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Obesity rates rise in older primary school children

Obesity rates in children aged 10 and 11 is rising, NHS data suggests.

According to NHS Information Centre figures, obesity levels among final year primary school children have increased by 1.5% since 2006/07.

The total number of obese 10 and 11 year olds now stands at 19% - almost one in five - as measured by the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP).

The number of children of the same age that have been classed as 'overweight' has also grown slightly - up by 0.2% from 2006/07 to 14.4%.

However, obesity rates among children aged 4 and 5 have fallen to 9.4% - down 0.5% on 2006/07 data.

A spokesperson from the Department of Health said overall obesity and overweight levels in England remain "stable".

"Being overweight is bad for our health," said Public Health Minister Anne Milton in a statement to NiP.

"We need to give children the best start in life so it is good that there are fewer obese children in Reception, and we hope this is the start of a trend."

Primary school children in London were found to have the highest obesity levels with 21.9% of 10 to 11 year olds and 11.1% of 4 to 5 year olds classed as obese.

More than a million children took part in the study, claimed to be around 93% of 'eligible' pupils.