1 in 10 children is obese by time they start school

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ONE in ten Scottish children is obese by the time they start school, a report has revealed.

The study also shows almost a quarter of children, 22 per cent, are overweight by the time they reach the age of six.

The government’s annual Growing up in Scotland (GUS) report also highlighted how 15 per cent of primary one children exercise for less than the recommended 60 minutes daily.

It also told how three in ten of the youngsters watched television or played on their computers for more than three hours a day.

And it revealed 86 per cent of mothers whose children are overweight or obese think their child’s weight is “normal”.

Nutritionists say they are shocked by the latest figures and opposition parties have called for the SNP government to step up its battle against childhood bulge.

Opposition parties slammed the Scottish Government for failing to tackle childhood obesity and highlighted how the SNP had failed to meet its target of ensuring Scottish pupils had a minimum of two hours of physical education at school every week.

Dr Catherine Hankey, senior lecturer in human nutrition at Glasgow University, said: “These figures are very shocking and far worse than many people would have imagined. The implication of having such a widespread issue with childhood obesity is phenomenal.

“These adults of the future are more likely to suffer from depression, become excluded and lose out on jobs in the workplace due to health issues because the chances are they will struggle with their weight for life.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Obesity is a serious issue. That’s why we have introduced our anti-obesity action plan, a whole society approach aimed at changing the environment in which we live.”