More than 40% of children in Hartlepool are overweight or obese by the time they reach Year 6, new figures show.
Statistics from the National Child Measurement Programme show that 15.7% of the town’s youngsters are overweight by Year 6, while a further 25.9% are obese by age 11, totalling 41.7%
Being overweight or obese can have a significant and detrimental impact on young people’s lives and tackling obesity is the top priority for the town’s Health and Wellbeing Board.Louise Wallace, Hartlepool’s director of public health
In reception, which children join at age four, 13.7% were overweight last year and a further 11.6% were obese.
The figures have prompted the British Heart Foundation to call for a ban on junk food TV advertising before 9pm as part of the Government’s Childhood Obesity Strategy, to help improve children’s health.
The charity says that millions of children across the UK are being exposed to junk food advertisements during popular shows such as the X Factor and Hollyoaks.
Louise Wallace, Hartlepool’s director of public health, said: “Being overweight or obese can have a significant and detrimental impact on young people’s lives and tackling obesity is the top priority for the town’s Health and Wellbeing Board.
“In 2015 we staged a major obesity conference in the town involving all of the key organisations and from this we developed a 10-year Healthy Weight Strategy to tackle the high prevalence of both child and adult obesity in Hartlepool.
“We have developed a range of services to provide support for local people and are embracing Change4Life – a nationwide initiative led by Public Health England – which aims to help everyone, but especially children, to eat well, move more and live longer.”