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A third of Norfolk children obese according to NHS figures

PUBLISHED: 19:49 12 October 2018 | UPDATED: 19:53 12 October 2018

Caroline Cerny, of the Obesity Health Alliance, says it's not too late. Picture: Dave Thompson

Caroline Cerny, of the Obesity Health Alliance, says it's not too late. Picture: Dave Thompson

PA Archive/Press Association Images

One in three Norfolk children are finishing primary school obese or overweight, new figures reveal.

On average one in three children in Norfolk are obese. Picture: GettyOn average one in three children in Norfolk are obese. Picture: Getty

NHS Digital figures show that 18pc of Year Six pupils in Norfolk in 2017-18 were obese, of which 3.5pc were severely obese. Additionally, 14pc of Year Six children were overweight.

That means a third of Norfolk’s youngsters are unhealthily overweight when they finish primary school. This is worse than Suffolk where 31pc of pupils are overweight.

Across England, 4.2pc of 10 and 11-year-olds are severely obese, a record high.

Public health groups have urged the Government to take further action to prevent youngsters eating junk food and sugary drinks.

Despite healthier school meals being introduced figures have stayed the same. Picture: Lynne Cameron/PA WireDespite healthier school meals being introduced figures have stayed the same. Picture: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

Caroline Cerny, of the Obesity Health Alliance, said: “We can do something about this.

“We need to start with reducing the number of junk food adverts children see before a 9pm watershed, restrictions on junk food promotions in supermarkets and the food industry stepping up efforts to reduce sugar and fat from everyday foods.”

Despite school meals getting healthier, the proportion of obese 10 and 11-year-olds in Year Six is exactly the same as five years ago. The figures are from the National Child Measurement Programme.

Each year officials measure the height and weight of more than one million children, in Reception and Year Six, to assess childhood obesity.

The Government works out obesity using the 1990 British growth reference chart, a large collection of statistics used to determine a child’s body mass index (BMI).

It defines a child as obese if their BMI is in the chart’s top 5pc, and overweight if they are in the top 15pc.

Children’s BMI is measured differently to adults, and is calculated using age and gender as well as height and weight.

Public health minister Steve Brine said: “Obesity is a problem that has been decades in the making – one 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.”

Obesity can lead to heart problems and type 2 diabetes later in life, as well as psychological issues such as low self-esteem and depression.

District figures

North Norfolk

Almost one in three children in North Norfolk are finishing primary school obese and overweight. One percent down on the Norfolk average new figures show 32pc of youngsters are unhealthily overweight when they finish primary school.

South Norfolk

One in four children in South Norfolk are obese or overweight when they finish primary school. Lowest in the region with 29pc compared to Norfolk’s average of 33pc.

King’s Lynn and West Norfolk

In King’s Lynn and West Norfolk 36pc pupils leaving primary school are unhealthily obese or overweight. The highest in the region.

Great Yarmouth

Figures show that 35pc of youngsters are leaving primary school unhealthily overweight. This is the second highest in the county and 2pc over the average.

Norwich

In the City 34pc of pupils are leaving primary school unhealthily overweight.

Waveney

A third of pupils, 33pc, in Waveney are leaving primary school unhealthily overweight.

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