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Doctors warn of preventable diseases in children

Doctors at one of the UK's leading hospitals have warned that obesity and tooth decay in children are reaching epidemic levels.

And according to staff at Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool, children suffering with these preventable diseases could die before their parents.

Dr Steve Ryan, medical director at the hospital, told the BBC that the problems should not be happening.

He said obesity and tooth decay are problems that no child should be suffering with and they should not need hospital treatment.

Dr Ryan said: "People are starting to say maybe this is a generation where children will be dying before their parents."

Alder Hey is one of Europe's biggest children's hospitals, providing care for more than 200,000 children each year.

But staff have said a considerable amount of their time is spent dealing with avoidable health conditions.

BBC's Panorama programme claimed around £1m and hundreds of hours of treatment time were being spent treating obesity, tooth decay, alcohol abuse and health complaints associated with passive smoking.

Copyright © Press Association 2010

Alder Hey