Young Obesity Rates Fall In Cornwall And Scilly

Fewer four and five-year-olds in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are obese but more are classed as overweight.

The number of children in Reception Class who are overweight rose by 1.1% to 15.1% in 2010-11. This is higher than both the South West and England averages at 14.3 and 13.2%.

However, the rates of obesity among Reception Class children fell from 10.8% in 2009-10 to 9% in 2010-11.

The National Child Measurement Programme assesses the height and weight of primary children in England. Children are measured in Reception Class and in their final year of primary school.

Schools across the local NHS area, including the Five Islands School, collect the data.

Dr. Kerry Bailey, who oversees the children’s healthy weight programme says the NHS in Cornwall and Scilly is encouraged that obesity rates appear to be falling but says we cannot be complacent as one in three children in the region are either overweight or obese by the time they leave primary school.

Rachael Brandreth, Children’s Weight Management Dietician at the Royal Cornwall Hospital, said obesity is associated with increased risk of many conditions including type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

Rachel says small changes, such as swapping sugary drinks to water and restricting ‘TV-time’, can make a big difference.