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6.6 Childhood obesity

Overweight and obese children and young people are at increased risk of developing various health problems and are more likely to become obese adults.

Following a long-term rise (based on national data) there are signs that the overweight and obesity rates in South Gloucestershire amongst Reception children may have peaked (at about 14% and 9% respectively) and started to decline (to about 11% and 7% respectively) over this period although the recorded obesity rate increased over the last year of data. Figure 8 shows the overweight rates for children in Reception and Year 6 in South Gloucestershire between 2008/09 and 2013/14 and Figure 9 shows the obesity rate.

The trend for Year 6 children is less pronounced. The obesity rate appears to have reached a plateau in 2008/09 and 2009/10 (about 17%) and reduced to 14.4% in 2013/14. This pattern may reflect a gap in the trend in obesity rates for Year 6 compared to Reception children.

Overweight by year group

Figure 8. Overweight by year group, 2008/09 to 2013/14; South Gloucestershire and England

Source: The Health and Social Care Information Centre, Lifestyle Statistics / Public Health England, Children, Young People and families NCMP Dataset
Obesity by year group

Figure 9. Obesity by year group, 2008/09 to 2013/14; South Gloucestershire and England

Source: The Health and Social Care Information Centre, Lifestyle Statistics / Public Health England, Children, Young People and families NCMP Dataset

South Gloucestershire’s Healthy Weight and Obesity Strategy 2014-2020

Eating well and being physical active are both important for the prevention and management of overweight and obesity.

South Gloucestershire’s Healthy Weight and Obesity Strategy has three main strands all of which address physical activity and diet:

  • Prevention and early intervention, for example good maternal nutrition, encouraging breastfeeding and appropriate weaning.
  • Creating an environment which supports children and families adopt and sustain healthy behaviours, for example creating safer routes to encourage children and their parents to walk to school.
  • Treatment for children and young people with weight management problems.

Progress has been made in implementing the strategy across all three strands. For example, South Gloucestershire was awarded full accreditation for UNICEF Baby Friendly Breastfeeding Initiative in March 2014.

Three little cyclists riding their bikes

For more information please contact Clare Fleming, Programme Lead Obesity, Nutrition and Physical Activity clare.fleming@southglos.gov.uk

During 2014/15 there has been significant development of South Gloucestershire’s adult overweight and obesity services.  For 2015/16, the priority will be develop a healthy weight care pathway for children and young people.