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Childhood obesity worst in ‘deprived’ Bromley areas, according to report

PUBLISHED: 07:00 25 September 2018

Childhood obesity is at its worst in the most “deprived” Bromley wards, a new report has said. Picture: Gareth Fuller/ PA

Childhood obesity is at its worst in the most “deprived” Bromley wards, a new report has said. Picture: Gareth Fuller/ PA

PA/Press Association Images

Childhood obesity is at its worst in the most “deprived” Bromley wards, a new report has said.

Though the borough has one of the lower rates of childhood obesity in the capital, Bromley councillors will discuss next week how they are tackling the increasing problem.

In 2016/17 more than 20 per cent of children in reception year were identified as being obese, a figure which surges to 31 per cent in Year 6.

The figures mirror the national trend of children becoming fatter as they move through school.

According to the report: “The percentage of children in Bromley schools who are obese doubles from their first year in primary school to their final year.

“There is a marked difference in the rates of childhood obesity within Bromley, the prevalence of obesity is higher in deprived wards in the borough.”

The problem is worse in boys than in girls, according to the report, and the trend has been increasing.

Councillors agreed earlier this year a plan to tackle obesity in kids, and will be updated on how successful their plans have been.

The report adds: “Being overweight or obese in childhood has consequences for health in both the short term and the longer term. Once established, obesity is extremely difficult to treat, so prevention and early intervention are very important.”

The council promotes the Bromley School Games and awards programme Healthy School London as some of the ways to tackle obesity at a young age.

“Public Health is committed to continuing to support a whole system approach as being the best way forward with prevention at the centre of this approach.

“Active engagement in the London Obesity Network will continue and implementation of best practice initiatives based on ‘what works’ in different communities will be considered”, the report says.

Nationally, almost 60 per cent more children in their last year of primary school are classified as severely obese than in their first year, according to Public Health England.

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