Childhood obesity among Britain’s South Asian population is a future health time bomb, according to the NHS Evidence update for ethnicity and health.
Dr Deborah Bird and Dr Monica Lakhanpaul from Leicester University also report that Asian adults are six times as likely to suffer from diabetes and other conditions linked to obesity.
The update notes that cancer, mental health and response to drugs therapy among ethnic minority populations also represent major challenges for the health service.
A commentary on cancer from Paula Lloyd at the National Cancer Action Team recommends immediate action since “this first national picture of how cancer affects minority ethnic populations raises a number of important issues”.
Meanwhile, Professor Kam Bhui at the Centre for Psychiatry, Wolfson Institute of Preventative Medicine, says the challenge is how best to “make use of the developing evidence base on ethnicity and mental health in order to guard against (and even reverse) any possible trends towards increased inequalities”.
The NHS Evidence Collection (Ethnicity and Health) is based at Warwick University and run in collaboration with De Montfort University.