More than one child in every Year 6 class recognised as ‘severely obese’, according to new figures

Just days after it was announced that an average of £2,000 per UK household was required to keep the NHS working productively, staggering new statistics have been presented on childhood obesity.
Analysis from the Local Government Association has found that over 22,000 Year 6 children are regarded as ‘severely obese‘, a category measured by a BMI above 40 for adults. The number of 10-11 year olds categorised in this bracket is 4.1% of Year 6 children in the UK, equating to an average of one in every classroom, as reported by The Independent newspaper.
The analysis also found that over 14,000 Reception children are sitting at this level which is just over 2.3% of those in their first year of school. The rise of almost 2% across six years shows that some children are living such an unhealthy lifestyle that they are leaving one bracket and entering another but moving in the wrong direction.
The evidence further underpins the estimation that NHS spending on obesity-related illnesses will rise from £6 billion to £10 billion in the next 30 years – a gap that cannot be accounted for in the current financial climate.
Despite further calls to provide more funds for provision to help decelerate the crisis, a Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson told the Independent: “Our childhood obesity plan is among the most comprehensive in the world. Our sugar tax is funding school sports programmes and nutritious breakfasts for the poorest children, and we’re investing in further research into the links between obesity and inequality.”
The most concerning levels of severe obesity were found in more deprived areas where fast food meals often provide a cheaper option than a healthy meal. Yet schools in such pockets of the United Kingdom and beyond are using their extra sugar tax income to fund Evolve Health Mentor provision. With the knowledge that sport alone does not necessarily produce a healthy lifestyle, the specially trained role models educate children on areas of physical and emotional health and wellbeing.
To find out how a Health Mentor can lay the foundations to reverse unhealthy trends in schools, contact Josh Cronin on josh@evolvesi.com.