Latest figures show childhood obesity has risen in Worcestershire

Cllr, Childhood Obesity,
Cllr John Smith, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing
Published Friday, 20th October 2017

Figures released today by Public Health England (PHE) show 34.1% of Year 6 children in Worcestershire are overweight or obese in 2016/17 compared to 32.8% in 2015/16.

Figures released today by Public Health England (PHE) show 34.1% of Year 6 children in Worcestershire are overweight or obese in 2016/17 compared to 32.8% in 2015/16.

This is similar to the national picture of 34.2% in 2016/17. The stats also show:

•         23.4% of Reception Year children in Worcestershire are overweight or obese in 2016/17 compared to 23.3% in 2015/16. This is higher than the national picture  of 22.6% in 2016/17

•         There is a sizable gap between the richest and poorest in Worcestershire in 2016/17 with 39.3% of Year 6 children overweight or obese in the most deprived areas, compared to 29.8% in the least deprived. The equivalent figures for Reception Year are 26.5% (most deprived) and 19.3% (least deprived).

•         Public Health England (PHE) is tackling childhood obesity through its world-leading sugar and calorie reduction programmes

 

The data is taken from the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP), which determines the weight of children in Reception Year (aged 4-5 years) and Year 6 (aged 10-11 years) in schools across the country. In some areas, children’s weight status is shared with their parents to help them understand their child’s growth and consider positive lifestyle changes.

Children who are overweight or obese are more likely to suffer from poor self-esteem, bullying and tooth decay in childhood. They are also more likely to be overweight or obese adults, which can lead to a range of preventable illnesses including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers.

As well as causing avoidable suffering to millions nationwide, obesity is putting our health and care systems under increasing financial strain.

 

Cllr John Smith, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Health and Wellbeing, said: "Childhood obesity is a concerning issue across England. Obesity doubles the risk of dying prematurely, with proven links to cancer, heart disease and diabetes, and tackling it while young will save lives.

“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.

"Everyone needs to play their part to help reduce levels of obesity. Individuals and families need to ensure that healthy weight is achieved and maintained through healthy eating and increasing exercise.

"The County Council is working with organisations across the County including the NHS, schools, councils and voluntary groups to help people achieve a healthy weight.  PHE’s Change4Life campaign is also helping millions of families to make healthier choices through meal swap suggestions and the Be Food Smart app, to identify the sugar, salt and fat in food. It also supports schools to help them embed healthier habits into everyday school life."