Obesity rife in primary schools

30 per cent of children leave primary school overweight.

A third of children in the final year of primary school are obese or overweight, according to new Government figures.

The National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) considered data for around one million pupils in state schools in England during the 2011/12 year. It also revealed that more than a fifth of children in Reception are either obese or overweight.

The figures, which represent a small increase on the previous year, show that the percentage of obese children in Year 6 (19.2 per cent) was more than double that of Reception year children (9.5 per cent). The proportion of underweight children has remained virtually static from last year at 1.3 per cent.

More girls were found to be of a healthy weight than boys. In Reception, 77.8 per cent of girls and 75.4 per cent of boys were a healthy weight and, in Year 6, these figures were 66.2 per cent for girls and 63.6 per cent for boys.
The National Obesity Observatory (NOO) is to undertake additional analysis of 2011/12 NCMP data. Its findings are expected to be published in early 2013.

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