The findings are from a national programme run by Public Health Wales, which collected information on the heights and weights of nearly 30,000 reception age children.
This is the first time we have had a clear picture of the how children in Wales are growing and although the headline figures are worrying, this is something that can be reversed.
We must have a response from all sectors in society including health, education and local communities themselves to ensure our children are able to adopt healthy lifestyles.
– Dr Ciaran Humprheys, Public Health consultant
I welcome this first report on the growth of children at school entry across Wales. Having good information is the basis for effective action on healthy child growth and to reduce childhood obesity. This report provides a baseline from which we can monitor our progress as a nation and more locally, into the future. Together, we must work for a healthy, active and resilient community in Wales where all children have the best start in life.
For the first time the heights and weights of reception children in Wales have been gathered and the results are worrying. Nearly 30 percent of five year olds are overweight and 12.5 per cent of children are classed as obese.
This prevalence is highest in Merthyr Tydfil (34 per cent) and the national figure for Wales is significantly higher than England, where 23 per cent of children are classed as overweight or obese.