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Child obesity crisis

21st February 2008

Latest child measurement figures have revealed that almost a quarter of five-year olds and one in three 11-year olds are overweight or obese.


The data, from the national child measurement programme, was taken in 2006/07. Some 80% of children in England starting and finishing primary school took part in the weighing scheme.

Worst affected areas were the North East, West Midlands and London.

The latest survey covered double the number of children examined for the 2005/06 report and has given a more reliable picture.

The figures in the NHS Information Centre report from the 876,416 children weighed show 22.9% of those in reception (aged four to five) and 31.6% of those in year six (aged 10-11) are overweight or obese with boys more likely to be obese than girls.

Public health minister Dawn Primarolo said: “Knowing how many children are overweight or obese and spotting trends is key to ensuring that families, communities, public services, industry and government take the right action in tackling obesity.?

Dr David Haslam, clinical director of the National Obesity Forum, said perception of weight had changed and it was now more difficult to predict which children had the weight problem.

He welcomed news that a higher proportion of children were taking part in the scheme but said the figures must now be used to pressurise the government, schools and the food industry to act to address the issue.

Weight management specialist Professor Paul Gately from Leeds Metropolitan University said the results reinforced childhood obesity as a key issue.


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Article Information

Title: Child obesity crisis
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 5729
Date Added: 21st Feb 2008


BBC News

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