10 areas in England with the highest rate of childhood obesity revealed

UK decision to hold off food offer restrictions

UK government commited to tackling obesity. Credit: AGorohov/Shutterstock.com.

THE areas in England with the highest rate of childhood obesity have been revealed in a new study conducted by the NHS.

The data shows that those who live in the most deprived areas of the country are more likely to be severely obese compared to those living in the least deprived.

NHS figures show that in 2021-22, 4.5 per cent of reception-aged children were living with severe obesity in the most deprived areas, compared to 1.3 per cent in children in the least deprived areas.

The report, compiled by the National Child Measurement Programme, also showed that the number of year 6 children living with severe obesity was over four times as high for children living in the most deprived areas (9.4 per cent).

This is compared with those living in the least deprived areas (2.1 per cent), as reported by National World.

The study uses BMI (body mass index) figures – which use height and weight to estimate body fat – to collect the data, with children between 99.6 and 100 classified as severely obese.

The NHS says that defining children as overweight or obese is a “complex process, given that children of different ages and sexes grow and develop at different rates”. Because of this, a different method is used for children than for adults.

BMI is calculated by dividing their weight (in kilograms) by the square of their height (in metres), and for children, this is then compared to a reference sample of measurements gathered in 1990, which takes age and sex into account.

The report reveals that West Midlands recorded the highest rate of children in reception class living with severe obesity (3.5 per cent), followed closely by the North East and London (3.4 per cent each).

The South East and South West had a lower number of reception-aged children living with severe obesity (2.3 per cent).

In Sandwell, the West Midlands, 5.8% of children in reception class were living with severe obesity, compared with 1.2% in Surrey in the South East.

Below is a list of the top 10 authorities with the highest rate of severe obesity in reception-aged children.

  1. Sandwell, West Midlands 5.8%.
  2. Barking and Dagenham, London 5.4%.
  3. Wolverhampton, West Midlands 5.2%.
  4. Hull, Yorkshire, and the Humber 5.1%.
  5. Greenwich, London 4.9%.
  6. Knowsley, North West 4.7%.
  7. Enfield, London 4.5%.
  8. Hounslow, London 4.5%.
  9. North Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and the Humber 4.4%.
  10. Walsall, West Midlands 4.4%.

To read the full report, click here.

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Vickie S
Written by

Vickie Scullard

A journalist of more than 12 years from Manchester, UK, Vickie now lives in Madrid and works as a news writer for the Euro Weekly News.