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Nearly one in four children in reception class in England overweight

In England, nearly one in four children in reception class is overweight or obese, according to a report out today from The NHS Information Centre.
The report also shows almost one in three children in Year 6 is overweight or obese.
The figures are among the key findings of the National Child Measurement Programme, which measures the weight of children in reception class (four to five-year-olds) and Year 6 (aged ten to 11 years) in primary schools in England.
The programme has been running since 2005 and this is the second year for which The NHS Information Centre has published its findings.
The report showed there was little or no significant change in 2007/08 in the proportion of children who were underweight, overweight or obese in both age groups, compared to 2006/07, which was the first year the study’s findings were reported by The NHS Information Centre.
Nearly a million children took part in the programme this year – 88 per cent of those eligible. The figure represented an increase on 2006/07 when 80 per cent of those eligible to participate took part.
The NHS Information Centre’s chief executive Tim Straughan said: “Obesity is one of the biggest threats to the health of our nation and it is of huge concern that the problem is afflicting so many children and at such an early age.
“Today’s report is the second time The NHS Information Centre has published annual findings for the programme. Over time, we expect the programme to pinpoint trends in the prevalence of obesity which will help frontline staff identify where best to direct their efforts in tackling the problem.”
NHS Information Centre