Return of rickets 'ashaming'

England's chief medical officer has said the public should feel "profoundly ashamed" of a "very worrying picture" of children's health and called for the scheme of free vitamins to be extended to all under-fives to tackle the return of rickets.

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Report: UK second-worst in Europe for children's health

The annual report by England's chief medical officer focuses on children's physical and mental health. Here are some of its key findings:

  • UK is second-worst in western Europe for children's health
  • More than 12 percent of toddlers are obese, as are more than 16 percent of boys and girls up to the age of 15
  • The costs of childhood obesity could be as high as £700 per year
  • 40 percent of children have some kind of vitamin D deficiency
  • Only a quarter of children with clinical mental health disorders get help within the first three years, while three quarters of lifetime mental health disorders start before the age of 18

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