London, December 13 (ANI): New figures have revealed that a third of final year primary school children are overweight or obese.
The new NHS figures show last year 33.9 per cent of Year Six pupils, aged 10 or 11, weighed more than they should - a slight increase from 33.4 per cent the previous year.
Year six pupils in urban areas were more likely to be obese than those who live in towns and suburbs, said The NHS Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).
The percentage of children in reception who were overweight or obese was 22.6 per cent in 2011/12, the same as the previous year, the figures from the National Child Measurement Programme show.
The programme, which checks more than one million children in England, measures the height and weight of children in reception, who are generally aged four and five, and Year 6 pupils.
The highest prevalence of overweight and obese children in reception was recorded in the north east of England. London recorded the highest rates in Year 6 pupils.
Levels of obesity were highest among black children and lowest among those of Chinese descent.
Children who live in areas of high deprivation were also more likely to be obese, the report added.
"The figures show that the proportion of Year 6 children who are either overweight or obese appears to be still increasing slightly," the Daily Mail quoted HSCIC chief executive Tim Straughan as saying.
"This differs from the picture for reception-year children, for whom prevalence of obesity remains level.
"The National Child Measurement Programme measures more than one million children and is the most robust snapshot of obesity levels among children in England," he added.
"We had been led to believe by the Government that the situation was levelling off and improving, but these figures show this is not the case at al," Tam Fry, of the National Obesity Forum, told the paper.
"There is now double the number of children aged 11 who are obese than they were when they began school," he added. (ANI)