The poverty divide: How to tackle childhood obesity in NI

Nearly a quarter of children in Northern Ireland are overweight or obese, according to the latest figures.

Child food poverty is getting worse especially in less well-off areas, experts in the field have said.

A quarter of children in Northern Ireland aged between two and 15 are reported as being overweight.

Some 17% of children in Northern Ireland are overweight with 8% classed as obese, according to the most recent figures from the Department of Health.

On Tuesday, experts met in Belfast for a forum aimed at preventing childhood obesity across the island of Ireland.

Dr Marian O'Reilly, chief specialist in nutrition with Safefood, which organised the forum, said there was a "social divide between the very well-off and the least well-off" with much higher rates of obesity among children from less well-off backgrounds.

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