Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Rotherham doctor says not enough obese children treated

A centre which tackles obesity in South Yorkshire has said not enough doctors are referring children to its service.

The Rotherham Institute for Obesity (RIO) said it had seen 331 young people since the service opened in November 2009 and 3,556 adults.

The centre provides specialist support for overweight people of all ages.

Dr Capehorn, clinical manager, said: "If we tackle childhood obesity, we save the next generation having lots more numbers of overweight adults."

Both adults and children are referred to the NHS service by their GP or healthcare professional if they meet a set criteria.

'Tackle it early'

The centre said patients had lost a combined weight of more than 10 tonnes over two years.

"One way of tackling adulthood obesity is to tackle it early," said Mr Capehorn.

"It is easier to deal with a weight problem in younger children.

"It's a little bit more difficult when you've got an older child who is becoming independent and can buy their own snack foods."

Mr Capehorn said medical professionals needed to be made aware of childhood obesity and should talk to parents about the pitfalls of being overweight.

"You have to treat childhood obesity as part of a family re-education about food," Mr Copehorn added.

RIO, which is based at the Health Village, in Doncaster Gate, provides patients with a free service which includes access to a gym, resource centre and a kitchen to provide classes on healthy cooking.

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