One in three 11-year-olds over­weight

Kent Messenger Maidstone - - FRONT PAGE -

New fig­ures show nearly a third of Maid­stone chil­dren leave pri­mary school obese or over­weight.

Pub­lic health groups urged the Gov­ern­ment to take fur­ther ac­tion to pre­vent young­sters con­sum­ing junk food and sug­ary drinks, as the level of se­vere obe­sity hit a record high across Eng­land.

NHS Dig­i­tal fig­ures show that 18% of Year 6 pupils in Maid­stone in 2017-18 were obese, of which 3.7% were se­verely obese.

Ad­di­tion­ally, 15% of Year 6 chil­dren were over­weight.

That means 32% of Maid­stone’s young­sters are un­healthily over­weight as they trans­fer to se­condary school. Across Eng­land, 4.2% of 10 and 11-year-olds are se­verely obese, a record high.

Caro­line Cerny, of the Obe­sity Health Al­liance, said: “This is a clear re­flec­tion of the un­healthy wider en­vi­ron­ment that pushes us to­wards sug­ary and fatty food and drinks. We need to start with re­duc­ing the num­ber of junk food ad­verts chil­dren see be­fore a 9pm water­shed, re­stric­tions on pro­mo­tions and ef­forts to re­duce fat and sugar in foods.”

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