The number of obese children aged four and five has risen for the second consecutive year, according to Public Health England (PHE)’s National Child Measurement Programme. Obesity stands at 9.6 per cent in the 2016-17 school year, up from 9.3 per cent in 2015-16. For year six children (aged 10 and 11), the obesity level has remained stable at 20 per cent.
The report highlights a gap between the richest and poorest. In the most deprived areas, 12.7 per cent of children in reception are obese, compared to 5.8 per cent in the least deprived. Obesity in year six is 26.3 per cent in the most deprived areas, compared to 11.4 per cent in the least deprived.
Eustace De Sousa, PHE’s national lead for children, young people and families, said: “A healthy weight in childhood lays the foundations for decades of healthy life as an adult. This data underlines how important it is for families to talk about health and weight as part of everyday life.”