New data showing rise in obesity among primary school pupils

Medical Government/ NHS related news

Obesity rates are rising among primary school-age children across the country, new NHS data has shown.

Figures from the National Child Measurement Programme for England covering the 2015-16 school year has been published by NHS Digital, showing that 34.2 percent of year 6 students were either overweight or obese, as well as 22.1 percent of reception-age pupils.

“Obesity prevalence among primary school-age children is on the rise, according to the latest national data.“

Obesity prevalence was more than twice as high in year 6 compared to reception, showing this is a problem that tends to become amplified with age, while boys were shown to be more likely to be overweight than girls.

The data showed that the issue is regionally dependent to a large degree, with obesity prevalence for children in reception living in the poorest areas being more than double the rate seen in the least deprived areas.

Middlesbrough had the highest rate of obesity at reception, while Barking and Dagenham was the worst performer for year 6 pupils. By contrast, Richmond upon Thames performed best for both age groups.

Paul Niblett, the statistician responsible for the figures, said: "This report is a valuable source of information for parents, policymakers and health professionals, and these findings show where improvements to children's health can be made."

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