Published on 14/12/2011
Latest statistics reveal that obesity levels have increased in children aged 10 and 11 in England, and are now at an all-time high.
The National Child Measurement Programme assesses the height and weight of primary children in England. The children are measured when they enter reception and then measured again in the final year of primary school.
The latest figures for 2010/11, for around a million pupils, show that 19 per cent of children in their final year of primary school were classed as obese. This is a rise from 18 per cent the previous year, and 17.5 per cent two years ago.
In contrast, obesity levels are falling in children going to reception. The 2010/11 figures show 9.4 per cent of children are obese at this age, compared to 9.8 per cent in 2007/8 and 9.9 per cent in 2006/7. A similar trend is seen in children classed as ‘overweight’.
The chief executive of the NHS Information Centre Tim Straughan said: "while the proportion of four-to-five year olds who are obese has fallen, the opposite has happened among 10 and 11-year-olds.
"This means that while fewer than one in 10 children in Reception Year are obese; for children in their final year of primary school this prevalence is nearly one in every five."
Location also has an impact on obesity levels in children. Obesity levels were found to be highest in London and lowest in the southern Home Counties. Obesity was also more prevalent in deprived areas and urban environments.
It has been shown obese children are more likely to become obese adults, and obesity in adults is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Diabetes drugs now cost taxpayers £725 million a year, and account for 8.4 per cent of the NHS medicine bill.
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© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2011Categories: Health