Reductions to UK Children’s Support Centers Linked to Thousands of Obese Children

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A study published online suggests that spending cuts on the UK’s Sure Start are associated with the obesity of thousands more children aged 4-5 in the last decade. doing. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health..

The reduction will address 4575 obese children or 9174 overweight / obese children between 2010/11 and 2017/18 than would have been expected if the center’s funding level remained the same. Researchers estimate.

In the poorest areas that have been hit hardest by these reductions, they say the effect is likely to widen the “obesity gap” between the richest and poorest children.

The Sure Start Children’s Center offers community-based services to children under the age of 5 and their parents, including many services that contribute to a healthy weight by supporting good nutrition and physical activity. ..

When the SureStart scheme was launched in 1999, the center’s clear objective was to prevent obesity and reduce health inequalities.

However, since 2010, austerity budget cuts by local governments have significantly reduced funding for these centers, resulting in the closure and / or reduction of the range of services offered.

Therefore, researchers wanted to know if the prevalence of childhood obesity was higher than expected in the UK region, where the reductions were most severe.

They receive publicly available annual municipal data on the prevalence of obesity in children at reception (4-5 years) from the National Child Measurement Program and annually by the Ministry of Education from 2010/2011 to 2017. We used the published data on municipal spending for children’s services. Including 2018.

To assess whether the association between spending cuts and the prevalence of obesity depends on the level of deprivation of local governments, researchers examined the average score of spending on SureStart and multiple deprivations in 2015.

Also, to assess trends in obesity prevalence before the onset of tight funding in 2010, researchers have invested in child services and obesity prevalence from 2007/2008 to 2010/2011. We examined the average annual change in rates.

According to data analysis, spending on the Sure Start Children’s Center fell by an average of 53% between November 2010 and 2018/18, significantly reducing less fortunate local governments.

Municipal spending of the least disadvantaged one-fifth decreased by £ 422 per child between 2010 and 2016, compared to a decrease of £ 133 per child in the least disadvantaged one-fifth. Did.

A 10% reduction in spending each fiscal year was associated with a 0.34% relative increase in the prevalence of obesity in the next school year.

This corresponds to 4575 obese children or 9174 overweight /Obese children Estimate researchers more than would be expected if funding levels remained the same.

The association between municipal spending and obesity was stronger in areas where the prevalence of obesity was declining until 2010/2011.

“Our findings suggest that cuts in local government spending on children’s centers since 2010 were associated with increased childhood obesity, some of which were done before the introduction of austerity policies. Seems to have reversed the interests of the researchers, “said the researchers.

“Our finding that spending cuts were more effective in areas where the prevalence of obesity was declining before the austerity was that stopping investment in Sure Start would reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity. It suggests that it could undermine the strategic progress of key goals, “they added.

“The UK Government has declared a goal to significantly reduce the obesity gap between children in the most disadvantaged and the most disadvantaged by 2030, yet this gap spans all age and gender groups. It continues to expand, “they point out.

“If funding for these services cannot be restored in anticipation of a period of increased financial pressure on local governments due to a pandemic, infant obesity may increase and inequality may be seen beyond initial and widespread use. There is, more, “they conclude.

In a linked editorial, Professor Tim Whitz of the Center for Education and Labor Markets Research at Maastricht University in the Netherlands points out that the findings correspond to the relative increase in obesity during the study.

“This relative increase may seem modest, but in absolute terms the number of children affected is significant, and given the long-term effects of obesity, the consequences are potentially life-threatening. It can change, “he wrote.

“This pandemic can further increase and therefore exacerbate social and geographical inequality in social determinants of health. obesity Level, especially Children I live in the most disadvantaged area. ”

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For more information:
Impact of Municipal Spending Reduction on SureStart Children’s Centers on Childhood Obesity in the UK: Longitudinal Ecological Study, Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, DOI: 10.1136 / jech-2020-216064

Commentary: Investigation of the impact of local spending cuts on childhood obesity at Sure Start Children’s Centers: Commentary, Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, DOI: 10.1136 / jech-2021-217190

Quote: Https: // to get thousands of obese children on June 21, 2021 (June 21, 2021) Reduction of UK Child Support Centers linked to. html

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Reductions to UK Children’s Support Centers Linked to Thousands of Obese Children

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