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‘Severe’ obesity in children 10-11 reaches ‘record’ high

24 Jul 2018
Shocking new figures from Public Health England (PHE) have today (24 July) revealed that “severe obesity in children aged 10-11 have reached the highest point since records began.”

The data comes from the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP), which monitored obesity trends in schoolchildren from 2006/07 to 2016/17.

Having recorded the height and weight of over one million children in reception (4-5 years) and year six (10-11 years) in school each year, key findings include: 

  • Year six children - an upward trend of excess weight, obesity and severe obesity
  • Reception age boys - a downward trend of excess weight, overweight, obesity and severe obesity
  • Year 6 girls; reception age boys and girls - a downward trend of underweight

Figures also showed that ‘stark’ health inequalities continue to widen, with prevalence of excess weight, obesity, overweight and severe obesity higher in the most deprived areas compared to the least deprived. It is also happening at a faster rate in year six than reception.

PHE chief nutritionist Dr Alison Tedstone commented: “The rise in severe obesity and widening health inequalities highlight why bold measures are needed to tackle this threat to our children’s health.

“These trends are extremely worrying and have been decades in the making – reversing them will not happen overnight.”

The figures follow the second chapter from the Department of Health and Social Care’s Childhood Obesity Plan, which hopes to halve childhood obesity by 2030.

PHE said it is working with the food industry to cut 20% of sugar and 20% of calories from everyday products by 2020 and 2024 respectively, as part of its work tackling childhood obesity.