The National Child Measurement Programme annually measures the height and weight of children in EnglandThe National Child Measurement Programme annually measures the height and weight of children in England
The National Child Measurement Programme annually measures the height and weight of children in England | Mark Hall/NationalWorld

Child obesity: 16 areas in England with the highest rate of children living with severe obesity

The National Child Measurement Programme annually measures the height and weight of children in England

Children in the most deprived areas of England are three times more likely to be severely obese than those in the least deprived, new NHS figures show.

The National Child Measurement Programme report found that in 2021-22, 4.5% of reception-aged children were living with severe obesity in the most deprived areas, compared to 1.3% in children in the least deprived areas.

Children with a body mass index (BMI) centile of between 99.6 and 100 are classified as severely obese. BMI is a calculation that uses height and weight to estimate how much body fat a person has.

Similarly, the number of year 6 children living with severe obesity was over four times as high for children living in the most deprived areas (9.4%), compared with those living in the least deprived areas (2.1%).

The National Child Measurement Programme, reported by NHS Digital, annually measures the height and weight of children in England. It provides data on the number of children in reception and year 6 who are underweight, healthy weight, overweight, living with obesity or living with severe obesity.

The West Midlands had the highest rate of children in reception class living with severe obesity, this being 3.5%, followed closely by the North East and London both with a 3.4% prevalence.

The South East and South West had a lower number of reception-aged children living with severe obesity, with a rate of 2.3%.

In Sandwell, the West Midlands, 5.8% of children in reception class were living with severe obesity, compared with 1.2% in Surrey in the South East.

But which places in England had the highest number of children in reception class living with severe obesity? These are the 16 local authorities with the highest rate of severe obesity.

Children with a body mass index (BMI) centile of between 99.6 and 100 are classified as severely obese. BMI is a calculation that uses height and weight to estimate how much body fat a person has.

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