The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) has published plans to develop ten specialist clinics in England to address severe obesity in children and young people.

The initiative aims to provide ‘intensive’ support to thousands of severely obese individuals, helping them prevent long-term conditions such as type 2 diabetes (T2D).

Due to launch this year, the clinics will increase the total number of specialist centres providing expert assistance to children and their families to 30.

The services offered will include weight loss programmes and treatment for complications, as well as tailored care packages that cover aspects such as diet plans, mental health care and coaching.

NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard is due to announce the initiative at the annual NHS Confed Expo conference on 16 June.

Pritchard has emphasised the importance of early intervention to evade long-term health issues, including heart attacks and strokes.

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The expansion will be supported by an £18m investment over the next two years and will double the aims outlined in the NHS’ long-term plan to open 15 clinics across England.

Hospital admissions for obese patients aged under 17 years in England have almost tripled over the past decade, indicating the need to address this issue.

NHS England national clinical director for children and young people Simon Kenny said: “Living with excess weight can cause problems affecting every organ system resulting in long-term complications such as early death, T2D, stroke, early joint replacements and mental health issues.

“These clinics’ holistic approach to treating obesity and its causes, will help children and young people in a way that respects them; and works with the specific factors of their individual situation.

“We are committed to helping as many children and young people as possible with their physical and mental health and these additional clinics are an important step in helping vulnerable children and young people live healthier and happier lives.”