England: severe obesity soars in Year 6 children

07 December 2018

Severe obesity among 10- and 11-year-olds has increased by more than a third since 2006-07. 

Obesity iStock

Now 4.2% of children are severely obese – the highest rate ever. Obesity in the poorest areas is more than double that in the richest areas, figures from the National Child Measurement Programme show.

The proportion of overweight and obese children in Reception has remained stable at 22.4% – but children in the most deprived areas are more than twice as likely to carry excess weight than those in the least deprived areas.

For year 6 children, 34.3% are now overweight and obese, compared with 31.6% in 2006-07. The proportion of obese children is much higher in the most deprived areas: 26.8% compared with 11.7% in the least deprived.

Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England, said: ‘This threat to our children’s health has been decades in the making – we’re moving in the right direction, but reversing it will not happen overnight.’


Picture credit | iStock