Obesity amongst year six children has reached record levels, new data from the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) shows.
Levels of obesity in children aged 10-11 years old have risen by more than a third since 2006/7 to 4.2%.
The numbers of obese children in poorer areas is more than double those in the richest areas.
‘Obesity is a problem that has been decades in the making,’ Steve Brine, Public Health Minister, said.
‘(It’s a problem) that will take significant effort across Government, schools, families and wider society to address.
‘We cannot expect to see a reversal in trends overnight.
‘But we have been clear that we are willing to do whatever it takes to keep children healthy and well in this country.
‘We have already removed tonnes of sugar from children’s diets through the sugar tax.
‘And this summer we announced the second chapter of our childhood obesity strategy with a series of bold plans to halve child obesity by 2030.’
The number of overweight and obese reception-aged children has remained stable (22.4%).
For year six children, the number of overweight and obese children increases to 34.3%, compared with 31.6% in 2016/17.
Public Health England has been introducing new initiatives to help reduce calorie and sugar consumption.
‘These figures are a stark reminder that addressing childhood obesity is everyone’s problem,’ Eustace De Sousa, national lead for children at PHE, said.
‘We owe it to current and future generations to act now.
‘Everyone – from the food industry to local councils – should play their part, but families can also make positive changes with help from Change4life.’