14/08/2014 16:54 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Babies As Young As 10 Months Old Treated For Obesity

Baby boy (6-9 months), close-up of arm and leg

Doctors have reportedly treated babies under a year old for being overweight.

The Mail reports that nearly 1,000 children have been referred to hospital in the last three years because of their weight, in what they describe as Britain's 'child obesity epidemic'.

Research suggests that a fifth of four-year-olds are now overweight or obese, while one NHS trust confirmed that a 10-month-old baby had been admitted to one of its hospitals because of obesity.

Figures also show that at least 932 children under the age of 15 have required urgent medical attention as a consequence of their weight.

The paper reports that despite the shocking statistics, the 'true scale' of the problem could be even higher, as many hospitals have not released information on the numbers of children they have treated for weight-related problems.

Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust was one body which did, and revealed that they dealt with a 10-month-old baby, while a one-year-old child was referred to Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust because of her weight.

Several two-year-olds and at least 101 children under the age of five were diagnosed as obese according to hospital admission data acquired by the Sunday Times, while 283 children of primary school age were also dangerously overweight.

Tam Fry, a National Obesity Forum member and chairman of charity the Child Growth Foundation, said that unless bad lifestyle and bad diet choices were tackled, Britain will never get to grips with the obesity epidemic.

"We should ask ourselves why babies born at healthy weight get so fat that they are admitted to hospital at ten months," he said. "If the parents sit around and eat the wrong food, then what chance do their children have?"

He added that it was a 'a total failure of the NHS to do its job properly' which he said was to 'regularly monitor children of a young age to ensure they are healthy'.

He concluded: "Better monitoring and early intervention would help prevent this issue."

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