One third of 10 and 11-year-old children in Sheffield are obese or overweight, according to the latest statistics.
The figures, compiled by the Health and Social Care Information Centre, suggest there are around 2,040 children in Sheffield leaving primary school obese or overweight.
The British Heart Foundation is today calling for a ban on all junk food TV advertising before 9pm.
It says current regulations are ‘failing’ families in Sheffield because they are allowing junk food companies to target children with advertising during popular shows such as The X Factor, that would be banned during traditional children’s programmes.
Mike Hobday, the British Heart Foundation’s Director of Policy, said: “It’s worrying that so many children in Sheffield are obese or overweight. Carrying excess weight into adulthood increases the risk of developing heart disease in later life.
“We mustn’t allow food companies to continue to exploit a failing regulatory system that allows them to bombard TV screens with junk food adverts at the times when the highest numbers of children are watching TV.
“We need to protect young people against the sophisticated marketing techniques of junk food advertisers to help tackle the obesity crisis which threatens the heart health of future generations.”
British Heart Foundation analysis found that 13 junk food adverts were shown during just X Factor show last year, promoting unhealthy snacks to the children watching before 9pm.
Current regulations mean that foods high in fat, saturated fat, salt and sugar are banned from being advertised during children’s programming.