Re­port re­veals shock­ing level of child­hood obe­sity

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - STU­ART GREER

CHILD­HOOD obe­sity has hit shock­ing lev­els in Mac­cles­field, new data shows.

Statis­tics from Pub­lic Health Eng­land re­veals that in one in seven chil­dren are obese when they leave pri­mary school, aged 10 or 11.

The data also high­lights one in ev­ery 15 chil­dren aged four or five are obese when they start school. It means hun­dreds of young­sters in the town and sur­round­ing vil­lages risk se­ri­ous health prob­lems in later life such as di­a­betes, heart dis­ease and can­cer.

Mac­cles­field MP David Rut­ley de­scribed the fig­ures as ‘very con­cern­ing’, while Cheshire East Coun­cil urged parents to take re­spon­si­bil­ity.

Each year the height and weight of pri­mary chil­dren as they en­ter re­cep­tion and again in their fi­nal year is col- lected by the coun­cil un­der the Na­tional Child Mea­sure­ment Pro­gramme and helps track trends. Data recorded be­tween 2013 and 2015 shows 192 chil­dren aged four and five were obese, mean­ing their body mass in­dex (BMI) was in the 95th per­centile for chil­dren of the same age and sex.

Some ar­eas have more of a prob­lem than oth­ers. The high­est preva­lence was in Mac­cles­field South ward where 31 of 328 chil­dren - one in 10 - were obese. The low­est rate was in Gawsworth where only two of 65 chil­dren are obese.

But the picture is twice as bad for chil­dren leav­ing pri­mary school.

Of 2,421 chil­dren aged 10 and 11 mea­sured dur­ing the three year pe­riod a stag­ger­ing 333 mea­sured as obese.

The high­est preva­lence was Hurds­field ward where 31 of 122 chil­dren - one in four chil­dren - are obese. The low­est was in Tyther­ing­ton, where 15 out of 121 - seven per­cent - are obese.

Mr Rut­ley said: “We need to make sure young peo­ple are more phys­i­cally ac­tive if we are to tackle the chal­lenge of child­hood obe­sity. One way would be to get more chil­dren ac­tive at school by tak­ing up the ‘Daily Mile’ scheme which has all chil­dren run, jog or walk a mile ev­ery day.”

A Cheshire East Coun­cil spokesman said it takes the health of our chil­dren ex­tremely se­ri­ously, adding: “The coun­cil in­vests in its res­i­dents and pro­vides fa­cil­i­ties and ameni­ties to en­able fam­i­lies to lead ac­tive lives.

“We would en­cour­age all parents to try to make sure their child en­joys a healthy diet, takes part in some ac­tiv­ity ev­ery day and keeps to a healthy weight.”

New data has re­vealed the ex­tent of child­hood obe­sity

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