Monday, December 15, 2008

New Data On Children's Height And Weight Published, UK

“Nearly one million school children were weighed and measured during 2007/08 as part of the National Child Measurement Programme, Public Health Minister Dawn Primarolo announced today. This exceeds the national goal of 85 per cent participation with 88 per cent of children in Reception and Year Six being weighed. The 2007/08 report published by the NHS Information Centre today, shows that in Reception (4-5 year olds), almost one in four of the children measured were either overweight or obese. In Year 6 (10-11 year olds), this rate was nearly one in three. The statistics show there has been no significant change in the prevalence of overweight and obese children in both Reception and Year 6. However, it is too early to predict that the rates of obesity and being overweight among children have stabilised. The information that is due to emerge over the next year or so will be crucial to this assessment. Ms Primarolo said: ‘Obesity is one of the biggest public health challenges we face. If we do nothing, 90 per cent of today's children could be overweight or obese by 2050, leaving them at risk from serious illnesses such as heart disease or diabetes. ‘These figures show that there are still too many children who are overweight and obese - that's why we're supporting families to lead healthier lives. Change4Life will provide everyone with the information and support they need to improve their lives. The Change4Life revolution starts in January.’ Change4Life is a lifestyle revolution involving thousands of local organisations and charities which will help mums, dads and families eat well, move more and live longer. Under the banner Change4Life, the Government is galvanising support from everyone in the country from grass roots organisations to leading supermarkets and charities.”

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