, allowing medics to step in early and support families.
Currently, young children in the UK are only measured twice – once at the start of primary school and once at the end. Researchers criticised the current approach as “unhelpful”.
Dr Heather Robinson, who carried out the study while at Manchester University, said: “The evidence suggests that children should be weighed and measured every year from at least the age of two.
LEAVING SCHOOL TOO FAT
“We can tell different patterns of child growth apart from as early as 2-5 years, but only if we measure children regularly, so it’s important to start measuring children as early in life as possible, and to continue to do so throughout childhood.
“This way, we can give parents and health professionals the information they need to support children and families.” The findings are published in the journal Preventive Medicine Reports.
Health bosses want kids to consume 20 per cent less sugar by 2020. But two in three major brands have so far ignored Government pleas to cut levels.
Ministers are also consulting on banning junk food ads before the 9pm watershed in a bid to tackle childhood obesity.
Commenting on the research, Tam Fry, from the National Obesity Forum, said annual weighing should be introduced immediately.
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He said: “It is because the UK never measures children regularly that we have our current childhood obesity problem.
“The National Child Measurement Programme should be extended to cover every year of a child’s growing years to identify the first signs of excess weight developing and programmes to ensure they are not left to get fatter put in place.
“We measure animals annually in our zoos to monitor their health and well being but we fail to do the same for our children. Ridiculous!”
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