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Obesity levels in primary school children are rising, finds report
04/01/2012 - 00:00

Obesity rates among final year primary school children are on the rise, according to recent NHS Information Centre figures.

In 2010/11; 19.0% of Year 6 children measured as part of the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) were obese, compared to 18.7% in 2009/10 and 17.5% in 2006/7.

In the same year group, another 14.4% of children were overweight in 2010/11, compared to 14.6% in 2009/10 and 14.2% in 2006/07.

However the proportion of Reception Year children who were obese in 2010/11 fell to 9.4%; compared to 9.8% in 2009/10 and 9.9% in 2006/07. The proportion measured as overweight in the same age group was 13.2%; compared to 13.3% in 2009/10 and 13.0% in 2006/07.

The NCMP measures the height and weight of children in Reception class (four to five-year-olds) and Year 6 (ten to 11-year-olds) in primary schools in England to establish the prevalence of pupils who are 'underweight', 'healthy weight', 'overweight' and 'obese'.

Chief executive of the NHS Information Centre Tim Straughan commented on the findings: "More than one million children in England are measured as part of the National Child Measurement Programme, which shows today that while the proportion of four-to-five year olds who are obese has fallen, the opposite has happened among 10 and 11-year-olds.

"This means that while fewer than one in 10 children in Reception Year are obese; for children in their final year of primary school this prevalence is nearly one in every five."

The full report can be found at www.ic.nhs.uk/ncmp