Revealed: Nearly half of boys in England’s poorest areas are overweight or obese by the time they leave primary school
- Girls are more at risk of obesity as they tend to be less involved in sport
- Lockdown had accelerated the trend of poorer children becoming fatter
Almost half of boys in England’s poorest areas are overweight or obese when they leave primary school, according to analysis of NHS data undertaken for The Mail on Sunday.
Separate research shows children starting school in the most deprived areas are three times as likely to be severely obese as those in the wealthiest.
Last night, an expert said lockdown had accelerated the trend of poorer children becoming fatter.
Girls are often thought to be more at risk of obesity because they tend to be less involved in sport. But NHS figures show boys are significantly fatter when they leave primary school at the age of 11.
Some 49 per cent of Year Six boys in the poorest areas were overweight or obese during the latest academic year, compared with 43 per cent of girls. In England’s wealthiest areas, the figures were 29 per cent and 23 per cent respectively.
Children starting school in the most deprived areas are three times as likely to be severely obese as those in the wealthiest
These statistics are not routinely published and were revealed by the NHS after a request by this newspaper. Meanwhile, the Labour Party found there were 3,400 severely obese children aged four or five in the most deprived parts of England last year, but just 630 in the richest.
Labour MP Andrew Gwynne claimed the figures were ‘a badge of shame’ for the Government.
Professor Paul Gately, an obesity expert at Leeds Beckett University, said: ‘Without appropriate support, the chance of a child losing weight once they’ve gained it is almost zero. I fear this generation is going to suffer ill health which will bankrupt the NHS.’
A Department of Health spokesman said: ‘The Government takes tackling obesity seriously and we will continue to work closely with industry to make it easier for people to make healthier choices.’
Source: Read Full Article