Computers causing fat five-year-olds

PUBLISHED: 11:00 29 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:38 25 May 2010

THE computer game generation is helping children as young as five years old to become 'grossly obese' - a town doctor says.

THE computer game generation is helping children as young as five years old to become 'grossly obese' - a town doctor says.

Dr Peter Maksimczyk, of Clarence Park Surgery, says he sees children struggling to even play football with their friends because they are so overweight.

Last year the Weston Mercury reported how nine per cent of the district's four and five-year-olds are seriously overweight when they begin their education and are in danger of developing illnesses normally associated with middle-aged adults.

NHS North Somerset says its latest figures show a year on year fall in the number of children who are obese when they are measured at reception and year six stages.

But Dr Maksimczyk says too many children are still heading for potentially life-threatening illnesses like heart disease and diabetes later in life.

He says the fact that children stay indoors more playing video games and watching television, rather than playing outdoors or on their bikes, is contributing to the problem.

Dr Maksimczyk said: "Children at the age of five, six and seven are coming into the surgery and are grossly obese.

"It is all part of a self-perpetuating circle. They can't play football and therefore don't get exercise.

"It's all too much about video games and television these days.

"Parents do play a part as well, as well as schools.

"The Government is also keen to blame everyone else, but kids used to be encouraged to play sport in school.

"There is a place for video games, but a lot of kids do nothing else."

Obesity can mean a child is anywhere between one sixth higher than or up to twice the weight considered to be healthy for their age and height.

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