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.

22 %

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

23 %

of children in BRISTOL and GLOUCESTERSHIRE and DORSET are overweight

23.4 %

of children in BANES are obese - this is the region's worst for children with weight problems

Many councils believe after school clubs are the answer to tacking this growing health crisis.

This is a healthy life style programme called 'Alive and Kicking at Hengrove Leisure Centre in Bristol for overweight children and their families. Both attend a ten week course where they learn together about eating and physical activity.

Katie Stevens from the programme explains:

Kelly Richards has been coming with her daughter Millie since January. They were referred by their GP after concerns were raised about Millie's weight.

Credit: ITV News

I wanted to do it for my little girl because she's overweight and likes her food, but I knew she needed to eat healthily as well. Portion sizes were the worst and that I give her too much, so I need to give her less.

Kelly Richards, Parent

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