Excess weight and obesity (children)

Facts, figures and trends

Childhood prevalence

  • Children born to obese parents are more likely to become obese adults
  • It is possible to be more accurate with childhood prevalence as the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) captures data on approximately 6000 children each year in Central Bedfordshire
  • Nationally, and across the developed world, childhood obesity has risen considerably over the past 20 years. The Foresight report published in 2007, suggests that without clear action almost two thirds of children will be overweight or obese by 2050
  • Overweight and obesity prevalence rises between the ages of 2 and 10
  • Obesity is almost 4 times more common in Asian children than white children
  • In Central Bedfordshire the trend data for the previous 8 years is presented below
Image 1: Year R & Year 6 data.

Image 1: Year R & Year 6 data. Source: National Child Measurement Programme

Trend data over an 8-year period from 2008 shows a downward trend for Year R and a slight increase in Year 6 for excess weight.

The diagram below shows the latest percentages and BMI status of children by age from National Child Measurement Programme 2015/16.

Image 2: Prevalence by school year and child residence

Image 2: Prevalence by school year and child residence. Source: Central Bedfordshire Public Health Population Health Evidence and Intelligence.

"This analysis uses the 2nd, 85th and 95th centiles of the British growth reference (UK90) for BMI to clarify children as underweight, health weight, overweight and obese.  These thresholds are the most frequently used for the population monitoring within England."

The table below shows the excess weight comparison with East of England, England and our statistical neighbours over the last 6 years.

Table 4: Excess weight comparison with East of England, England and  statistical neighbours

Table 4: Excess weight comparison with East of England, England and statistical neighbours. Source: NHS Digital

Figures in brackets show lower and upper confidence intervals. Statistical neighbours average: CIPFA, Unitary Authorities with similar levels of socioeconomic deprivation.

CIPFA nearest neighbours  

Central Bedfordshire          

  1. Wiltshire
  2. Bedford
  3. Cheshire East
  4. Bath and North East Somerset
  5. West Berkshire
  6. Cheshire West and Chester
  7. Shropshire
  8. South Gloucestershire
  9. Herefordshire
  10. Stockport
  11. Warrington
  12. Solihull
  13. Swindon
  14. North Somerset
  15. Calderdale

Minimum prevalence across CIPFA statistical neighbours Yr R: 17.2%

Minimum prevalence across CIPFA statistical neighbours Yr 6: 26.6%

                                                                                                                       

Maximum prevalence across CIPFA statistical neighbours Yr R: 22.6%

Maximum prevalence across CIPFA statistical neighbours Yr 6: 34.6%

The prevalence of excess weight for Reception Year and Year 6 by ward is shown in the two charts below by comparison with the England average. For Reception year there are 18 wards that are below the England average of 22.1% (3yr aggregated) and for Year 6 there are 15 wards that are below the England average of 34.2% (3yr aggregated).

Image 3: Year R - Excess weight , 3 year aggregated data

Image 3: Year R - Excess weight , 3 year aggregated data. Source: National Child Measurement Programme local data - Public Health Intelligence

Year 6 - Excess weight, 3 year aggregated data. Source: National Child Measurement Programme local data - Public Health Intelligence

Year 6 - Excess weight, 3 year aggregated data. Source: National Child Measurement Programme local data - Public Health Intelligence

The two maps below show the prevalence of excess weight across Central Bedfordshire in Reception Year and Year 6 by Child electoral ward for the last 3 years.

Table 7: showing rates of childhood obesity for Yr R by ward level. Data taken from 3yr aggregated NCMP data.

Table 7: showing rates of childhood obesity for Yr R by ward level. Data taken from 3yr aggregated NCMP data.

The map shows that the highest levels of obesity are in the following wards:- (highest first)

  1. Parkside
  2. Tithe Farm
  3. Houghton Hall
  4. Biggleswade North
  5. Dunstable Manshead
  6. Dunstable Central
  7. Flitwick
Table 8:- showing rates of childhood obesity for Yr 6 by ward level. Data taken from 3yr aggregated NCMP data.
Table 8:- showing rates of childhood obesity for Yr 6 by ward level. Data taken from 3yr aggregated NCMP data.

Table 8:- showing rates of childhood obesity for Yr 6 by ward level. Data taken from 3yr aggregated NCMP data.

The map shows that the highest levels of obesity are in the following wards:- (highest first)

  1. Dunstable Manshead
  2. Parkside
  3. Heath and Reach
  4. Caddington
  5. Aspley and Woburn
  6. Potton
  7. Dunstable Watling

In February 2017 all lower and middle schools will receive their individual 3 year aggregated data from the NCMP. This will be the fourth year in succession that schools had been able to see their own data.

They receive the anonymised rankings of all the schools in their age range i.e. lower/primary/middle. They are informed of where their schools are placed within these rankings to provide an overview and prospective of the NCMP data across Central Bedfordshire.

From this data, Public Health is able to identify individual schools that would benefit from support from the 0-19 team and commissioned services. This could be delivered through ‘Health Days’, ‘Parent Workshops’, Physical Activity clubs, Drop-in sessions, ‘Bike It’ programme, BeeZee Bodies or curriculum time.

Public Health have also developed and supplied a resource for schools to help teachers and School Nurses raise the issue of obesity and offer advice and signposting for children and families to commissioned services.


Last updated Thursday, 20th April 2017