One in five children obese by the time they leave primary school

GETTY- STOCKLatest figures suggest the obesity crisis gripping Britain is not unique to childhood

GETTY- STOCKLatest figures suggest the obesity crisis gripping Britain is not unique to childhood

Obesity among children starting their first year of primary school has risen for the second year in a row.

"There is no single solution to reverse what's been decades in the making", she said. "We're working with industry to make food healthier, we've produced guidance for councils on planning healthier towns and we've delivered campaigns encouraging people to choose healthier food and lead healthier lives".

The NCMP measures the height and weight of over one million childrenin England annually and provides robust data on the number of children in reception and year six who are underweight, a healthy weight, overweight or obese. In Year 6, nearly a third (32.4 per cent) of girls and 36.1 per cent of boys are either overweight or obese.

For all children in the last year of primary school, 20 per cent were obese - a figure that has remained stable compared to last year.

In Kingston upon Thames, south-west London, 4.8% of children in reception are obese, compared with 13.5% in Wolverhampton.

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said the gap between children from the most and least deprived backgrounds was "rising at an alarming rate".

'While progress on reducing the amount of sugar in soft drinks has been a welcome step forward, these are problems where a "pick and mix" approach to policies is nowhere near enough to address one of the biggest public health challenges of our time.

"Adverts for unhealthy foods have a significant impact on consumption habits, and we want to see immediate action to restrict junk food marketing at children, both online and on TV before the 9pm watershed", Ms Cerny said.

"Failing to tackle obesity means failing our children, and if today's figures tell us anything, it's that there's a long way to go before the battle is won".

Tam Fry, from the National Obesity Forum, said: "Child health surveillance is still in the dark ages".

"The UK government, however, has already set its mind against this".

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