Call for action over childhood obesity in Sheffield after 150 need hospital treatment

Star readers are calling for more to be done to ensure children live a healthy lifestyle – after figures revealed nearly 150 needed hospital treatment for obesity.

By Lee Peace
Friday, 25 January, 2019, 07:44

Between 2016 and 2018, 149 inpatients aged 18 or under were admitted to Sheffield Children’s Hospital with a primary diagnosis of obesity.

The data, obtained by The Star under the Freedom of Information Act, has sparked calls for more to be done to tackle childhood obesity. 

Obese child.

Star readers made their voices heard in a series of posts on Facebook.  

Michelle Taylor said: “There should be more food education in schools and more focus on sports and exercise.”

Kerry Allen posted: “Unfortunately so many parents are so busy juggling work, ect and so they use lots of convenience foods or takeaways, there is much less exercise nowadays because it is not safe for kids to play out as much as it was.”

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She added: “Rather than shifting the blame there needs to be more support for families of obese children. You have school professionals labeling kids obese based on Body Mass Index when in fact some are just 'in proportion'.

“There definitely needs to be more willingness from parents and also less judgement from professionals and the public.”  

Charlotte Wade called for an end to surgery for obese children as “having to not work for losing weight is just not solving the issue.”  

The figures showed that in 2016 alone, 56 young people were treated for obesity, but that figure fell to 47 in 2017 and 46 last year.

But the number of children undergoing weight-loss, or ‘bariatric’, surgery has fallen considerably in recent years.

In 2013, 10 children had a gastric balloon – a temporary measure which stops patients eating as much before they feel full - inserted in their stomachs and one had a gastric bubble fitted. In 2016 just four children underwent surgery and there have been no cases in the last two years.