A new report by the Chief Medical Officer suggests that investing more in children’s health now could help the NHS save billions of pounds in the future. According Professor Dame Sally Davies, obesity, poverty, and poor mental health are all aspects of health that damage the future health of children when not promptly taken care of.
However, if health services, social services, and the Government stepped in to make sure that these problems are taken care of them the lives of thousands of children in Britain could be positively changed now and in the future.
In her report, Davies presents evidence that estimates that lowering the obesity rate by just one percent would be enough to lower the risk of long term health problems which in turn would save the NHS a billion every year.
Davies went on to explain that her generation has managed to prepare for their future better than her parents’ generation and now it is time to help the next generation prepare. She added that children today however have many more challenges in front of them so it is time to focus in on their specific needs.
Davies report contains some frightening facts, such as the fact that about 27% of children in the UK are at risk of poverty compared to just 16% at poverty in the Netherlands. It also states that obesity affects about 16% of children under the age of 15 and a whopping 13% of toddlers. In addition, ten percent of adolescents at any given time are likely to suffer from a mental health problem.
Professor Davies suggested handing out supplements to all children to help benefit their health. A Birmingham pilot study found that when all parents were given Vitamin D to give to their children the result was a reduced amount of rickets in the region.