Childhood overweight and obesity has immediate and long-term physical and mental health risks. This chapter examines the patterns of overweight and obesity among children aged 2-15 in 2014, and the relationship with social and demographic variables.
- Overall, 17% of children were obese, and an additional 14% of children were overweight. The proportions were similar for boys and girls.
- Among children aged 8-15, 22% of boys and 28% of girls were trying to lose weight. The majority were not trying to change their weight (71% and 68% respectively). A quarter of children who were not trying to change their weight were overweight or obese.
- The prevalence of obesity has increased since 1995, when 11% of boys and 12% of girls aged 2-15 were obese. Over the following ten years, there was a steady increase. Obesity peaked at 19% among boys in 2004 and girls in 2005. Levels of obesity have been slightly lower since. In 2014, obesity among boys aged 2-15 reached the peak level of 19% again, whereas for girls obesity was at a lower level, at 16%.