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Nearly a quarter of Rushmoor children finish primary school obese

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Published by Local Democracy Reporter Ralph Blackburn at 11:54am 12th October 2018. (Updated at 2:51pm 12th October 2018)

Almost one in four children finishing primary school in Rushmoor are obese.

NHS Digital figures show that 23 per cent of Year 6 pupils in Rushmoor in 2017-18 were obese, of which 5.1 per cent were severely obese.

Additionally, 15 per cent of Year 6 children were overweight, meaning 38 per cent of Rushmoor's youngsters are unhealthily overweight when they finish primary school.

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.

Caroline Cerny from the Obesity Health Alliance said: 

"The ever increasing number of children living with obesity 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 junk food promotions in supermarkets and the food industry stepping up efforts to reduce sugar and fat from everyday foods."

The data shows that children often develop weight problems while at primary school, with just 11 per cent of Rushmoor's children last year found to be obese in Reception.

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.

“We have already removed tonnes of sugar from children’s diets through the sugar tax, which has funded vital school sports and breakfast programmes, and this summer we announced the second chapter of our childhood obesity strategy with a series of bold plans to halve child obesity by 2030."

Elsewhere in our area, Waverley was found to have one of the lowest childhood obesity rates in England with just nine per cent of year sixes being obese.

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