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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