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Nearly 1 in 5 primary school children obese

Nearly one in five final year primary school children is obese, says a report from The NHS Information Centre out today.

Figures for pupils in Year 6 of primary school - the final year - show the percentage classified as obese was 18.7% in 2009/10 - nearly double that of pupils in Reception year, of whom 9.8% were classified as obese.

The NCMP measures the height and weight of children in Reception class (four to five-year-olds) and Year 6 (aged 10 to 11 years) in primary schools in England to establish the prevalence of pupils who are underweight, healthy weight, overweight or obese.

Participation in the programme has increased year on year since it was first introduced in 2005 and now more than a million pupils take part. This represents 91% of eligible pupils.
The study also showed:

  • More than one in three children in Year 6 were either overweight or obese - 33.4%.
  • Among Reception Year children, just under one in four were either overweight or obese - 23.1%.
  • Prevalence of obesity was higher in boys than in girls in both age groups.
  • Among Reception Year children, the prevalence of overweight pupils was greater than the prevalence of those who were classified as obese. In Year 6, the opposite was true with prevalence of overweight children being lower than that of obese children.

NHS Information Centre