Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Fifth of final year primary pupils are obese

  • 1 Comment

The percentage of children who are obese in their final year of primary school is rising, with almost one in five now obese.

Data for England from the NHS Information Centre reveals 19% of Year 6 children were obese in 2010-11, up from 18.7% in 2009-10 and 17.5% in 2006-07.

Another 14.4% of children were overweight in 2010-11, compared to 14.6% in 2009/10 and 14.2% in 2006-07.

The data was collected as part of the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) on more than a million pupils (93% of those eligible).

It found that the proportion of four- and five-year-olds who were obese in 2010-11 fell to 9.4% compared to 9.8% in 2009-10 and 9.9% in 2006-07.

Another 13.2% were overweight, compared to 13.3% in 2009-10 and 13% in 2006-07.

Of England’s strategic health authority (SHA) regions, London had the highest proportion of obesity for both year groups - 11.1% of those aged four and five were obese alongside 21.9% of those in Year 6 (aged 10 to 11).

South Central SHA recorded the lowest prevalence - at 8.1% of those aged four and five and 16.5% of those in Year 6.

Obesity is almost twice as common in deprived areas, today’s figures also showed.

Tam Fry, from the National Obesity Forum said: “The primary school reception obesity figure is the best news for many years.

“It may be showing that parents are finally getting the message that feeding their infants and toddlers good food is having a real effect.”

But he said the figures on older children were of great concern.

“Some 82% of obese children go on to become obese adults and doubling the obesity rate in six years of school has to be an indictment of the current healthy schools policy.

“With today’s economic climate, where healthy food is costing more at home, school food standards must not be allowed to fall.”

  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • Small variations in childhood obesity trends as measured by the NCMP should be treated with caution. Each year a different population of pupils is being measured.
    The 'elligible' population includes children in state schools only. Therefore a considerable proportion of the child population is not part of the NCMP results. Those not included are: children absent on the day (due to illness, truanting or whatever), those who 'opt-out' of being measured, children in special schools, private schools, or being home educated.
    Thus, the NCMP is an inaccurate measure of childhood obesity trends.
    In contrast, most 'polulation trends' are shown by measuring a statistically representative sample of the population.

    Surely a sampling approach would be a more efficient and effective way of demonstrating obesity trends. It would also free up staff time to support families in trying to reduce children's overweight. This point was made years ago by the CPHVA in a Briefing paper (2007).

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.