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News Release

Latest Obesity Figures for England Show a Strong Link Between Children Living with Obesity and Deprivation

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News Release, (2022, November 3). Latest Obesity Figures for England Show a Strong Link Between Children Living with Obesity and Deprivation. Psychreg on General. https://www.psychreg.org/latest-obesity-figures-england-show-strong-link-between-children-living-obesity-deprivation/
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The prevalence of reception-aged children living with obesity in England during 2021–22 was over twice as high in the most deprived areas (13.6%) than in the least deprived areas (6.2%).

This difference is also seen in year 6 children – with 31.3% living with obesity in the most deprived areas compared with 13.5% in the least deprived areas.

Published by NHS Digital, the National Child Measurement Programme, England – 2021–22 report found that the prevalence of reception-aged children living with severe obesity was over three times as high for children living in the most deprived areas (4.5%) than for children living in the least deprived areas (1.3%).

Similarly, the prevalence 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 (NCMP) – overseen by the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities and analysed and reported by NHS Digital – measures the height and weight of children in England annually and 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.

Geography

The prevalence of reception-aged children living with obesity in 2021–22 was highest in the North East (11.4%) and the West Midlands (11.3%). It was lowest in the South East (8.7%), South West (8.9%) and East of England (9.2%).

For year 6, the prevalence of children living with obesity was highest in the North East (26.6%), the West Midlands (26.2%) and London (25.8%). It was lowest for year 6 children in the South West (19.8%), the South East (20.0%) and the East of England (21.4%).

Underweight prevalence was highest in London for reception-aged children at 1.9% and year 6 at 1.7%.

The prevalence of children living with obesity varied by the local authority. For reception-aged children, this ranged from 5.4% in Richmond upon Thames to 14.9% in Sandwell. In year 6 the range was from 12.4% in Surrey to 34.0% in Sandwell.

The prevalence of children living with obesity was highest in urban areas for both age groups: 10.4% in reception and 24.4% in year 6.

Time series

The prevalence of reception-aged children living with obesity had been relatively stable since 2006–07, but it saw a 4.6 percentage point increase from 9.9% in
2019–20 to 14.4% in 2020-21, the main year of the Covid pandemic.

This latest data shows a decrease to 10.1% in 2021-22 which is 0.4 percentage points above the pre-pandemic figure from 2018–19.

For year 6, the prevalence of children living with obesity increased slowly from 19.0% in 2010–11 to 21.0% in 2019–20 and then increased by 4.5 percentage points to 25.5% in 2020–21.

This latest data shows a decrease to 23.4% in 2021–22 which is 3.2 percentage points above the pre-pandemic figure from 2018–19.


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