Fewer obese Sheffield school kids

Obese children in Wigan are causing concern for health chiefs
Obese children in Wigan are causing concern for health chiefs
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More than 2,800 primary school children in Sheffield are classed as overweight or obese, new figures have revealed.

Results from the latest National Child Measurement Programme study show the proportion of reception and Y6 pupils who are deemed to be of a healthy weight.

In Sheffield, 5,049 children aged 10 to 11 were measured, with 18.9 per cent classed as obese in the 2012/13 academic year, slightly down on 19.4 per cent in 2011/12. Just under 15 per cent were ‘overweight’, up on 14.4 per cent in 2011/12.

More than 6,000 children aged four to five were also measured, 8.4 per cent of whom were obese and 11.2 per cent overweight.

Less than 65 per cent of Year 6s and 80 per cent of reception children were of a healthy weight – almost identical to last year.

But Kath Sharman, from Manor-based Shine Health Academy, which tackles childhood obesity, said: “I don’t think it’s a true reflection of the bigger picture.

“They only do two measurements, one in reception and the other in Y6, and after that they’re not measured at all.”

Sheffield Council cabinet member for children, young people and families Coun Jackie Drayton said: “Our big ambition is that every child should have the best start in life to help them achieve their full potential and a healthy start is by far the best way.

“Maintaining a healthy weight as a child can have a huge impact on how healthy you are as an adult.

“And it goes without saying how healthy you are as an adult has a massive effect on the life you lead.

“Therefore it is vital we work with our children, parents and carers on how we can make sure everyone leads as healthy a lifestyle as possible.”

A children’s weight management service is run across the city by voluntary group Zest for Health. If a Y6 child is identified as being very overweight, their parents receive a phone call and Zest offers support and information.