Even two-year-old children are getting treated for obesity in Ireland, said Dr Sinead Murphy, Pediatrician.
A report by the Temple Street Hospital in Ireland has revealed that obesity has become a major problem in children even as young as two years.
The hospital has treated a two year old recently who weighed almost double the average weight for their age group.
"The child was out of breath just from playing in the consultation room. There is a degree of sadness in the children I meet. These children also have a high incidence of mental health problems and low self-esteem," said Dr Sinead Murphy.
Edna Roche, consultant endocrinologist at Tallaght Hospital and member of the Irish Heart Foundation's Nutrition Council, said, "The problem is growing. If you look at the data which is coming out from the Longitudinal Growing Up In Ireland study, almost 19% of our three-year-olds are overweight, and about 6% of those are obese," she said.
"If you have a girl who is obese in the early stages of school, when she's six years of age, there's about a 60% chance that she will be obese when she's 35 years of age," she added.
Shockingly, 200 children a year are now being treated for obesity at Temple Street Children's Hospital in Dublin. In 2005, only 30 children a year were treated at the clinic.