Kids in these Gloucester areas are among the most likely in the UK to be obese – Gloucestershire Live


Posted: August 31, 2020 at 5:52 am

Kids in Barton and Tredworth in Gloucester are among the most likely in the country to be obese or overweight.

Figures from the annual National Child Measurement Programme show that a shocking 29% of Year 6 children (those aged 10 and 11) in the ward are considered obese, while a further 15% are overweight.

It means more than four in every five are heavier than is considered healthy.

Similarly, 14% of Reception-aged children (four and five year olds) in Barton and Tredworth are obese, and another 13% are heavier than they should be.

The area not only has the highest rate of childhood obesity and excess weight in Gloucestershire - it also ranks in the top 2% of all council wards in England.

You can see how your ward compares by using our postcode-search gadget:

Caroline Cerny, alliance lead at Obesity Health Alliance, said: These are extremely worrying numbers. Excess weight in childhood can lead to a number of health problems and often negatively affects childrens self-esteem.

Children with a weight classified as obese are much more likely to still be living with obesity as adults which can increase their risk of diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

But it doesnt have to be like this. The government can play a key role in shaping an environment that makes it easier for families to be healthier.

We are pleased that the government has recently announced plans to bring in new stricter rules about how and where unhealthy foods can be promoted, including a 9pm watershed on TV and online and removal of sugary foods from checkouts.

Measuring obesity in children is more complex than it is in adults.

While an adult with a BMI of 25 to 30 is overweight, and one with a BMI of 30 or over is obese, a child's BMI naturally changes as they grow up, and it is different for boys and girls.

As such there is no fixed BMI cut off for a child to be classed as overweight or obese - instead their BMI is also compared to the range of BMIs seen for children of the same age and sex through growth charts.

Across the country, 20% of 10 and 11 year olds and 10% of four and five year olds are obese, while a further 14% of Year 6 pupils and 13% of kids in Reception are overweight.

Many other wards in Gloucestershire also see rates of obese and overweight children that exceed this national average.

Matson and Robinswood in Gloucester also has high proportions of children who are struggling with their weight, similar to Barton and Tredworth, with 27% of children in Year 6 and 13% of Reception pupils considered obese.

A further 13% of 10 and 11 year olds and 15% of four and five year olds in the ward are overweight.

Meanwhile, Charlton Park in Cheltenham has the lowest proportion of childhood obesity and excess weight in Gloucestershire, and one of the lowest rates in the country.

There, just 5% of Reception kids and 7% of those in Year 6 are clinically obese, while a further 9% of four and five year olds and 13% of 10 and 11 year olds are overweight.

The Government has recently announced measures to tackle childhood obesity, including a ban on the advertising of food high in fat, sugar or salt on television and online before 9pm.

The strategy also includes restricting volume promotions, ending the promotion of high fat, sugar and salt products by volume and location, both online and in store, and introducing calorie labelling of food and drink in large restaurants, cafes and takeaways.

A government spokesperson said: We are determined to tackle the problem of obesity across all ages and this week launched a world leading strategy to help reduce obesity rates and help everyone live healthier lives.

We have already made huge progress towards our goal of halving childhood obesity by 2030 cutting sugar from half of drinks on sale, funding exercise programmes in schools and working with councils to tackle child obesity locally through our trailblazers.

However, the Labour Party is sceptical of the announcement.

Alex Norris MP, Labours Shadow Health and Social Care Minister, said: Labour has long campaigned for radical action to tackle obesity.

Video Unavailable

Click to playTap to play

Play now

Weve had big promises before from Tory ministers on banning junk food advertising only for measures to be kicked into the long grass of consultation.

But an effective obesity strategy needs action, not consultation. The Tories have pared public health to the bone and people are paying the price for ten years of this complacency.

Labours own analysis has highlighted an ongoing and growing crisis, with 700 children in England admitted to hospital because of obesity in 2018/19 - the second-highest number on record.

They also found that less than half of children (47%) are currently meeting current physical activity guidelines.

Meanwhile, early research has suggested that Covid-19 lockdowns worsen childhood obesity.

Last month, experts warned that the coronavirus lockdown could lead to a rise in obesity for a generation of kids, with a lack of exercise potentially leading to weight gain for many children.

More:
Kids in these Gloucester areas are among the most likely in the UK to be obese - Gloucestershire Live

Related Post