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A third of London’s 10-year-olds obese or overweight

PUBLISHED: 08:00 23 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:55 05 October 2010

MORE than a third of London’s children between 10 and 11 are obese or overweight, shock figures reveal this morning. The 36 per cent of 10-year-olds together with the 23 per cent for four to five-year-olds also overweight in London are the highest percentage figures of all 10 Strategic Health authorities in the country

By Mike Brooke

MORE than a third of London’s children between 10 and 11 are obese or overweight, shock figures reveal this morning (Wednesday).

The 36 per cent of 10-year-olds together with the 23 per cent for four to five-year-olds also overweight in London are the highest percentage figures of all 10 Strategic Health authorities in the country, says a report published today by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.

One-in-three children aged two to 15 are obese or overweight in Britain, it reveals, with more than eight-out-of-10 parents unaware that physical inactivity in childhood can increase the risk of cancer in later life.

Nearly 10 per cent are obese when they begin their formal schooling.

But by the time they are ready to move up to secondary school, the number of obese children has almost doubled to 18 per cent.

“There is a major leap in the number of children becoming obese during their very first years of education,” said the Physiotherapy society’s chair Liz Cavan.

“We are concerned that we are unknowingly putting children at risk of obesity and the development of life-threatening illnesses because people aren’t aware of the importance of physical activity in preserving good health.

“It is during these early years that we form the habits that we stick with for life. This is why we are focussing efforts on parents with children of primary school age.”

The society has teamed up with the British Dietetic Association to run a series of health programmes at primary schools, with chartered physiotherapists and dieticians giving advice to parents and teachers on exercise and nutrition.

One school the team of experts is visiting today (Wednesday) is in London’s East End, when Arnhem Wharf Primary hosts one of the first Healthy School Days’ in the pilot scheme.


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