Child health is stagnating, survey says

07 November 2019

Some areas of child health, including obesity and mental health, are stagnating, according to the latest Scottish health survey.

A third of Scottish children are at an unhealthy weight, and only 15% eat the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables – with 10% eating none at all.

The prevalence of children at risk of obesity is 16%. The level has fluctuated between 13% and 17% since 1998.

Mental health problems have increased in both boys and girls aged 16 to 24, with more than a quarter of girls reporting symptoms suggestive of a psychiatric disorder.

But sugary soft drink consumption has fallen considerably for both adults and children. Among children aged two to 15, 16% consumed sugary drinks at least once a day, down from 35% in 2015-16.

Professor Steve Turner, officer for Scotland at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said: ‘Actions must be taken now to address the stagnation of areas of child health in Scotland today.

‘The lack of action to tackle obesity in the next year is notable in this year’s programme for government.’

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