In Brief

Ten worst areas for childhood obesity named amid health crisis warnings

New study shows nine of the most overweight neighbourhoods are in London

Public Health England has revealed the full extent of the UK’s growing childhood obesity crisis as new figures identify the most overweight neighbourhoods in the country. 

In a report published today, the watchdog names Camberwell Green, in south London, as the first and only neighbourhood in England where there are more children with a BMI of 25 or above - meaning they are overweight or obese - than with a healthy BMI.

A total of 50.9% of Year 6 children (ages 10-11) in the area are overweight or obese, according to the findings of the Government’s National Child Measurement Programme.

London neighbourhoods made up nine of the ten areas in the most overweight list, with Newington at No. 2, with 49.7%. Four of the capital’s neighbourhoods in the top ten are in the Borough of Southwark.

The Fenton West and Mount Pleasant area of Stoke-on-Trent is the only district outside London on the list.

The data was published as Theresa May promised further government action to tackle childhood obesity if current strategies fail to get results. The Prime Minster is facing calls to introduce a 9pm watershed for junk food advertising on television, among other measures.

Britain’s childhood obesity crisis is now “so grave” that more than half of the UK’s children are overweight when they leave primary school in some areas, The Daily Telegraph reports. Many youngsters are eating up to 500 calories more than the recommended daily amount - the equivalent of an extra meal.

Professor Russell Viner, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said: “There looks to be a link between how obesogenic an environment is and deprivation, with unhealthy food often the cheapest.

“Boroughs in the worst areas urgently need to sort out their food environment.”

The ten neighbourhoods with the highest childhood obesity levels in England are:

WardCouncil% Excess Weight
Camberwell GreenSouthwark50.9
NewingtonSouthwark49.7
Hoxton WestHackney49.7
Lancaster GateWestminster48.5
Woodberry DownHackney48.5
Fenton West and Mount PleasantStoke-on-Trent48.0
Royal DocksNewham48.0
LiveseySouthwark47.8
ChaucerSouthwark47.7
Woolwich RiversideGreenwich47.7

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