Obesity among children soars after lockdown
By Ella Pickover, PA Health Correspondent
Obesity levels among younger children rose significantly after lockdown, new figures suggest.
Data from NHS Digital show that almost one in seven children start primary school obese.
And more than a quarter are obese by the time they finish primary school.
Figures from the National Childhood Measurement Programme, which measures obesity prevalence among school-aged pupils in reception class and Year 6, show that obesity rates increased in both year groups by around 4.5 percentage points between 2019/20 and 2020/21, the highest rise since the programme began.
Among reception-aged children, those aged four and five, the rates of obesity rose from 9.9% in 2019/20 to 14.4% in 2020/21.
And among Year 6 pupils, those in their last year of primary school aged 10 and 11, obesity prevalence increased from 21% in 2019/20 to 25.5% in 2020/21.