Third of 11-year-olds in England’s poor areas now obese

According to the research, nearly one-third of children between the ages of 10 and 11 who live in the poorest districts of England are fat. The rate of 31 percent was lower than the epidemic peak of 34 percent a year earlier, but it was still more than twice as high as the 14 percent in the districts with the least poverty.

The results of this year’s National Child Measurement Programme show that England’s obesity rates continue to be alarmingly high, despite a small but noticeable improvement.

23 percent of children ages 10 to 11 were found to be obese, according to the findings of an annual program that evaluates the height and weight of children beginning in reception class and continuing through year 6.

This was a decrease from the previous year’s record of 26 percent, although it was still higher than the figure for 2019-20, which was 21 percent.

The prevalence of obesity among children aged four to five years old increased during the pandemic from 10 percent to 14 percent, although it has since returned to 10 percent. “The tiny decline, which is likely to be a consequence of children returning to school and having regular snack and mealtimes, demonstrates improvements are feasible,” said Katharine Jenner, director of the Obesity Health Alliance.

“However, unless political will is demonstrated at the highest levels of government, they will not decrease any further.”

Campaigners for healthier lifestyles have criticized the government for abandoning its intentions to put restrictions on the marketing and sale of unhealthy foods and beverages.

After a backlash from Conservative Members of Parliament, Boris Johnson abandoned his intentions to outlaw “buy one get one free” bargains for unhealthy foods and pushed out the 9 p.m. advertising cutoff time.

Ministers stated that the food industry required additional time to prepare, and there were concerns that the measures would place additional strain on families who are already struggling financially due to rising costs of living.

Ms. Jenner asserted, despite this, that the programs would “have a disproportionate advantage to individuals on low incomes.”

She went on to say that “Allowing everyone to live lives that are happier, freer, and more productive is vital to reducing the inequities that undermine our society” and that “Reducing childhood obesity is fundamental to confronting the inequalities that undermine our society.”

According to Tam Fry, the head of the National Obesity Forum, the government has “consistently failed to manage obesity, and this is felt most in impoverished regions.”

The findings “reaffirms the inherent link between obesity and poverty,” according to Helen Stewart of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

She went on to say that “we now find ourselves in a scenario where our most vulnerable youngsters are now at a larger risk of chronic illnesses, mental health concerns, and even a shorter life span.” This is due to the fact that their likelihood of becoming obesity has increased by a factor of two.

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