Fifteen pilot NHS centres across England will offer tailored support to those aged two to 18 suffering health complications due to their weight. This will include diet plans, mental health treatment and coaching.
Amanda Pritchard, chief executive of NHS England, said: “The pandemic has shone a harsh light on obesity ‑ with many vulnerable youngsters struggling with weight gain.
“Left unchecked, obesity can have other serious consequences, ranging from diabetes to cancer.
“This scheme aims to prevent children and young people enduring a lifetime of ill-health.”
Some 2.5 million children are overweight or obese, with 1.22 million significantly obese. By Year 6 obesity is almost twice that in Reception, with one in five obese by age 10-11.
The 15 new services will be based on an existing Bristol Royal Hospital for Children scheme.
Its Care of Childhood Obesity clinic has treated thousands since 2018 across the South-west, delivering nutritional advice, psychological and social support and medical help.
Julian Hamilton-Shield, professor of diabetes and metabolic endocrinology at Bristol Royal, said: “Using a team of experts, we can pinpoint the exact causes of weight gain and create tailored treatment plans for each child to help accelerate weight loss and address the complications caused.
“The creation of these 15 new clinics across the country demonstrates the NHS’s commitment to help tackle obesity and provide more local access to specialist weight management support for children.”
Obesity and its complications cost the NHS £6billion a year.
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