More than three-quarters of children in parts of the Black Country are obese or overweight.

New figures from the National Child Measurement Programme reveal that a shocking 31.8% of Year 6 children - those aged 10 and 11 - in St Peter’s in Wolverhampton are considered obese.

A further 46.1% are overweight.

At the same time, 14.9% of Reception-aged children - four and five year olds - in St Peter’s are obese, and another 25.5% are heavier than they should be.

An obese child will have a body mass index (BMI) higher than 95% of those in their age range, while an overweight child will have a BMI higher than 85% of those in their age range.

Across the country, 19.7% of 10 and 11 year olds and 9.4% of four and five year olds are obese, while a further 33.9% of Year 6 pupils and 22.2% of kids in Reception are overweight.

Wednesbury South in Sandwell has similarly high rates of children who are struggling with their weight as St Peters, with 31.3% of children in Year 6 and 12.5% of Reception pupils considered obese.

A further 12.5% of 10 and 11 year olds and 25.7% of four and five year olds in the ward are overweight.

Streetly in Walsall, on the other hand, has the lowest proportion of childhood obesity and excess weight in the Black Country.

 

Just 14.2% of Year 6 kids there were considered clinically obese, while a further 29.0% are overweight.

It’s a similar situation for Reception-aged children, with 5.3% obese and 18.8% overweight.

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Caroline Cerny, alliance lead at the Obesity Health Alliance, said: “Childhood obesity is a significant problem in the UK.

“One in three children are above a healthy weight when they leave primary school and we know that children who have obesity are highly likely to become adults with obesity – putting them at risk of diseases including Type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart and liver disease plus associated mental health problems.

“Obesity is not a choice parents make for their children and there are many factors that can cause a child to gain excess weight.

“However it is clear that our food environment plays a vital role.

“Children are surrounded by advertising and promotions for unhealthy food and drinks everywhere from on TV, online to outside their schools.”

Earlier this month the government launched a public consultation asking for people’s views on how children’s exposure to junk food adverts can be reduced.

Suggested restrictions to limit kids’ exposure to these ads include a 9pm watershed ban on TV, online streaming sites and social media.

Childhood obesity - disturbing new figures for Birmingham
Childhood obesity - disturbing new figures for Birmingham

At the time the consultation was launched, public health minister Steve Brine said: “It is not right that our children are so widely and easily exposed to adverts promoting foods high in fat, sugar and salt.

“Small amounts of excess calories every day over a long time causes obesity and all the associated health concerns.

“We are, however, clear: there is no one solution, so our world-leading plan is about joined-up action across a range of areas so we tackle childhood obesity from every possible angle.

“The NHS is already preparing to treat more and more children for the serious effects of extreme obesity in the future – so we have a duty to address the underlying causes because we believe passionately in our NHS.

“This isn’t about banning everyday staples like butter and olive oil.

“It’s about reducing children’s exposure to those products that have little nutritional value but that are part of a wider climate that is driving childhood obesity.”

Ward name // % of obese Year 6 kids // % of overweight year 6 kids // % of obese Year R kids // % of overweight Year R kids

St Peter's // 31.8 // 46.1 // 14.9 // 25.5
Wednesbury South // 31.3 // 47.6 // 12.5 // 25.7
St Pauls // 30.8 // 45.2 // 13.6 // 23.8
Darlaston South // 29.9 // 43.5 // 14 // 29.4
Fallings Park // 29.8 // 43.9 // 13.4 // 29.7
St Thomas's // 29.4 // 43.4 // 15.5 // 26.1
Tipton Green // 29.4 // 44.1 // 10.8 // 22.8
Bilston North // 29.4 // 42.3 // 12.5 // 25.4
Cradley Heath and Old Hill // 29.3 // 45.7 // 10.3 // 23.2
Friar Park // 29.3 // 42.8 // 13.1 // 28.1

Weighing-in time

Ward name // % of obese Year 6 kids // % of overweight year 6 kids // % of obese Year R kids // % of overweight Year R kids

Amblecote // 20 // 37.3 // 9.6 // 26.4
Wordsley // 20 // 33.6 // 11.4 // 26.4
Wollaston and Stourbridge Town // 19.6 // 34.8 // 9.2 // 21
Kingswinford North and Wall Heath // 18.9 // 33.5 // 11.7 // 24.9
Aldridge Central and South // 18.3 // 30.8 // 8.1 // 21.8
Sedgley // 17.5 // 33.9 // 8.3 // 24.7
Norton // 17.1 // 27.1 // 7.4 // 16.6
Tettenhall Wightwick // 16.9 // 35.2 // 8.3 // 22.2
Halesowen South // 16.3 // 33.4 // 10.7 // 24.2
Streetly // 14.2 // 29 // 5.3 // 18.8

*Join Gabby Logan in the #GetActiveBrum health drive