Will Your Child End Primary School Overweight or Obese?

The wellbeing of English children is more at risk to obesity than ever before, as, according to the latest figures from the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP), at least 1 in 3 kids in their last year of primary school in England are either overweight or obese.


Before going to high school at aged 12, the NCMP reports that the percentage of overweight or obese primary school children in England in year 6 rose from 33.4% in 2010/2011 to 33.9% in 2011/2012, yet the difference hasn’t changed in the last year for children joining school in reception. At the beginning of primary school, at aged 4 or 5, kids who are classed as overweight or obese stayed at 22.6%.


A breakdown of the results showed that the North East of England had the highest percentage of obese and overweight reception age children (24.5%), while the South East Coast had the lowest (20.7%). At the other end of the age range, the South East Coast, along with the Central South, still had the lowest figures (30.8%) whereas London had the highest percentage of obese and overweight year 6 children (37.5%).


The potential to be obese across all ages was almost twice as high in the 10% most deprived areas than those in the 10% least deprived areas, and year 6 children in urban areas (19.9%) were more likely to be obese than children in towns and suburbs (16.3%) and rural areas (15.6%), and the pattern was similar in reception children.


Further, when it came to ethnicity, Black or Black British children were the most likely to be obese in both age groups, (27.5% year 6 and 15.6% reception), while Chinese children were the least likely (16.7% year 6, 7.3% reception).


The NCMP is used to monitor in detail the prevalence and trends in child overweight and obesity levels, and then helps national policymakers and local authorities to plan and deliver services. Individual results are given to the families involved, in order to raise awareness of and encourage healthy lifestyle choices.


Tim Straughan, Chief Executive of the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), the independent body that collects health and social care information in Engand and publishes the NCMP report, says ‘While this year’s figures will be of major interest to parents, health care providers and policy makers, next year’s report will be particularly noteworthy because it will be the first time a high proportion of the year 6 children measured by the programme will have also been measured as reception year pupils’.

Comments are closed.