DR HILARY Jones has warned parents to be vigilant when it comes to what their children consume.

The resident Good Morning Britain doctor this morning said children are skipping breakfast and are instead supping energy drinks on the way to school.

He cautioned that this is adding to the obesity epidemic in the UK.

"So many children are having energy drinks on the way to school instead of breakfast.

"There are so many things we could do, so many strategies to discourage children from relying on these high sugar, high fat foods that are causing the obesity problem."

His comments on the show this morning come after fresh data was published from the National Child Measurement Programme.

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It revealed that one in five children who started primary school a healthy size are leaving overweight or obese.

The programme monitors the height and weight of children through school in reception class and year 6.

Other key findings included data that showed boys were more likely to gain weight than girls – therefore ending up in the severely obese category.

Dr Hilary said the programme gives health authorities an indicator of what's going on in society as a whole.

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He added that when it comes to the health of children, it's not the education system that's at fault, but what's going on behaviourally and socially.

"When you think about it, we are saturated by images of junk food, high sugar, high salt, high fat foods , they are everywhere.

"There are clustering of advertising for junk food around schools, that should be looked at and stopped."

The medic said we need more activities and spaces for children's activities – which would help children remain active.

He added that what is worrying, is that one in 50 children who leave school are 'severely obese'.

Dr Hilary said it's concerning that so many children are already obese when they get to reception, and continued to increase in size.

"So by 11, we’ve got 25 per cent of children either overweight or obese and that is worrying because there are so many physical and mental health consequences of being overweight in childhood," he added.

One leading personal trainer previously said letting children become obese is a 'form of abuse'.

Nick Mitchell, the founder of global gym business Ultimate Performance, said it was no different to letting your kid smoke or take drugs.

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However, many families struggle to afford to purchase healthy foods for their children – amid the cost of living crisis.

Quite often frozen, processed food is far cheaper than healthier options.

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