Tacking childhood obesity must still be a priority

Release Date: 23 October 2017

Richmond Council will continue to tackle childhood obesity – despite being praised for having some of the lowest percent of overweight children in the country.

In a report issued this month by the NHS, it was highlighted that only 5.2% of Richmond upon Thames children aged 4-5 are considered obese, compared to 9.6% in other English boroughs. The trend continued to year six, where only 13.1% of children aged 10-11 were considered obese compared to 20% elsewhere.

The figures are captured in the National Child Measurement Programme, where over one million children are measured (by height and weight) every year. Although Richmond performs well, there are still over 3,000 overweight or obese primary school children in Richmond.

Richmond has a number of campaigns and programmes in place to encourage healthy lifestyles for all young people such as the Active Travel programme and Daily Mile. In addition, the borough has a detailed sports and fitness programme for young people – resulting in some of the most active youngsters in the country. Despite having some of the lowest figures in the country, the Council isn’t resting on its laurels and is determined to continue to work to ensure all children are a healthy weight.

Cllr Mark Boyle, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Public Health, said:

“Richmond upon Thames has a strong track-record in promoting healthy lifestyles for children and young people and their families.

“It is good that all our hard work to combat childhood obesity continues to pay off. We have a number of programmes in place to encourage young people and their families to make the right nutritional choices and stay active.  Carrying excess bodyweight at a young age can have a serious short and long term effect on an individual’s quality of life and health.

“We still have some children who need support managing their weight and  we will continue to work towards ensuring that every child is as healthy and active as possible.”

Notes for editors

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Elinor Firth on 020 8487 5159.

Reference: P492/17

Updated: 31 October 2017