Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Childhood obesity in the South West reaches epidemic proportions

Nearly a third of 10 and 11 year olds are deemed overweight. Credit: PA

Childhood obesity in the South West has reached epidemic proportions - with a fifth of children starting primary school now classed as obese.

That figure gets higher as children get older, with nearly a third of 10 and 11 year olds deemed overweight.

1/5
of children starting primary school in the South West are overweight

Many children like six-year-old Eden are using exercise to lose weight.

Her mother Chanelle Thaws from Hartcliffe in Bristol is encouraging her to be active and says a change in children's lifestyle has had a major impact on their weight.

When I was younger, you did a lot more outside. So, my mum giving me a pack of crisps, a chocolate bar and a drink everyday, and me running from school - half three - until six when I went in for tea - was ok. Now, kids nowadays don't go outside for three hours.

– Chanelle
Eden is using exercise to lose weight. Credit: ITV West Country

Eden has been attending a council-run group for overweight children since January, called Alive and Kicking, where the focus is on physical activity and food education.

Chanelle says the group has been a great help.

I didn't know what to feed my child. You're told that they're supposed to have five-a-day, and she was having five-a-day. But it also means she can have a packet of crisps, a chocolate bar and a drink. Well no not really, cos if she's not doing anything then why are you giving her those three things that are full of sugar.

– Chanelle Thaws
Chanelle says Eden now eats a much healthier, balanced diet. Credit: ITV West Country

In the first nine weeks of attending the class, Eden's BMI dropped from 25.9 to 25.2.

She is continuing to work towards the average BMI for her age which is between 13.5 and 17.