Concerns over Angus children’s weights

Councillor David May
Councillor David May

New figures show one in four children in primary one are not within a healthy weight range, and an Angus councillor has called this a “real concern”.

A council report shows a quarter of primary one pupils in Angus do not have a body mass index (BMI) within a healthy weight range.

The number of children with a healthy weight has dropped over the last two years.

The figures show the proportion of children in P1 with a healthy BMI has fallen from 78.3 per cent of pupils in 2012/13 to 75.8 per cent in 2014/2015.

David May, Montrose councillor and former headteacher, has called the figures “disappointing”.

He said: “A youngster at this age with an unhealthy BMI, whether it is underweight or overweight, can, if not tackled, lead to health risks both of a short term and longer term nature and their parents must take responsibility for this and take action as soon as possible.

“It is clear that obese children are more likely to become obese adults and this is associated with a number of serious health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.

“However, less well-known is that there are health risks associated with children being underweight. The main risk associated with being underweight is an increased change of osteoporosis, a disease of bones that leads to an increased risk of fractures.

“Underweight people are likely to be less fit and active, which would also increase their cardiovascular risk.

“Immune systems, designed to fight diseases and protect the body, are also much weaker in underweight people, which could at the very least lead to them having more illnesses like flu.”