Children’s health in England falling behind every countries

A new report has warned that England is falling behind other countries on obesity, mental health and infant deaths, urging for a change in policy to change current worrying trends.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health claims that children and young people up to 18 should have their weight and body mass index (BMI) recorded every year as part of a long term plan to improve health for children and young people.

Using long term historical data to project outcomes for children and young people’s health in 2030, it concludes that whilst England is middle of the pack for some outcomes, on the majority England is likely to fall further behind other wealthy countries over the next decade.

The report, Child health in 2030 in England: comparisons with other wealthy countries, predicts that in England, by 2030, reported mental health problems may increase by 60 per cent, A&E attendances among children and young people likely to increase by 50 per cent and mortality rates are set to be 140 per cent higher for infants than in comparable wealthy nations.

As well as a call for children to have their weight and BMI recorded until the age of 18, the college’s recommendations also include a call for a Children and Young People’s Health Strategy, a promise that funding designated for expanding children’s services reaches the frontline, and that investment in health visiting and school nursing services must be increased and protected.

Russell Viner, report author and President of the RCPCH, said: “Unless current trends improve, England is likely to fall further behind countries of similar wealth over the next decade making it harder to give children the best start in life, receive the care they need and remain healthy into productive, happy adult lives.

“This report clearly identifies the danger on the horizon - but trends shown here are not inevitable. Each of them could be turned around if key actions are undertaken. We acknowledge that admirable action has been taken on some fronts, such as the government’s Childhood Obesity Plan, which we believe will help to reverse current obesity trends if fully implemented.”

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