Nearly half of children in parts of England are overweight by the time they enter secondary school, analysis shows.
Forty-nine percent of grade six students in Barking and Dagenham are considered overweight or obese.
Similar figures can be seen in Sandwell (48.9) and Wolverhampton (48.6), MailOnline found.
Our findings come after new government data revealed today that childhood obesity rates have fallen post-lockdown, after reaching record levels in 2020.
A report from the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities found that about 26.4 percent of sixth-year boys were rated as obese in 2021/22. For girls, the figure was 20.4 percent.
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Childhood obesity and overweight rates in England have fallen this year after peaking during the Covid pandemic, but are still higher than before the lockdown
This was a decrease from 29.2 percent and 21.7 percent respectively a year earlier.
Lockdowns and school closures have been linked to the “unprecedented” rise.
However, English children are still fatter than they were before Covid hit.
Nearly one in 20 girls (4.6 percent) and 7 percent of boys were classified as severely obese, compared to 3.7 and 5.6 pre-Covid.
The statistics behind today’s OHD report come from the National Child Measurement Program, a program introduced in 2006 as part of the war on childhood obesity.
It measures the height and weight of children at daycare and again in sixth year.
These two measurements are used to generate a BMI, which is then compared to a national scale to determine whether or not children are overweight.
MailOnline’s analysis, using the most up-to-date statistics, found that more than a third of Year 6 children – both boys and girls – are overweight in 132 of England’s 150 districts.
The lowest rates were seen in Surrey (25 per cent), followed by Richmond upon Thames (25.6 per cent) and West Berkshire (28.3 per cent).
Tam Fry, president of the National Obesity Forum, told MailOnline, “Autumn is very welcome indeed, but one swallow does not make summer.
“This kind of fall needs to be repeated next year and in 2025 before we can put up the flags.”
He added: ‘Even if the figures are comparable, they will be horrifying and still fail to reach the government’s target of halving childhood obesity by 2030. That will be a tragedy.’
Meanwhile, June O’Sullivan, head of the London Early Years Foundation, said: ‘As the CEO of the UK’s largest childcare charity, which runs nurseries in Newham, Tower Hamlets and Barking & Dagenham, I know firsthand how obesity in children affects the lives of many children and their families.
‘It is therefore shocking that the number of cases of serious obesity doubles between the beginning and the end of primary school.’
She told MailOnline: “If we are to meet the government’s ambition of halving childhood obesity by 2030, more preventive and mandatory measures must be taken without further delay.”
Childhood obesity has been a growing problem for years, with easy access to fast food, increased screen time and sedentary lifestyles blamed for rising rates in the UK.
Obesity is a risk factor for several of the world’s leading causes of death, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and several cancers.
Type 2 diabetes, which is related to obesity, can also lead to complications such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney problems.
Nearly three in ten young people under the age of five were classified as overweight in Libya. Australia reported the second highest proportion, with those who are overweight accounting for more than a fifth of all children under the age of five at 21.8 per cent. This was followed by Tunisia, Egypt and Papua New Guinea with 19, 18.8 and 16 percent respectively. Britain was 22nd, while the US claimed 52nd spot in the ranking of 198 countries
According to the latest global data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the UK’s adult obesity rate is 26.2 percent, while France’s is 17 percent. South Korea and Japan recorded 5.5 and 4.2 percent respectively
Dr. Action on Sugar’s Kawther Hashem told MailOnline: ‘While it is encouraging to see obesity prevalence falling in recent years, we are still seeing a huge number of children with weight-related health problems.’
Hospital admissions of obese children have almost tripled in a decade, from 3,370 in 2011/12 to 9,431 in 2021/22 according to NHS England, she noted.
She added: “It is disgraceful that the current government has abandoned any attempt to prevent obesity and the development of high blood pressure – two of the most common causes of premature death in the UK – which has widened the already widening health inequalities in our country is getting worse. society.’
It comes as the World Health Organization revealed last month that 37 million children under the age of five are now overweight worldwide – four million more than at the turn of the century.
According to the Global Analysis of Statistics for 2022, nearly three in ten children under the age of 5 (28.7 percent) are classified as overweight in Libya.
Australia comes second in the list of 198 countries, with 21.8 percent of children there classified as overweight.
Britain was 22nd (11.3 percent), while the US claimed 52nd (7.9 percent).
The WHO warned that obesity worldwide is “going in the wrong direction” and showing “no immediate sign of reversal”.
Obesity not only enlarges the waistline, but it also costs healthcare, with the NHS spending an estimated £6.1 billion annually on the treatment of weight-related diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.
It is also believed to be responsible for more than 30,000 deaths each year in the UK, according to the British Heart Foundation.
|Local authority||Percentage of overweight and obesity (%)|
|Barking and Dagenham||49.0|
|Stoke on Trent||44.9|
|Kingston upon Hull, City of||43|
|North East Lincolnshire||42.6|
|Stockton on Tees||41.8|
|Newcastle upon Tyne||41.4|
|Telford and Wrekin||41.1|
|Redcar and Cleveland||40.2|
|Blackburn with Darwen||38.8|
|Southend on Sea||38.1|
|Hammersmith and Fulham||37.8|
|East Riding of Yorkshire||37.3|
|Bristol, city of||36.2|
|Isle of Wight||35|
|Kensington and Chelsea||34.1|
|Cheshire West and Chester||33.9|
|Brighton and Hove||33.8|
|Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole||33.1|
|Windsor and Maidenhead||32|
|Kingston upon Thames||29.9|
|Bath and North East Somerset||28.7|
|Richmond upon Thames||25.6|