Child obesity rates continue to rise

By Noli Dinkovski

- Last updated on GMT

Obesity rates in reception age children has increased since 2014/2015
Obesity rates in reception age children has increased since 2014/2015

Related tags: Obesity, Nutrition

Childhood obesity levels are continuing to increase in the UK, with rates for children living in the most deprived areas more than double those living in affluent boroughs, a national survey has found.

More than a fifth of reception age schoolchildren (aged four to five) and more than a third in year-six (aged 10–11) were overweight or obese, according to the latest annual report from the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP).

The prevalence of obesity at reception age increased from 9.1% to 9.3% since 2014/2015, and to from 19.1% to 19.8% in year-six.

Obesity rates and affluence

The growing association between obesity rates and affluence was highlighted by the difference in some London boroughs.

The obesity rate for year-six children in Richmond upon Thames, for example, was 11%, while in Barking and Dagenham it was 28.5%.

Launched in the 2005/06 academic year, the NCMP annually measures more than 1M children.

Meanwhile, a survey has revealed that children’s awareness of foods high in fat or sugar was high, but they had a number of misunderstandings about heathier food.

Sugar food collage

In the survey by protein supplement company P-Fit, all of the children correctly identified a ‘sugar’ food collage shown to them, while 91% identified the ‘fat’ food collage.

When it came to the ‘carbohydrate’ food collage, however, just 52% could correctly identify it, while less than a third (31%) could identify ‘protein’.

Furthermore, 24% of children thought the reason why people needed protein was to ‘help them see in the dark’ and 36% believed that eating spinach was way best way to build muscles.

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