A third of children in Bradford and Airedale are overweight

First published in News

A third of final year primary school children in Bradford and Airedale are overweight or obese, new figures reveal.

Last year, 34.9 per cent of Year Six pupils, aged ten or 11, weighed more than they should, a slight decrease from 35 per cent in the previous year.

The figure for 2011/2012 in the district compares to an average for England of 33.9 per cent – an increase from 33.4 per cent in the previous year.

The figures, compiled by The Health and Social Care Information Centre, are taken from the National Child Measurement Programme, which measures the height and weight of children in reception year (four and five-year-olds) and Year 6, the final year of primary school to establish the prevalence of pupils who are underweight, a healthy weight, overweight and obese.

In the Bradford district, 6,844 reception children were measured (91.1 per cent) and 5,964 Year Six pupils (91.5 per cent).

The findings reveal 22.9 per cent of reception-aged children were overweight or obese, an increase from 22 per cent in 2010/2011. This compares to an average in England of 22.6 per cent.

Julia Burrows, consultant in public health at NHS Airedale, Bradford and Leeds, said: “Obesity is a major public health issue nationally and the Bradford and Airedale district is no different.

“Our aim is to provide families with a wide choice of support and initiatives which will meet their individual needs, such as weight management programmes for overweight children aged five to 13, community courses on healthy eating and access to different physical activity sessions.

“The latest figures suggest that overweight and obesity rates across the district have fallen a little since last year for Year Six pupils, and the number of healthy weight children at Year 6 age has also improved slightly.

“There has also been an improvement in the number of underweight children, with fewer in both reception and Year Six. Overall, no area is getting significantly worse, but childhood obesity remains a significant issue and we continue to take this problem extremely seriously.

“The evidence shows that there are many obese children in every part of the district, not just a few isolated areas and that the picture is quite complex as there are some underweight children as well.”

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