Figures for local 10 and 11-year-olds are worse than the national average
Nearly 40% of 10 and 11-year-olds in Merton are overweight or obese - above the national average, according to the latest NHS data.
Figures from the Child Measurement Programme show that 21% of year six children in the borough are considered to be obese.
And 5% of these children are in the severely obese category, meaning they have a BMI of 40 or more.
The figures show that Merton has a slightly higher than average rate of childhood obesity.
Nationally, 14% of Year 6 pupils are overweight while 20% are obese.
Merton Council runs a Child Healthy Weight Steering Group which brings together different organisations to try and address the challenge of childhood obesity.
Councillor Tobin Byers, cabinet member for health, said this has involved number of different projects. It includes delivering the ‘Great Weight Debate Merton’ engagement to inform work to tackle obesity as well as developing a child-healthy weight support service which provides one-to-one consultations with families and their children to support lifestyle change.
Councillor Byers said: “The council has had a focus on tackling childhood obesity for a number of years.
“The annual report from the Director of Public Health in 2016-17, ‘Tackling Childhood Obesity Together’, made a call to action to partners to work together on solutions.
“The council recently launched a new Child Healthy Weight Action Plan to build on this work over the next three years. This includes a number of measures centred around three overarching priorities: making childhood obesity everyone’s business; supporting children, young people and their families; and ensuring Merton is a healthy place to live and work.”
Merton Council has also delivered training for 378 school staff on raising awareness and talking about childhood obesity.
October 31, 2019