1. ITV Report

Sheffield in top 10 for rising numbers of obese children

A new study suggests that obesity rates in children are rising in Sheffield Photo: Calendar News

Sheffield is in the top ten places in the country for rising numbers of obese children, according to new research. The study suggests that the number of obese ten and eleven year olds has gone up by more than a third in the last five years.

Here is the percentage increase in obese children for PCTs across Yorkshire in the last 5 years:

  • Sheffield up 36.82%
  • Calderdale up 27.05%
  • Rotherham up 16.97%
  • Hull up 16.96%
  • North East Lincs up 15.28%
  • Kirklees up 13.95%
  • Leeds up 11.97%
  • Bradford & Airedale 1up 1.97%
  • North Lincs up 4.24%
  • Doncaster up 3.22%
  • Wakefield district up 1.17%
  • Barnsley down 0.91%
  • North Yorks and York down 3.8%

Leeds-based data expert, SSentif, completed a national and regional analysis of overweight and obesity prevalence rates amongst primary school children and found that, despite the Government's high profile work to tackle childhood obesity via The National Child Measurement Programme, since 2007 36% of PCTs have reported an increase in obesity at age four to five and 80% have reported an increase amongst ten to eleven year olds.

Regionally, the highest percentage increase in obesity rates was reported by Hastings and Rother PCT, which showed a 43.5% increase amongst ten to eleven year olds in the last five years. The biggest reduction was reported by Portsmouth City Teaching PCT, which reported a drop in obesity prevalence from 24% in 2007 to 19% in 2010/11.

In 2011, Southwark PCT reported the highest obesity rates, with more than a quarter (26.45%) of its children classified as obese. The lowest levels were recorded by Richmond and Twickenham at 10.67%.

Childhood obesity is one of the most pressing public health concerns we have to tackle and yet rates have increased over the last five years, despite the Government's attempts to curtail them. We've just hosted a fantastic Olympic Games and the legacy of those games has to be to improve the health and fitness of our children. This is the perfect time to focus on this issue and to take steps to tackle the problem.

– Judy Aldred, managing director of SSentif