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Obesity rates down

PUBLISHED: 09:06 11 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:54 03 July 2010

The number of children who are classed as obese in Norfolk has dropped slightly over the past year, according to health bosses.

A National Child Measurement Programme shows the results of height and weight measurements of children in reception (aged four and five) and year six (aged 10 and 11) at schools across the country, including Norfolk.

The number of children who are classed as obese in Norfolk has dropped slightly over the past year, according to health bosses.

A National Child Measurement Programme shows the results of height and weight measurements of children in reception (aged four and five) and year six (aged 10 and 11) at schools across the country, including Norfolk. The results were then used to calculate each child's body mass index (BMI).

Figures released from the NHS Information Centre show in NHS Norfolk's area the number of children in the reception age group who were “obese” decreased from 9.1pc (in 2007/2008) to 8.8pc and the number of children in the year six age group decreased from 18pc in 2007/08 to 17.7pc.

In NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney, 18.9pc of reception year children are classed as obese.

Also the number of children in reception who were “overweight” fell from 13.7pc to 13.6pc, while the number of children from this age group in the “healthy-weight” category increased to 77.1pc from 76.4pc the year before.

Hannah Critten, NHS Norfolk's Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives

co-ordinator, said: “One of NHS Norfolk's top priorities is to tackle obesity and we continue to promote positive lifestyle changes in both adults and children to achieve this. We know that if you are overweight as a child then you are more likely to be overweight as an adult.

“It is important to remember that achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is all about making small changes in our lifestyles which can make a big difference to our health. This is a long-term challenge and we understand that we won't see massive changes overnight, but as the figures released today show, progress is being made.”

The government has set out a national ambition to first halt and then seek to reduce, the level of childhood obesity, and NHS Norfolk has made this a key priority within its five-year strategic plan 'Bold and Ambitious'.

Nationally almost one in four boys and more than one in five girls is overweight or obese at the start of their school life, the shocking new figures revealed.

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