FOUR in ten kids will leave primary school too fat by 2024, a damning report predicts.
Experts from Public Health England forecast up to 38.1 per cent of 11-years-old will be overweight or obese in five years’ time.
It is up from 34.3 per cent currently – a leap of 11 per cent.
The findings come from the 2019 Health Profile for England, a snapshot of the nation’s overall health.
Being too heavy raises the risk of cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart and liver disease.
Tubby kids are also more likely to be bullied and miss school, according to experts.
Speaking at the PHE annual conference in Warwick, its Director of Health Improvement Professor John Newton, said the sugary drinks tax has worked well to remove needless calories.
But said officials had a “moral responsibility” to take further action – such as limiting junk food advertising – to help reverse the fat epidemic.
He said: “Obviously the rate is still increasing slightly.
“This really just emphasises the importance of tackling childhood obesity and continuing to pursue the interventions that we know will make a difference.
“We know that child obesity predicts adult obesity…and leads to a whole range of poor health outcomes: diabetes, heart disease, musculoskeletal conditions.
“In the past, we were particularly concerned about infectious diseases like tuberculosis.
“What we’re seeing is a transition towards a new set of problems of which obesity is probably the most obvious.” The report also shows adult obesity is significantly higher than last year’s forecast, with 28.7 per cent of over-18s dangerously fat.
Experts warn levels could hit 33.9 per cent – one in three adults – within five years if current trends continue.
Tam Fry, from the National Obesity Forum, said: “It comes as no surprise whatsoever [rise in obesity rates], nothing has been done of any consequence to mitigate obesity apart from the sugary drinks levy. But it is not the whole answer.
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“Until we have something really sensible we will continue to see our kids continue to get fatter.
“The obesity timebomb has exploded, the shrapnel is all over the place and emergency services have not yet leapt into action.”
The report shows England has made good progress in reducing teenage pregnancy rates, and new cases of tuberculosis and HIV.
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