Children living in the most deprived areas are more than twice as likely to be obese as those in the least deprived, new figures have revealed.
The findings from the Government's National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) for England show that more than a quarter (27.5%) of Year 6 children living in the most deprived areas were obese compared to 11.9% of these living in the least deprived. For Reception children, this figure was 12.3% compared to 6%.
Overall, childhood obesity has increased for both age groups in the past year, although boys have a higher obesity prevalence than girls.
The Local Government Association (LGA) called for urgent public health investment to help reverse this trend.
Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, said: ‘Councils can help the Government meet its target of halving childhood obesity by 2030 with significant additional investment in public health and greater powers to tackle clustering of existing takeaways and to restrict junk food advertising.
’It is also vital that councils are able to decide how the hundreds of millions of pounds raised from the sugar levy is invested, to ensure that our children get the best start in life.’