Childhood obesity in Bolton improving - but one in five year six kids are still obese
CHILDHOOD obesity in Bolton has fallen, according to new figures.
Figures released in April showed that more than one in five schoolchildren in Bolton — 21.2 per cent of Year 6 children — are obese.
This left Bolton with one of the highest childhood obesity rates in the country as England’s obesity rate stands at 19 per cent.
But new statistics show that the average among year six pupils has dropped to 20.7 per cent.
The figures were obtained as part of the National Child Measurement Programme in which 3,059 year six children in Bolton were measured.
Councillor Sufrana Bashir-Ismail, cabinet member for public health, said: “We are very pleased to report a drop in the childhood obesity figures for the Year Six age group as we have been working hard to tackle this issue in Bolton.
“We have a number of preventative measures in place which aim to target the issues early on in a child’s life, plus specific interventions which all help to raise awareness of the health risks of obesity, thus enabling families to make healthier choices.”
April’s concerning results prompted schemes to be piloted across the borough to tackle the problem, particularly in more deprived areas.
A healthy weight strategy was devised, which included improving nutritional standards and labelling within hot-food takeaways, increasing the availability of fruit and veg in deprived areas and promoting active travel, such as walking to school.
A five-year project in Farnworth, an area of high obesity for both children and adults, is also currently being tested.
Now in its second year, the Farnworth project has also shown a drop among year six pupils from 33.16 per cent to 27.65 per cent.
Public health chiefs say the drop is down to these preventative projects in the area.
Director of public health in Bolton, Wendy Meredith, said: “Innovative projects like the one to target obesity in primary schools in Farnworth and Little Lever are showing positive preliminary results.
"The five-year project is soon to commence its third year and benefits from a multi-agency approach, involving the council, the Foundation Trust, Bolton Arena and Bolton Wanderers Community Trust.
"Childhood obesity is an issue both locally and nationally but we are committed to driving figures down and creating a healthier borough.”
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