Tracking of weight status in UK primary school children

A report released by Public Health England has tracked and examined changes in the weight status of children between the first and final years of primary school.

Researchers used data from the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP). The NCMP measures the height and weight of children in Reception and Year 6 in primary schools across the United Kingdom (UK).

The report followed over 30,000 children from reception to year 6. At first measurement in reception 82% of children were a healthy weight, 9% were overweight, 3% were obese and 3% were severely obese.

Upon repeat measurement in year 6:

  • Of those who were a healthy weight over 70% remained a healthy weight and one third became overweight.
  • Of those who were overweight, 31% remained overweight, 30% became obese and 13% became severely obese.
  • Of those who were obese, over a third remained obese and 33% of boys and 28% of girls became severely obese.

This longitudinal data shows that weight status tracked in children from reception to year 6. Findings also show that children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds were more likely to become or remain overweight and obese than those from a higher socioeconomic status.

In Northern Ireland, the Child Health System collects similar data from children in Primary 1 and Year 8. Height and weight is measured and converted into a body mass index score for each child. The most recent findings were published in the Health Inequalities Regional Report 2016.



Posted: 21/03/2017 09:26:39 by Anne Parle
Filed under: Childhood obesity, Obesity, Overweight, Primary school


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