Home   News   Article

Report says 36% of our kids are unhealthily overweight




Almost one in four Year 6 children in South Holland are obese (4754095)
Almost one in four Year 6 children in South Holland are obese (4754095)

Almost one in four children finishing primary school in South Holland are obese, new figures reveal.

Public health groups urged the Government to take further action to prevent youngsters consuming junk food and sugary drinks, as the level of severe obesity hit a record high across England.

NHS Digital figures show that 23 per cent of Year 6 pupils in South Holland in 2017-18 were obese, of which 6.1 per cent were severely obese.

Additionally, 13 per cent of Year 6 children were overweight.

That means 36 per cent of South Holland's youngsters are unhealthily overweight when they finish primary school.

Caroline Cerny, of the Obesity Health Alliance, a coalition of leading health charities, medical royal colleges and campaign groups, said: "We can do something about this."

She explained: "The ever-increasing number of children living with obesity is a clear reflection of the unhealthy wider environment that pushes us towards sugary and fatty food and drinks.

"We need to start with reducing the number of junk food adverts children see before a 9pm watershed, restrictions on junk food promotions in supermarkets and the food industry stepping up efforts to reduce sugar and fat from everyday foods."

13 per cent of South Holland's children were obese in Reception

Despite school meals getting healthier, the proportion of obese 10- and 11-year-olds in Year 6 has risen from 20 per cent in 2013-14.

The figures are from the National Child Measurement Programme.

Each year officials measure the height and weight of more than one million children, in Reception and Year 6, to assess childhood obesity.

The Government works out obesity using the 1990 British growth reference chart, a large collection of statistics used to determine a child's body mass index (BMI). It defines a child as obese if their BMI is in the chart's top five per cent, and overweight if they are in the top 15 per cent.

Children's BMI is measured differently to adults, and is calculated using age and gender as well as height and weight.

Obesity can lead to heart problems and type 2 diabetes later in life, as well as psychological issues such as low self-esteem and depression.

The data shows that children often develop weight problems while at primary school.

In 2017-18, just 13 per cent of South Holland's children were obese in Reception.

Across England one in five pupils in Year 6 was obese. Children from the most disadvantaged backgrounds were more than twice as likely to be obese than those from the wealthiest areas.

Dr Max Davie, of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said the figures were "totally unacceptable".

However, he said the Government "has already shown it is serious about tackling childhood obesity... and I am reassured that these stats will begin moving in the right direction".

Public health minister Steve Brine said: "Obesity is a problem that has been decades in the making – one that will take significant effort across government, schools, families and wider society to address.

"We cannot expect to see a reversal in trends overnight – but we have been clear that we are willing to do whatever it takes to keep children healthy and well in this country.

“We have already removed tonnes of sugar from children’s diets through the sugar tax, which has funded vital school sports and breakfast programmes, and this summer we announced the second chapter of our childhood obesity strategy with a series of bold plans to halve child obesity by 2030."



COMMENTS
()


Iliffe Media does not moderate comments. Please click here for our house rules.

People who post abusive comments about other users or those featured in articles will be banned.

Thank you. Your comment has been received and will appear on the site shortly.

 

Terms of Comments

We do not actively moderate, monitor or edit contributions to the reader comments but we may intervene and take such action as we think necessary, please click here for our house rules.

If you have any concerns over the contents on our site, please either register those concerns using the report abuse button, contact us here.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More