Childhood obesity - the issue

All the evidence shows that nearly a third of children aged 2 to 15 are overweight or obese and younger generations are becoming obese at earlier ages and staying obese for longer. Obesity rates are highest for children from the most deprived areas and the situation is getting worse. Why is this happening?

Experts believe there are many different causes. According to the NHS, obesity is generally caused by eating too much and moving too little. But other factors can come into play such as genetics and medical reasons.

When the public was asked what they felt caused childhood obesity, a YouGov representative poll of over 1200 people gave the following three issues as the key contributors to childhood obesity.

Key contributors to childhood obesity

Source: YouGov


It’s clear that childhood obesity is a complex problem with many different causes that will require complex solutions. No one solution is going to work.

This is also consistent with an independent 2014 report from McKinsey, which ranked different interventions for their effectiveness as follows (most vs least effective):

  portion control

  reformulation of products

  education by schools and parents

X   media restrictions

We recognise the urgency of the issue, and want to play a role as part of the solution. Our aim is to use the power of advertising to promote the lifestyle and dietary change needed to effect the real behavioural change that tackles the root causes of the problem.