Levels of severe obesity in children aged 10-11 years have reached the highest point since records began, according to new figures1 published by Public Health England.
Analysis of the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) between 2006-2007 and 2016-2017 details trends in severe obesity for the first time. The programme captures the height and weight of over one million children in Reception (aged 4-5 years) and Year 6 (aged 10-11 years) in school each year.
The findings also show stark health inequalities continue to widen. The prevalence of excess weight, obesity, overweight and severe obesity are higher in the most deprived areas compared to the least deprived.
But while there is an upward trend of excess weight, obesity and severe obesity in Year 6 children, there is a downward trend in Reception age boys, and a downward trend of underweight in Reception age boys and girls, and Year 6 girls.
The Department of Health announced the second part of its Childhood Obesity Plan in June, which aims to halve childhood obesity by 2030. Main actions include mandatory calorie labelling on menus; and restrictions on price promotions on foods high in fat, salt or sugar. These measures will go out for consultation later this year.