Landmark report? We’ve known poverty has been harming children’s health for YEARS

Children living in the most deprived areas are much more likely to be in poor health, be overweight or obese, suffer from asthma, have poorly managed diabetes, experience mental health problems and die early [Image: Andrew Matthews/PA].

The reason we should all be enraged by this report is simple: We have known the facts for years.

This Blog has been running articles about the relationship of poverty with ill-health, practically since it started!

And what is the Conservative government doing about it?

Only last year, Theresa May backed away from forcing food companies to remove harmful ingredients from their food, effectively encouraging increased child obesity.

To a Tory, the only thing that matters is profit for the rich. If poor people suffer and become sick making that money for somebody else, they don’t care. Remember that.

Children’s health in the UK is in jeopardy, with higher child death rates, obesity and ill-health than in much of Europe, according to a landmark report.

The report… shows that:

  • The UK has the fifth highest mortality rate for babies under the age of one year out of 19 European countries and one of the highest rates for older children and young people. There are around 130 more deaths of one to nine-year-olds in the UK every year than there would be if it met the European average. The leading causes are cancer, injuries and poisonings, congenital conditions and neurological and developmental disorders.
  • Smoking in pregnancy, which increases the risk of deaths in babies and disease in later life, is 11% in England and 15% in Northern Ireland, higher than in many European countries and strongly associated with deprivation. The rate is 5% in Lithuania and Sweden.
  • Breastfeeding rates are low – only 34% of babies are breastfed at all by six months, compared with 71% in Norway.
  • In England’s most deprived areas, 40% of children were overweight or obese in the last year, compared to 27% in the most affluent.

Source: Poverty in the UK jeopardising children’s health, warns landmark report | Society | The Guardian

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2 thoughts on “Landmark report? We’ve known poverty has been harming children’s health for YEARS

  1. Roy Beiley

    The last job in my career was to produce a Social Strategy for Great Yarmouth which had in 1997, and probably still does have, some of the poorest ward’s in England as evidenced by data from the Office for National Statistics. Data from a collection of other sources like the Joseph Rountree Trust supported this. The Improving Health part of the Strategy included the identifying the effects of poverty in young children in the poorest wards. ln conjunction with the local NHS, funding was made available to find ways of addressing this. When the coation government took office in 2010 all such partnership funding was cut off.
    I was angry to read that the “problem” has finally been recognised. The chances of local government and the NHS working in partnership these days of severely reduced budgets are small. What kind of legacy are we leaving our children and grandchildren? When will the constant talking about the problem end and ACTION taken to find and pursue a solution?

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