Child health in the UK is falling behind that of many other European countries, a major report says.
It raises particular concerns over rates of obesity, mental health issues and mortality among the young.
The in-depth report, from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, emphasised that poverty was at the root of many child health problems.
UK health ministers said money was being invested in services to help tackle health inequalities.
The report looked at 25 health indicators, including asthma, diabetes and epilepsy, as well as obesity, breastfeeding and mortality, to provide a snapshot of children’s health and wellbeing.
It said there had been huge improvements in child health in the UK in the past 100 years, but since the mid-1990s “there has been a slowing of progress”. This has left the UK falling behind other European nations in a number of league tables.
For example, in 2014 the UK had a higher infant mortality rate (of 3.9 per 1,000 live births) than nearly all comparable Western European countries.
Infant mortality ranges from 3.6 in Scotland to 3.9 in England and Wales, and 4.8 in Northern Ireland.
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