Public Health England in the South West says childhood obesity is 'becoming an epidemic' with the problem starting earlier. There are now worrying levels of overweight children when they begin school.


of children in the South West are starting school obese or overweight


of children in DEVON are overweight


of children in CORNWALL are overweight


of children in PLYMOUTH are overweight

Many councils believe after school clubs are the answer to tacking this growing health crisis. Meanwhile, one nursery in Taunton says it's determined these children will leave here with hopefully a lifelong love of nutritious food.

We're trying to help the children become healthier, fitter and happier so that when they go to school they are not going to be obese so they can move around, they're more able to do different things so they're not being restricted by their weight.

Diane Wycherley, tops day nursery

Here in the West around a fifth of children heading to reception are classed as obese. And by the time they leave primary school, nearly a third of 10 to 11 year olds are deemed overweight or obese.

Credit: ITV West Country

Justine Womack from Public Health England South West explains why childhood obesity in our region has reached epidemic proportions.

For more on this exclusive story, watch ITV West Country tonight at 6pm.