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Sunday 26 October 2014
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Obesity 'more likely' in disadvantaged children

Obesity 'more likely' in disadvantaged children

Obesity 'more likely' in disadvantaged children

Children from deprived areas are almost twice as likely to be obese as those from more affluent areas. 

A Public Health England (PHE) report showed 12% of reception age (4-5 years) children living in the most deprived areas of England were obese, compared to just 6% in the least deprived area. 

Using figures from the National Child  Measurement Programme (NCMP) the researchers also noted that the trend continued in Year 6 (10-11 years) children with 24% obese in deprived areas and 12% obese in less deprived areas. 

The researchers concluded that inequalities between social groups have “widened”. 

The report said: “In reception obesity prevalence is decreasing among children living in the least deprived areas, but remaining broadly the same in the most deprived areas. 

“In Year 6 the most deprived areas are seeing increases in obesity prevalence whereas prevalence remains relatively stable in the least deprived areas.” 

Changes in children’s body mass index between 2006/07 and 2011/12, was presented this week by Caroline Hancock, PHE senior public health analyst at Public Health England. 

She said: “Obesity in children has been the subject of intense scrutiny in recent years. It is well known that the UK has a serious problem in this area.” 

The study used information from the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP), an annual programme which measures the height and weight of over 1 million children in England in Reception (4 to 5 years) and Year 6 (10 to 11 years).

A full copy of the report is available here

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